Sadie Slip Dress in tencel ‘denim’

I’ve been daydreaming about a bias slip summer slip dress in denim, maybe I’m stuck in the 90s. I’m ok with that, the music was great!

I guess it seems counterintuitive to sew a bias-cut dress in one of the heavier fabrics in the sewing galaxy. However I simply couldn’t shake this idea and here we are…

Sadie Slip Dress

Sadie Slip Dress, pattern by Tessuti Fabrics

This is the Sadie Slip Dress from Tessuti Fabrics.

I have loved this pattern since its release. If they agree with you, there is nothing more lovely to wear than a bias-cut dress. The way bias fabrics can slide and glide around your body as you move is simply sexy sinuous heaven to wear compared to a dress cut on the straight of grain that ‘hangs’.

Yes you can see my bra straps. No apologies. I intended to wear this over a tshirt but haven’t got around to making it yet. It was such a beautiful winter afternoon I decided ‘what the hell! Let’s blog this dress today!”. How gorgeous is this weather – 20 degrees at 4.30pm in the afternoon. The tshirt can wait (and to be honest… I’ll wear it with my bra straps showing… tsk tsk… #wildchild).

This is a ‘tencel denim’ rather than a traditional denim you use for jeans. Cut on the bias, it has a lovely satisfying weight about it to wear.

A simple summery slip dress. Sadie Slip Dress by Tessuti Fabrics

A simple summery slip dress. Sadie Slip Dress by Tessuti Fabrics. I STILL have my summer tanlines halfway through winter!

Shoestring straps

Turning narrow straps can be frustrating. However if you get your hands on something like the Dritz Tube Turners, life gets much easier. If you are a DIY sort I’m sure you can rustle up a similar set using piping/straws/skewers. I purchased my set after seeing a little twitter clip by Claire-Louise of the Thrifty Stitcher. She shares lots of useful tips and tricks – well worth the ‘follow‘!
I found my set on eBay. This youtube video is gives you a clear idea of the way they work.


I haven’t hemmed this – yet.

Yes I’ve photographed and blogged it anyway as I am a little undecided whether to leave it this length or cut some more off. I find taking photos really helpful to make these decisions. So let’s consider this Sadie ‘a work in progress’.

I cut 4 inches off the length of this pattern before I even cut into my fabric.Β Rachel of Boo Dogg provided some sage advice about the length of the drafted pattern as she has made this a couple of times (you will find them on instagram, she’s not blogged them).

I’m 5 foot 4 for the record. So if you are about my height you might like to consider adjusting the pattern before you start.

Sadie Slip Dress, back view

Sadie Slip Dress, back view. I’ve use the back darts for additional shaping.


The instructions have you turn a narrow hem on the edge of the facing. If I was using silk, I probably would do this. As I was sewing in a heavier fabric, I opted to just overlock the edges of my facing to minimise any potential bulk in this area.

I used a suitable interfacing for this fabric, nothing too heavy. I also very carefully understitched the facing… yet the front edges still want to roll out along my bustline (which results in lots of awkward fiddling!). I really wish I had increased to depth of the facing pieces (more like the Odgen cami facings – you can see them in this sewalong post on True Bias. Compared to the Sadie facing pieces seen on this Tessuti blog post) as I think this may go some way to alleviating the tendency of the facings to roll out.

I’m going to stitch the facing sides down as per the Odgen cami construction and maybe try a tiny weight in the centre front of the facing. Fingers crossed.

Sewing with the Bias

Bias is notorious however I’ve never had too much drama sewing garments cut on the bias. I minimise all handling. I gently roll or fold my fabrics up, I never pick them up and hold them up. When I sew, I try to make sure the fabric is not sliding or hanging off the edges of my table. I try to minimise anything that might encourage ‘stretching’.
The Tessuti instructions are excellent and has you use tearaway Vilene to stabilise the neckline. I skipped this, thinking the fabric was reasonably stable and if I was gentle, the neckline should not distort during construction. I was lucky – it didn’t. Perhaps with silk or a similar fabric you might like to consider using Vilene to stabilise the neckline.

This pattern has optional back darts for shaping if you use fabric with less drape than a silk. I have used these darts on this dress.


I do love this pattern. Great pattern, would make a simple summer dress, a sexy cocktail dress, a slip to wear under sheer dresses, a lovely nightie. Endless possibilities. A good pattern for $10.

The instructions do have you create full flat pattern pieces as you are cutting on the bias. So you may need to consider your paper supplies or pattern paper supplies when getting ready to make this.

Now to cut this off more or leave it be… I think I rather like this between-midi-and-maxi length… but perhaps tomorrow I will think different.

Pattern: Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Fabrics.
Size: XXS
Fabric: Floral Tencel Mid Wash, Spotlight Australia

Sadie Slip Dress, back view. Sewn in lightweight tencel denim. Pattern by Tessuti Fabrics

Sadie Slip Dress, back view. Sewn in lightweight tencel denim

Last Monday I ran 18kms in 1 hour 43 minutes after work – just to see if I could. I have increased my distance considerably in the last few weeks – against all sound advice – and fortunately have not injured myself Β in the process (yet!).
Then I came down with ‘the flu’ on Tuesday. Less than 2 weeks out from my first half marathon – I was gutted! I’ve recovered reasonably well but think my time might be a bit slower as a result. When it’s your first half marathon, anything is a ‘personal best’ – bonus.
Next weekend I shall be busy:- running and running and running!

