Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

A hacked Lyra dress // Tilly and the Buttons

I don’t think this pattern was one that immediately called out to me when it was released although on an objective level it should have – button front, tiered skirt… It all sounds like something I’d wear! Maybe it was the styling of the sample garments? Who knows!

That being said, I saw a lady wearing the most beautiful shirtdress in the park over the summer. It was long, tiered and just gorgeous. I wasn’t brave enough to ask her where it was from (not that I would’ve gone and bought if I had!) but I was inspired to make my own version. The closest pattern I could think of to it was the Tilly and Buttons Lyra dress which just so happened to be in my stash!

The Lyra dress has a shirt bodice and collar and options for long or short sleeves. The long sleeves finish with elastic in the cuffs. There are two skirt options – a simple gathered knee length version or a midi length tiered version.

I knew I’d need to make some changes to the pattern to fit and suit me and my style though!

  • I took out 1.5cm at the shoulder
  • I added 15cm width to the sleeve, added 2.5cm to the cap height and cut it to elbow length
  • I removed 2cm from the bodice length.
  • I shortened the upper tier of the skirt to 32cm
  • I chose not to use the collar and pockets, leaving it with a stand collar only
  • I opted to leave out the pockets and the belt

Other than that I made a straight size 5!

I used a green Lady McElroy viscose lawn for this project that I got from Sherwoods Fabrics. I’d seen this particular print on social media from another store but Sherwoods was the only place I could find it in stock by that point! It’s super light and thin with a great drape. It’s definitely a summer fabric but I was determined to not let it sit in my stash until next year!

The general fit turned out pretty well on me. The adjustments I made to the bodice worked out well! I’m glad I skipped the full collar as I think it wouldn’t have been appropriate with the super soft fabric I’d used. Considering how much I’ve shortened the pattern, I was surprised at how long it ended up. I had initially intended to lengthen the lower tier as well so I’m glad I didn’t!

I’ll be honest, I did not open the instruction booklet even once so I won’t comment on how good/ bad they may be. It seemed straightforward enough that I didn’t feel I needed to! I can only assume that with any Tilly and the Buttons pattern, it’s been well explained though.

From social media, I know a few people have had issues with fitting Tilly patterns. I’ve always been lucky that everything has fitted well straight out of the packet. Having interned at Tilly’s many years ago, I think I’m quite a similar shape to their fit model size. (Well I was anyway. I’m 100% making 2 sizes bigger since then!). Fitting is such a tricky subject as all bodies are different!

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