Tilly and the Buttons Billie sweater dress/sweater review and pattern hack

So pleased that I finally finished my Billie sweater dress by Tilly and the Buttons. Here's my review of the pattern, along with a link to the tutorial on how to hack the sleeves.

I made it in this beautiful organic cotton jersey from my store. It's not officially classed as sweater fabric by my supplier though it is really thick and has the brushed cotton on the side against your skin and is the same weight as my other sweater fabric, so I knew it would work. This fabric is Funny Stripes designed by Poppy for John Loudon. It's available in green and black, but I really liked the black, which has flecks of emerald green, royal blue, mustard yellow and salmon pink. I went for black tubular ribbing to match the black, for the cuffs, neck
and bottom band.

As per usual with Tilly's patterns, the pattern was very easy to follow, with lots of photographs. I unfortunately had to make use of my unpicker (which I hate) which caused delay, as I put the unpicking off for at least a week until I could face it!

I used an overlocker, though I always use my regular sewing machine to tack the sleeves and cuffs before over locking, just to make sure everything looks okay before I overlock it. Despite this I made a hash of one of the cuffs and had to unpick it, cut another cuff and start again! Hence, another overnight pause whilst I stored up the patience required.

I should have learned from past experience that I should have cut the pattern slightly smaller than my measurements. Although my measurements are on the large size of size 10 (size 3 on Tilly's patterns) and I cut my pattern pieces between size 3 and 4, I found that the dress was far too big. It was very annoying because I had made pockets, which made it very difficult in taking in and hence the pocket openings are a little smaller than they should be, though with the black fabric they are well hidden!

I pattern hacked the sleeves because I wanted the balloon sleeve at the bottom but not at the shoulder, as I felt it would not suit me, being quite broad shouldered. See the YouTube video of how to do it.

I'm very pleased and planning a sweater too!

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