Sadie on the way to the beach

Sadie on the way to the beach. Yes it’s winter here. I know. Poor me.

34 thoughts on “Sadie Slip Dress in tencel ‘denim’

  1. I love it! I think your choice of fabric was inspired. I also like the length, don’t go too much shorter. It is a very elegant look on you, albeit casual. I looked at this pattern and never thought about a nightie. Good idea! You may have come down with the flu because you are pushing yourself so hard. Just a thought, and listen to your body! Good luck on the half marathon.

    • It was one of those ideas that I kept coming back to & when I found the fabric on special I decided ‘why not try it’.
      My daughter came down with the flu a week earlier and slowly the whole household did. Everyone has had up to five days off work/school – each. I think the running probably didn’t help but a virus is a virus and I’ve been lucky to get off with just two days off work. Just so relieved it didn’t get into my lungs.

  2. Good luck with the run! If you are slower, it will make it that much easier to set a new PR at the next one πŸ™‚ Lovely dress, and I actually really like the length where it is. Really nice for beach walks!

    • I do have the type of lifestyle for ‘beach walk’ dresses! I’ve been getting ready for work this morning pondering if I had time to make something to wear this weekend at the running festival lol
      I’ve decided to focus my ‘spare time’ on a few runs instead!

  3. Beautiful dress! One of my favourite sewing methods IS sewing on the bias! I am a total convert – as Vionnet said, “There are three grainlines…” πŸ™‚ My bias bible is Bias Cut Blueprints by Julianne Bramson and Susan Lenahan. I LOVE their work! They have a few patterns on their web site too – I’ve made up their blouse pattern twice in silk and that are my most beloved garments hands down πŸ™‚ To me it’s the way ALL garments should be sown but I know some fabrics just won’t work however like you’ve done with this dress – you never know until you try!!

  4. Now that’s a *classic* Sew Busy Lizzy dress, and as always, it looks just right on you! i love the idea of using tencel denim for the drape with just a bit of casual flair!

  5. Oh I just love this, might have to be on my register when the weather gets warmer and look out for the next time Spotlight have Tencel on sale, I have been eyeing off the little pineapple one for ages, this just might inspire me to use it on this pattern!

  6. I love this dress, and I hope you don’t shorten it. And thanks for that youtube video on the turning tools. I’d about given up on spaghetti straps.

  7. Beautiful dress, I love sewing and wearing Tencel! I’m envious of your beautiful winterrnday and think the long length of your dress is perfect! Sorry you had the flu…,

    • I’m getting better every day πŸ™‚
      I love tencel too, even more when I find ones that don’t crush too badly! I think I like the length now. I might cut a tiny bit off as I have no doubt it will ‘stretch’ a little longer with the bias. But I think I’ve got a ‘keeper’ now I’d like a bright floral one!

  8. Thank you for the shoestring strap tips. I’m looking for it for a lifetime and thank God you share it here. Gonna try it very soon

    • We have just come out of two weeks of overcast skies and rain… but when it’s beautiful, it’s beautiful!
      I’m really pleased with this dress, it did turn out better than I expected which is always gratifying. I was concerned the fabric may be a disaster but the calculated risk paid off πŸ™‚

  9. Love this dress! It’s the perfect length, even though you’re 5′ 4″, like me. It gives the appearance of you being much taller!
    Where can I buy a Dritz Tube Turner?

  10. That dress looks lovely just as it is so I hope it hasn’t been radically shortened! I’m playing catch up so I hope your run went well.
    ( I’m nursing a sprained ankle so no running at all 😦 )

    • Thanks! I’m going to leave it this length, I tend to prefer longer over shorter.
      The run went ok, beautiful weather & I finished in 2 hours and 4 seconds. I know it’s stupid but I’m really disappointed about those 4 seconds. So I’ve entered another half marathon in August – I will go under 2 hours and I will not catch the flu a week before!!!

  11. Beautiful dress! Love the length as is. I made the Lola tee from Tessuti which is my favorite tshirt pattern. It, too, called for tear away Vilene Shield in the neck area. This product doesn’t seem to exist in the US nor could I find any info online about what could be used as a substitute. Is it just a specific brand or type of interfacing? I went without it and the shirt came out fine but your mentioning Vilene brings back memories of that day I was spent searching and coming up with nothing.

  12. Gorgeous and so you! Sounds like you have found another passion in running…it becomes addictive…I completely understand. So glad to hear that you are injury free! Good luck in August!

    • I did another half marathon this morning in Brisbane. My new half marathon record is 1.57.10
      I’m utterly exhausted. I mentally blew up at 19kms & struggled to get myself over the finish line. So there’s room for improvement! Agreed… highly addictive!

  13. I love this dress – and I think the length is perfect! And good luck for your first half ;D I ran my first half marathon almost a year ago and it was the BEST feeling! It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, the feeling of finishing and achieving what you set out to do is incredibly empowering! Good luck!

  14. Pingback: Sadie Slip Dress in tencel β€˜denim’ β€” Sew Busy Lizzy | By the Mighty Mumford

  15. Pingback: Tales from the Remnant Bin – Sadie Slip, Olya Shirt and Rise Turtleneck | Sew Busy Lizzy

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