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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Closing up the Brownie Goose Tilly- Part 1- "Open" Closed Back

I have been in love with Brownie Goose patterns since the moment I saw them! I have yet to make one that did not leave me swooning over the finished product. One of my all time favorites is the Tilly, hands down. I just adore the sweet square neckline and it goes together sew fast! I have made several different versions of the Tilly and wanted to take a moment and share you how to make a wonderful pattern even more versatile!
First off- for those that don't love the original design with the open back look (pictured above) for personal reasons or maybe you just live in a cooler climate- the great news is there are two easy ways to close the Tilly up- the “Open” closed back Tilly or the fully closed back Tilly. This post will give the details of the "open" closed back version featured below and if you want to see the fully closed back version visit here.
Once you have visited the Brownie Goose shop and bought your Tilly pattern- Trace and cut pattern per instructions. Follow the construction steps laid out by the fabulous Amy of Brownie Goose until the part where you make a notch for the open back on page 6 (at least page 6 of the version available at the time of this posting)- just omit this. You then follow along with Amy’s awesome instructions until page 8- sew along her purple lines everywhere but the very bottom- don’t sew along this line:
Skip over the remainder of Page 9 except for the all important clipping of seams. Then turn your beauty right side out and finish the armhole seams per pattern instructions. It should look like the picture below at this stage- open across the bottom from side to side.
The "open" version of the closed back simply means it can still be lifted open although the back is fully covered when standing still! I still used a SW (selvedge width) of fabric for a 2/3 Tilly and found it was plenty full. This is where you should just use your judgment- if you want a super full skirt on a larger size you probably need more fabric! Finish the edges per pattern instructions and then run your gathering stitches across the top. Stretch that lovely skirt out from end to end of your bodice and pin in place. I attach with my sewing machine and then finish it off with the serger- but whatever makes you happy.  
You can then press upwards and top stitch if you love a top stitch! And finally- you do have to topstitch around the back edges to attach the backs together (and no it doesn't matter which side goes on top as evidenced by the pics below- I randomly did it a different way each time!). Then sew on your fabulous button and...

...you are done ladies!


 

Closing up the Brownie Goose Tilly- Part 2- Fully Closed Back

Due to my ever growing love of the Brownie Goose Tilly I was constantly searching for new ways to modify this pattern. I loved the look of the "open" closed back but wanted to give a fully closed back a try! I also wanted to try adding a flutter sleeve- more on that one here. The start for this one is just the same as the “open” closed back from Part 1.


Once you have visited the Brownie Goose shop and bought your Tilly pattern- Trace and cut pattern per instructions. Follow the construction steps laid out by the fabulous Amy of Brownie Goose until the part where you make a notch for the open back on page 6 (at least page 6 of the version available at the time of this posting)- just omit this. You then follow along with Amy’s awesome instructions until page 8- sew along her purple lines everywhere but the very bottom- don’t sew along this line:


The back piece should be completely open from side to side. Skip over the rest of page 9 except for clipping your seams. Then turn right side out and finish the armhole seams per instructions.  It should be finished but open across the bottom from side to side at this point…note my arm holes are not finished on the picture below because I was attaching a sleeve to this one... more on that to come in a future post...  
I then lay it out flat- right side out with the back pieces facing up and line up where the back pieces should overlap. Then topstitch around the back to attach the two pieces together. You can add your buttons at this point, or wait until you are done attaching the skirt (which is probably easier)- totally up to you.
 
To attach the skirt- I use a selvedge width (SW) for a size 2/3 and think it is still plenty full. In the larger sizes you might want to add additional fabric depending on how full you want the skirt to be. To make a “dress” length you will want to add length to your SW piece as well. I add 3-4 inches to the 2/3 for a dress. But it really depends on how long you want the dress. I will leave that up to you. I fold my SW in half and make a seam/serge both sides. I am a little OCD about there being two side seams to match up. I think it makes it easier to make your gathers even- but whatever makes it easier for you. I also go ahead and do the hem on my skirt portion at this point. Here it is all hemmed and ready to get its gather on...


I then run a gathering stitch across the top of both sides of the skirt and gather to fit my completed bodice. I leave my bodice right side out and flip my skirt wrong side out and slide the bodice down into it to pin it. I always do a sanity check and flip my skirt down to make sure I have it attached properly- not that I have ever attached one backwards. ; )

 

I then go back and serge my skirt/bodice seam, press upward and topstitch and that beauty is done! That is unless you need to go attach a fabulous button (I might have a special love for big buttons)! Enjoy your completely closed back Tilly top or dress!