My Indigo Dresses [Tilly and the Buttons] Pattern Thoughts

I’m really happy to share one of my current favourite sewing patterns – the Indigo dress from sewing pattern company ‘Tilly and the buttons’. I’ve now made 2 of these; a top version and a 2 tier dress version; both of which I am so happy with.

The indigo dress is a smock style top or dress that is pulled on over your head (no fastenings to worry about) with ample options for really making it your own – classic gathered skirt, exposed ruffle, different skirt lengths, alternative sleeves and so on. A very versatile pattern that you can make many versions of! This pattern is for confident beginners and is definitely a very approachable pattern even if you are fairly new to sewing. Tilly Buttons have very clear instructions, full colour photographs in the instructions and there are many sew-a-long videos to help you as well.

Version One: The Top.

I made up my first version in the top length purely because I only had enough fabric for this! I used a beautifully soft white floral viscose from Rainbow Fabrics and I am so impressed with the quality of this. This top has sleeves, added waist ties and a gathered skirt with a dropped hem at the back. I love this because I can wear leggings with it and still feel like I am covered up. Because I am 5″5 the top version does fit a little like a short dress – but the length would be super easy to adjust if you wanted a shorter or longer version. To keep it simple I did not go for the exposed frill at the waist and just the simple gathered skirt.


I had a few small issues fitting the bodice on this pattern – mainly with the neckline which was gaping quite a lot. I had already attached the facing when I realised this, but I managed to fix the issues by taking the bodice in at the shoulders, and this meant I did not have to unpick anything. The Indigo is meant to be a loose fitting garment, which I like but I choose to add waist ties so I could have it fitted around my waist to make it look a little dressier.

I’m super happy with this first indigo and have worn it a few times now, it is soft and comfy and leaving the rainbow locked edges exposed adds a really fun pop of colour! I also included a beautiful embroidered label from Little Rosy Cheeks.

Version 2 – The Dress.

This version is something I made for an event on Instagram raising awareness for endometriosis (Sew yellow for Endo) run by Jess from ‘So what if I sew’. The brief was to sew any yellow garment and take part in some challenges. I knew I wanted to whip my outfit up quite quickly so I reached again for the trusty indigo pattern; this time to make a dress version.


You can purchase a pattern expansion pack for the Indigo dress but I decided to play around with it myself. I adjusted the shoulders and neckline of the bodice to prevent the gaping I had on my first version, and then I cut 2 tiers of skirts to make a dress that would come to just below my knee. Again, I also added waist ties to give a more fitted look to the dress. The neckline adjustments worked a treat and I ended up finishing it with this fun bias binding that I got from the Specky Seamstress! along with a ‘sewing is my jam’ label from Kylie and the machine!

Dog bias binding from Specky Seamstress and sewing label from Kylie and the Machine

Final Thoughts on the Indigo Pattern

In case you can’t tell, this has just become a firm favourite pattern and I’m already planning a few more versions! I like the simplicity of Tilly and the Buttons patterns, and now that I am a lot more confident in my sewing I like that I can adjust patterns a little more to improve my fitting and style. I am looking forward to trying out some different sleeve styles with this, as well as seeing how different fabric choices give a different finish. You can even make a version with an exposed frill – another feature I am keen to test out!

What do you think of this pattern? Have you made an indigo?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with
Get started
%d bloggers like this: