Zadie dress

Tilly and the Buttons


Temporarily Out of Stock

Make your own Zadie dress with this paper pattern and step-by-step instructions. Designed for stretch knit fabrics, you can sew it on a regular sewing machine (no overlocker or serger needed) – hooray!

Throw on your Zadie dress for comfort and style at work or play. The dress has striking diagonal seams, concealing lovely (and practical!) in-seam pockets. The fitted bodice has a flattering empire waistline and round neckline finished with a neckband. It flares out into a feminine, knee-length semi-pleated skirt that’s great for swishing. Choose from cap, three-quarter or full length raglan sleeves.

If you’re a fan of the Coco or Agnes patterns, this project will take your knit fabric sewing skills to the next level.

Like all Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns, Zadie includes easy-to-follow instructions with photos showing you how to sew each step – making it easy for you to create gorgeous clothes you can be proud to say you made yourself.

SKILL LEVEL – Improvers

FABRIC SUGGESTIONS – Medium weight stretch knit fabrics such as ponte di roma, double knit, interlock, jersey. Check the fabric can be stretched crosswise at least 20% wider than its original width, and that it pings back down to size after stretching.


  • Fabric – Long or 3/4 sleeve – 2.5m (2 ¾ yards) x 150cm (60in) wide OR 2.8m (3 yards) x 115cm (45in);
    Cap sleeve – 2.1m (2 3/8 yards) x 150cm (60in) wide OR 2.3m (2 1/2 yards) x 115cm (45in)
    (It’s always a good idea to buy a little extra knit fabric to allow for shrinkage. See below for fabric lengths for colour blocked versions)
  • Matching thread
  • 0.9m (1 yard) of 6-8mm (1/4in) stay tape, clear elastic, ribbon or strips of knit interfacing
  • Ballpoint or stretch needle for your sewing machine
  • Sewing machine and basic tools (a rotary cutter, mat and walking foot are useful)


Download the cutting layouts for colour blocking your Zadie dress. You will need the following amounts of fabric:

  • Bodices – 0.5m (5/8 yards) x 150cm (60in) wide fabric or 115cm (45in) wide fabric
  • Long or ¾ sleeve + side panels – 1m (1 1/8 yards) x 150cm (60in) wide fabric OR 1.3m (1½ yards) x 115cm (45in) wide fabric OR Cap sleeve + side panels – 0.6m (3/4 yards) x 150cm (60in) wide fabric OR 0.7m (3/4 yards) x 115cm (45in) wide fabric
  • Skirt, pocket facings + neckband – 1.5m (1 3/4 yards) x 150cm (60in) wide fabric or 115cm (45in) wide fabric

This sewing pattern is available in PAPER format.

If you’re looking for more maker inspiration, check out the latest sewing pattern reviews from the sewing community. We also have a sewing blog to keep you up to date with all the news from the world of sewing.

Additional information


Jersey / Knits / Scuba


UK 6 / US 2 / EU 34, UK 8 / US 4 / EU 36, UK 10 / US 6 / EU 38, UK 12 / US 8 / EU 40, UK 14 / US 10 / EU 42, UK 16 / US 12 / EU 44, UK 18 / US 14 / EU 46, UK 20 / US 16 / EU 48

Sewing level

Confident Beginner

Make time

All day

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5 out of 5 stars

3 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. One person found this helpful
    Mel Forrest

    5 out of 5 Stretch those skills!

    Mel Forrest

    If you have sewn a few basic garments in jersey and fancy getting your teeth into something more challenging – Zadie is the pattern for you!

    I used ponte for my version – it has the perfect amount of stretch and stability for this pattern and I think it’s a good fabric choice to make the tricky parts more manageable. It also has a very flattering amount of drape and weight and is of course super comfortable. I had been planning to make a colour-blocked Zadie for ages, so when I bought ponte for a couple of other projects I made sure I ordered a little bit extra. It was good fun planning the different combinations of fabrics for my design and I used a colouring-in sheet that I downloaded for free from the Tilly and the Buttons blog to plan how the finished garment would look – you can see some of the different options I considered on my Instragram grid.

    As you come to expect if you have used a Tilly and the Buttons pattern before, the instructions are flawless and fool-proof. They take you through each step in plenty of detail and the colour photographs that illustrate each stage are amazing – you really can’t go wrong!

    I always make a size 3 in Tilly’s patterns and although I had read several reviews that mentioned the Zadie comes up a little big, I decided to stick with my usual size with no alterations. I probably could have made a size 2 or taken in the side seams for a more fitted finish, but I am delighted with how comfortable my version is and the panels give the illusion of a very flattering fit anyway. This might be something to consider though, if you fall between sizes.

    The dress is exactly how I invisaged – bold, fun, flattering and comfortable! I can already tell that it will be something I reach for again and again in my wardrobe and I can see myself wearing it both to work and at weekends. I would love to make another version with long sleeves for the winter and I’m already dreaming up new colour-block combinations and squirrelling away ponte!

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    The Zadie dress is probably the most ambitious project I’ve made so far due to the precision needed to match the pieces and get those lovely angles. I used some lightweight jersey in floral for skirt and bodice with black for the side panels and arms. It’s a slightly shiny jersey fabric which looks almost like sportswear close up but makes for a supremely comfortable dress! I took my time over this and did it in two days, mainly because the fabric was a nightmare to unpick and I had to cut a side panel out again so I wanted to be careful. I really like this dress a lot though – you can go casual with ballet pumps or dress it up a bit more with a little cardi. Plus it was my first make with pockets so I have a real soft spot for it! I can see me sewing up another one nearer the winter in a ponte fabric.

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  3. Avatar

    Zadie dress


    I made the Tilly and the Buttons Zadie using beautiful Stretch velvet. The fabric was super decant but cause me to curse quite a bit as it wiggled everywhere when I tried to put it through the machine.

    I love the Zadies big pockets and bust seams which make it a lovely shape on anyone. I was a little worried the seams would draw attention to my stomach but it hasn’t at all!

    For a full review check out

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    Zadie dress


    This is one of my favourite handmade dresses, it’s got lots of interesting details both front and back and the pockets are just the best size ever!
    I made my version of the Zadie dress using 3 different ponte roma jersey and it worked out lovely. I ended up taking the dress in slightly down the side seams as I found the raglan sleeves made it a bit wide across the top. Do keep in mind if you are in between two sizes of the finished garment measurements that this will be a stretchy dress, you could probably go for the smaller size.

    I used a combination of my normal sewing machine with a stretch needle and my overlocker to finish off the seams but it could easily be made up just using a narrow zigzag stitch on a regular sewing machine. The instructions are clear and beautifully photographed in the booklet that comes with the pattern and needle suggestions and explanations for clear elastic etc are included.

    If you’ve never worked with jersey material before I would say it could be an idea to start with something with less pieces but as the dress has raglan sleeves it comes together rather swiftly. I think that there are lots of different ways of making this dress using up scraps and playing around with the panels in different prints.
    Great pattern, would make again!

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