The Tamzin Dress
By Hand London
The tricky part about pattern testing is that you’re not always guaranteed a dress that you’ll end up loving and wearing afterwards. Sometimes the fit isn’t exactly your style, other times you make it in a fabric you’re not in love with just in case it doesn’t work out, but then new projects pop up and you never get around to making it in your dream fabric.
Other times you make the pattern up and it instantly becomes your favourite new dress that you want to wear every single day. That was the case with the new Tamzin Dress from By Hand London.
The Tamzin is described as a folk dress with a square neckline, 3/4 sleeves and a gathered skirt (both with tuck details) and 2 different waist tie options. The neckline has an external facing so that you can have fun with different embroidery or beading techniques. As with all of By Hand London’s new designs, the dress has the option of either the standard B cup or the new D cup size band (just note that the D cup band starts with a US size 12)
I really like the way that By Hand London patterns are organized. I find it easy to reference the information such as yardage and notions needed and see the layouts (even if I don’t use them). The tucks were surprisingly easy to do and gave a really nice (and original) look to the dress. And that neckline is beautiful! There are so many embellishing opportunities with this dress.
So, as I mentioned, I didn’t use the cutting layout for the dress. I rarely do, but in this case I definitely didn’t want to. I have to admit, I absolutely hate cutting out rayon. I love the way it looks and the way it feels on and you can always find the most amazing prints, but it is slippery and it hates to stay in one place when you’re cutting it. You lay it out flat, and then if you breathe too hard you find that you need to start all over again. I figured that if I tried to cut on the fold and the layers slipped, it would be really obvious since there is a very clear grid on my fabric. So, using it to my advantage, I cut everything out flat and used the lines on the fabric to line up the pieces instead of measuring to the selvedge.
Size: US 12 / D-Cup
View Made: Variation 1: Front Ties
Adjustments Needed: I shortened the sleeves by 1.5″. I also shortened the skirt (See comment in changes made)
Fabric: Rayon from Tania Textiles (Quebec City)
Changes Made: I (unintentionally) changed the size of the tucks in the skirt. I miscalculated how much to shorten the skirt by, and when I tried it on, I found that I didn’t love the length (I had shortened it to just above the knee). So, I decided that I loved the dress too much to not to fix it and resewed the tucks at 1″ instead of 1.5″. That ended up giving me back 3″ of length and I love how that turned out.
I love how easy it is to throw on the Tamzin and go. I have found in the past that dresses with no structure and no zips or other closures drown me in fabric, especially because I am a big fan of sleeves (less chance of getting a sunburn) and midi-length skirts. I usually find it helps to add a belt or some sort of tie. This dress has the tie included which makes it so much easier to get ready. It’s also helpful for this post (mid) quarantine time where we have gotten used to wearing things a little comfier and a lot more forgiving. This dress is the ultimate secret pyjamas that just look so nice!
I love this dress. It is one of my new favourites and I can’t wait to make more versions of it. I think it would look really nice is a fall weight fabric (like a lightweight wool), in some sort of houndstooth or herringbone print with with a contrasting collar and also with hacked sleeves that are more of a puffed shape (by adding elastic into the sleeve hem). I also love the addition of the D-cup band in By Hand London patterns. With the time I save from doing an FBA, I can work on other fun hacks to the patterns.