A Fabric Review From Modista Sewing: My Indigo Dress In Brushed Cotton

As the winter months approached here in Amsterdam, I quickly realised that my work from home uniform of a t-shirt and leggings really wasn’t going to cut it in the freezing temperatures. It was time to rethink my me-made WFH pieces, starting with the fabric.
Working predominantly on Zoom means my wardrobe needs to be functional but smart; and I prefer wearing brighter colours on video calls as they make me feel more confident in what could otherwise be a very dry setting! I needed a warm fabric but one with lots of drape, as I don’t feel as comfortable in stiff or structured fabrics.


As soon as Steph and I agreed to collaborate on a blog post I knew which fabric I’d love to try; her brushed poly cotton in a beautifully autumnal check pattern. When it arrived I wasn’t disappointed; it has a lovely handle and although slightly heavier than what I originally imagined, moves so well and most importantly, is so warm! I especially love the colours which embody autumn and will complement really well with my favourite palette of navy, cream and brown.



Next was to decide on a pattern. I’m personally much more comfortable in skirts and dresses than trousers and love a pattern with lots of opportunity for hacking and different views. What pattern has all these and then some? Well of course, the Tilly Buttons Indigo!

I hadn’t made this dress before so decided to toile it first before cutting into my luscious fabric. I’m very glad I did as the pattern turned out to be an intense test of my fitting skills, however deceptively simple it seems. I ended up doing a lot of adjustments and have a separate post coming upon my blog with the details. 


I chose the long sleeve view which in my size (3) would normally require 2m of fabric. However, to match the checks on the skirt I squeezed it out of 2.5m – but would recommend 2.6-3 to be comfortable and allow yourself room for mistakes. There are a few pattern-matching techniques out there but personally I like to cut on the fold, peeling back the top layer of fabric to ensure they are matching before cutting and going very slowly. 



Once the fabric was cut, having spent a lot of time toiling and altering already the final dress came together really quickly and I’m very happy with it. Despite the fabric being a mid-weight the gathers came together really well and the dress feels really comfortable and snug. It’s perfect for working from home with a pair of high woolly socks or nipping out in tights and boots. 



The fabric washes really well and I think will stretch slightly with wear, which is what I want. My experience with the Indigo dress has taught me the fabric used makes a huge difference to the fit. As you can see from my toile versions, made in a cotton like this or needlecord, the dress is slightly more fitted. It depends on your preference but you could size up if using a heavier fabric. In a viscose or cupro, the fit is much looser and floatier so you can wear your usual size.  

To get you inspired, here are some pattern suggestions for this gorgeous fabric as well as the Indigo, and some other recommendations from The Rag Shop of what I think would work really well in an Indigo or similar smock dress.
Pattern recommendations for brushed poly-cotton:

Fabric recommendations for the Indigo dress:

Want to see more from Sally? Find her on Instagram here and enjoy her blog here

Make sure you subscribe to the Modista Sewing newletter for monthly inspiration and discount codes! Modista subscribers are receiving 15% off their orders with us up until Wednesday 30th December 2020! If you're a new subscriber send Sally a message for the codes! 

Want more Indigo inspiration? Check out this wonderful maternity hack by Gina Seams! 

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