Completed: The Agnes Dress

20 Jan

I’m still trying to catch up on my last projects from 2015! Although I’m glad I waited to post this one because:
1. I got new shoes and I think they look pretty awesome with this dress
2. Such a good hair day for these photos. As a result, there are extra pictures in this post. No apologies for that!

T&TB Agnes Dress

Anyway, let’s talk about the dress itself because that’s why y’all are here! I tried something newish for this project in terms of silhouette and I gotta say – I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! I don’t normally like the way gathered skirts look on me, and strong shoulders always make me feel like I’m wearing someone’s mom’s old clothes (not my mom, though, she’s a pretty sharp dresser hahah), but this dress does me good! I made it to wear during recently-ended holiday season – the thin jersey isn’t necessarily appropriate for cold weather, but we had a 70*F Christmas down here in Tennessee, so it suited me just fine at the end of 2015! Of course, now we’re in for the serious cold snap (you can’t tell in the pictures, but it was COLD outside when I took these! Like below freezing, eep), so I currently can’t wear it because it’s simply not warm enough!

T&TB Agnes Dress

T&TB Agnes Dress

To make this dress, I used the Agnes shirt pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. I love special and unique details on an otherwise plain knit tshirt, and this pattern is pretty good for that! I love the runching at the neckline and sleeves, and the shape is really fitted and flattering for me. I have made this top before (there’s not a full post – but I’m wearing it with my 70s denim skirt), so I had a good idea of how it was going to fit. My own complaint with the first version is that the armholes were too high on me, and thus a little uncomfortable. I lowered the armholes by about 1/2″, using my adjusted Renfrew tshirt pattern as a comparison. Size is right between a 1 & 2, which suits me pretty well for this pattern line.

Now, the pattern only gives you an option to make a top – and this is a dress, obviously. I confess that I didn’t even consider Dress Possibility until Tilly posted this tutorial for making an Agnes dress. SCORE. How cute does she look in those photos, btw?! Oh god I just realized our outfits are pretty similar hahahaha!

Anyway, it’s an easy change to turn this into a dress. Cut the pattern piece at the waistline (or where you want the waist to hit – I used my Lady Skater bodice as a guide, personally), sew up the shirt, and then add a gathered skirt (literally, a rectangle that is the width of your fabric + whatever length you want). I stabilized the shoulders and waistline with 1/4″ elastic, just so everything would stay in place and not stretch out (I learned the waistline elastic trick from the instructions in my Lady Skater pattern and it’s THE BEST. Keeps the skirt from pulling the bodice down with it’s weight and making things all saggy). Everything was pieced on my serger, and all the topstitching is done with a plain straight stitch. Easyyyyy. So fast! I finished in like 2 hours and actually wore the dress out that night 😀

T&TB Agnes Dress

T&TB Agnes Dress

T&TB Agnes Dress

As I mentioned, I don’t really care for the way gathered skirts look on me – I think they add unnecessary bulk. But I do like the way this one mimics the gathers and fullness at the sleeves. I think the key is to use a fabric that is a lighter weight and has some drape. Then you get soft gathers, instead of big, weird bulk.

T&TB Agnes Dress

T&TB Agnes Dress

T&TB Agnes Dress

The fabric I used here is from Lillestoff. I’d never heard of this company before, but they are located in Germany and offer some really nice, high-quality organic cotton knits. They reached out to me several months ago and ended up sending me a few of their fabrics to try out. I can’t find this star print on the website anymore, but it’s pretty awesome. It’s a lighter weight without being sheer, and it has a good drape that looks fantastic with the gathers in this pattern. I was impressed with all the stuff I got – the colors are nice and saturated, and the fabrics are soooo soft. They wash well and have a good recovery when you wear them, so they tend to hold their shape. I also have a hoodie that I recently made with some of their French terry, gotta remember to get photos of that!

I originally earmarked this piece for another Lady Skater dress (linking because I’ve officially mentioned that pattern 3x in this post now hhahaha), but changed my mind to make something with a little more ~pizzazz~. Don’t get me wrong – I love me some LS, but sometimes a plain dress is a plain dress and sometimes you need those details! I guess that’s one downside to this particular dress – I can’t make a dozen of them without people noticing that I’m using the same pattern over and over again. Oh well I’ll probably do it anyway hahahahahah

T&TB Agnes Dress

If you can’t stop staring at that ONE long rogue hair, just know that I can’t either.

T&TB Agnes Dress

Detail shot – the neckline and sleeve runching is done with 1/4″ elastic, btw! You cut it to length, and zigzag it down while stretching it to the max. When it snaps back, you have lovely yet easy runching!

T&TB Agnes Dress

Ok, I think that’s enough talk about one dress. Here’s a picture of me being cold hahaha. Have you ever sewn with Lillestoff fabrics, and if so – what do you think about them? When I posted on Instagram, people were going NUTS. Apparently they have a pretty die-hard fan base 🙂

Note: The fabric for this dress was given to me by Lillestoff. And the pattern was given to me by Tilly! Free or not, all opinions are my own 🙂


37 Responses to “Completed: The Agnes Dress”

  1. Inclement January 20, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    So pretty! And thanks for mentioning the fabric choice vis a vis the gathered waist – yours doesn’t look bunched-up at all, and now I know why. 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 20, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

      Yeah, it definitely makes a difference! I never even really thought about it until I saw it in action haha 🙂

  2. vinthillvintage January 20, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Cute dress on you. Yay for trying something new! I love the rouching at the center front but can’t see my broad shoulders in those sleeves so I don’t want to get the pattern for myself but I want to try drafting my own top with that kind of center front rouching. Is the flat pattern piece adjusted in shape at all to accomodate that detail or is it just like a straight up bodice piece. What I’m getting at is could I take a tnt tshirt pattern and just add some zigzagged elastic and get the same result or would I need to adjust my pattern before cutting?

