Romy wasn’t built in a day!

A review of Romy Top and Dress

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Reviewed by joy.margot on 30th July, 2019

I think this might be the first time I’ve made a garment and then immediately cut into and made it again from scratch. I’ve always been very fortunate with Tilly and the Buttons patterns – their size three (UK 10) fits me perfectly and I rarely have to make adjustments. A couple of people had mentioned that Romy came up large, but I’m a fan of an oversized top so I went ahead with my usual size for the plain-back dress version.

Romy is described as having a “modern loose fit” but it didn’t have that oversized boxy look on me at all! It just looked too big and the binding strips were bunching all of the excess fabric into my armpits. I removed the sleeves, took 12mm off the shoulders, and re-attached them. There was a definite improvement but it still wasn’t quite right.

I took some photos and figured I’d find a few nice things to say about it and be done with it. Only, I couldn’t do it! I didn’t want to give a falsely positive review of a garment I wasn’t happy with. I was determined to save it and the good news is: I did! Well, you know what they say: Romy wasn’t built in a day.

I referred to the finished garment measurements and noticed that the size one (UK 6) was very close to my actual measurements. It felt a little risky going down two whole sizes but as stretch garments often have negative ease, I figured it would be fine. I couldn’t face unpicking the original dress but I couldn’t quite fit the plain back top pieces on. I loved the look of the tie-back didn’t want a lump under my cardigans, so I improvised and drafted my own bow back version.

The only other changes I made were to use knit interfacing instead of clear elastic on the back piece, I straightened off the cap sleeves and used a smaller seam allowance on the hem.

I’m so glad that I persevered with this pattern as I think the design is gorgeous. Hopefully if you’re reading this before making your Romy, I’ve saved you some heartache. With that said, this does come with the caveat that I am not an expert! I suggest referring to the finished garment measurements and your own experience before making any changes to a pattern.

See my full blog post and some “before” photos here.