Tabitha drawstring dress – a time trial

A review of Make It Simple (book) By Tilly Walnes


Reviewed by Nina - Talesofthesewingcity on 1st March, 2020

Like many of us – I take my time with sewing: appreciating the journey as much as the destination. But having always classified myself as a slow sewist, I was able to put this to the test when I made the Tabitha drawstring dress from Tilly Walnes’s new book, Make it Simple.

The conclusions regarding my speed were concrete – I’m pretty darn slow.

The conclusions about the dress were (and are) less certain – by the end of the process I felt it looked like a sack on me. It looked lovely in the book, but whether it was my sewing skills, fabric choices or just choosing the wrong pattern for my style, it all felt wrong.

Then I tried it on for the photos, and thought about how I’d actually wear it – and didn’t mind so much. It’s definitely a casual dress in my mind, but with a pair of converse might be a great cover up on the beach, or an easy holiday wear.

Construction-wise – well there’s a full run down of the whole process which amused me – and really showed me how life, family, chores and even pets intersect with my sewing plans. But without some of the errors I made, I think TATB is just about right in saying a half-day sewing time for this one. Quite a long “half day” and more if you have to spend any time with a seam ripper (who me?)

This is the only thing I’ve made so far from #Makeitsimple and as ever, the instructions are clear and well set out. I’ll certainly be trying some other patterns – but I’ll definitely allow more time for the process than is suggested, based on this experience.