    • LLADYBIRD January 20, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

      Well, the pattern also includes plain sleeve options 🙂 But as far as modifying an existing pattern for the center runch – I think you could do that. I’m not a pattern drafter by any means – I just take what’s given to me and work with that – but it appears to be a plain scoop neck if you don’t add the elastic. You can see it in the non-runched versions on the pattern envelope. It’s the same bodice piece.

  3. Elle January 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

    I love both shoes and dress! I, too, don’t like the extra bulk gathers give my waist (plus I find making them to be kind of a pain but that’s sort of because I’m lazy and have no patience hah) but I really like them here so I’ll have to try a thinner jersey and see if that helps.

    • LLADYBIRD January 20, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

      Yeah, I think they’re a pain to make too! Way too much gathering and then trying to sew it on evenly, meh! It’s worth it every once in awhile, though 🙂 haha!

  4. Deborah January 20, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

    Love this dress and esp. the fabric. Can you or any of your readers suggest another source for a star printed knit fabric similar to this? My granddaughters would love to have a dress like this.

    • LLADYBIRD January 20, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

      If you find more star knit, let me know! I would love to have more, and a good printed knit is surprisingly hard to find 🙂

  5. Beth January 20, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    Actually, I think you most likely could make the same pattern with different fabrics/mods and no one would be the wiser! Love this one on you and thanks for the link to the fabrics. I passed it along to my sister who had asked for (and got) a gift card to Organic Cotton Plus this past Christmas. Don’t know where she found out about that one — probably when she was at the International Quilt Festival in Houston last November. Stay warm!

    • LLADYBIRD January 20, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

      Ahh, I love Organic Cotton Plus! Lucky sister to get such a good gift 🙂

  6. Tomasa January 20, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

    Beautiful dress in a fun print!

  7. Leah January 20, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    Are those booties Lucky Brand? They look like the ones I have, which I LOVE btw. Super comfy and they go with everything. I have basically forgot that I own any other shoes this winter. Love the dress too!

    • LLADYBIRD January 20, 2016 at 2:08 pm #

      Yes they are! I just got them last week and I’m super in love with them haha 😀

  8. Kayse January 20, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    I love the silhouette and fabric of this dress. Seriously, you are wonderfully talented!

  9. Kasia January 20, 2016 at 11:28 pm #

    Great dress and lovely outfit! In my opinion gathered skirt looks very good on you!

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

      Thank you! I do like them when they are a lighter weight fabric 🙂

  10. Anita Boeira January 21, 2016 at 11:18 am #

    I just can’t handle how cute this dress is. I had to click on Tilly’s version, and two for two I was convinced I needed this pattern to make dresses with all the millions of knits I have in my stash. I ended up buying three patterns I had been in the fence about for ages. I got it in PDF so I can get started on it RIGHT NOW. Or, more accurately, this weekend when I finally have some free time from work. Thank you 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

      Woohoo!! I will never apologize for being a pattern enabler 🙂

  11. Natalie January 21, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

    Love the shoes, fabric & dress!

  12. Becky Thompson January 22, 2016 at 4:40 am #

    Oh my stars! That’s so pretty! 🙂 Great job.

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

      haha I see what you did there 😛

  13. mertxelasierra January 22, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Very very nice pattern and fabric! I like to make my own patterns, and those sleeves are gonna make me think fro a while, haha! It is a real pity the star patterned fabric is not on the webpage! I was going to buy some for myself, it is sooooo cool! And yeah, good hair!

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

      They basically have a reeeeeally tall sleeve cap – plus it’s extra big so you can gather the top. Kind of a cool looking pattern piece 🙂 And yeah, I’m bummed that there isn’t more of that star fabric! I think it sold out shortly after I got mine (which I can’t really blame anyone for, cos it’s pretty awesome). Maybe they will get more, though? Hopefully!

  14. Leticia January 22, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    Very stylish and you’re right–shoes are perfect!

  15. Jennifer A January 22, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

    Very cute dress! I was just looking at that Tilly pattern a couple days ago. I didn’t even think of using as a dress as well. Now I just may have to go pick it up. I love the ruching at the front.

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

      Yeah, I didn’t think about a dress either until I saw Tilly’s version. And the runching at the front is my favorite part 😀

  16. Tilly January 25, 2016 at 6:06 am #

    Looks gorgeous on you, lady! Love the fabric choice xx

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

      Thank you, ma’am! Thank YOU for the adorable inspiration 😀

  17. Amelia Wray January 25, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    This looks lovely on you! I love the ruching details.

  18. morningsprite March 30, 2016 at 9:15 am #

    YES! I just made an Agnes dress after seeing Tilly’s photos wearing one at a recent show, but the skirt was really pulling the bodice. I’m going to go back and add elastic. You may have saved my dress…. 😉


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