More Makes September 2020

After a much needed holiday I've been sewing up a storm and dressmaking like mad again. This week I'm sharing the Shelby dress and romper pattern by True Bias and a Tilly and the Buttons Nora Tshirt both of which are on constant rotation in my handmade wardrobe.

The Shelby Dress and Romper by True Bias

Pattern and Fabric

As a teenager of the 90s I was so excited to see the ditsy buttondown dress trend making a revival and had my eye on the Shelby dress for quite some time.

Lovely versions kept popping up all over Instagram and I thought it would work really well as a day dress, something my wardrobe is always severely lacking.

It looked like a fun sew with the princess seams on the front and back plus it is a buttondown and I am all over the buttondowns right now. Fun to sew and an interesting little bit of detail that feels more visually pleasing than a zip.

There is also an option for a maxi dress or short or maxi length romper.

I chose our super pretty ditsy daisy print viscose, which was lovely to sew with and had the perfect amount of drape for this pattern. I love the way it hangs on my body thanks to the princess seams and fabric.

Adjustments and Sizing

I only had to make the standard adjustments I make to any pattern to this dress and was really impressed with the fit overall.

I made a high round back and forward shoulder adjustment and scooped the armholes out a little at the front.

I had to reduce the seam allowances on the armholes at the shoulder to add a little width and would widen the pattern here next time.

I cut a size 4 at the bust and graded to a 6 at the waist and hips.


The Shelby dress was a quick, easy and super satisfying sew.

It was fun sewing the princess seams and buttonholes and everything came together really well.

Kelly included a tip for sewing the little bit of fabric at the end of the waist ties down - place a piece of paper over the needle plate and under the fabric and this worked a treat. Without following this tip my machine just would not sew those little blighters!

Final Thoughts

I know I'm always pleased with my makes, but I honestly love this dress so much. I wore it for a walk to our local park on a very hot day at the weekend and it felt wonderful and cool, although I must admit I had a couple of Marilyn Monroe moments in the wind!

I'm planning on styling it with a jumper and boots for Autumn too.

Shopping List

Tilly and the Buttons Nora Top

Pattern and Fabric

Simple Tshirts are a must have in my wardrobe and I never have enough of them.

I love the relaxed fit of the Tshirts that have been on trend for the past few years and have been trying to find the right pattern and fabric to replicate that look.

Having made the long sleeved turtleneck Tilly and the Buttons Nora top in the past and seeing lots of lovely Tshirt pattern versions on Instagram I decided to see if I could make this pattern work. I'm pleased to report I did.

I chose our lovely, soft and very drapey cotton striped Tshirt jersey with a loopback. It worked perfectly for the look I wanted and I used some navy blue John Kaldor Roanne fabric for the neckband as a contrast.

Adjustments and Sizing

The Nora top is very oversized and although I wanted a relaxed fit I didn't really want this much volume. Searching on the hashtag on Instagram I came across a version my lovely friend Susan Young had made whereby she reduced the amount of volume right down.

First I made my standard high round back and forward shoulder adjustments.

Next I followed her approach and slashed the front bodice and back bodice pieces from the middle of the shoulder seam down to the hem then overlapped them by 4cm. I trued the shoulder seams and then went ahead and sewed it up as usual.


As you would expect the construction of this top is super simple.

I used stay tape to stabilise the shoulder seams and fusible stretch interfacing to stabilise the neckband before sewing it to the bodice.

Final Thoughts

This has very quickly become a firm favourite in my every day wardrobe and I love wearing it with my charcoal Ginger jeans and some nice bright lippy.

Shopping List

Have fun sewing!


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