Hot! The “A Lot of Buttons” Dress

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image from The Facts

Fabric: Vintage floral print from estate sale, $4
Pattern: Colette Patterns Ceylon
Notions: 16 buttons, $.50, thrifted
Time to complete: 7 hours
First worn: June 2011
Wear again? Yeah. 

Total Cost: $4.50 

This week I took it easy and revisited a UFO that needed a ridiculously small amount of work to make it into the wearing rotation. I sewed this Ceylon all the way back in February, right after I sewed my first Ceylon. Everything but the hem and the buttonholes/buttons was finished in that first sewing session. And then I put it on hold because I didn't have 16 buttons that I wanted to use.

My original goal was to used self-covered fabric buttons. In April or so, I finally got to the store to buy them! Progress! But then, in the mess that is my sewing room, I couldn't find them (I still can't). So, for this week, I went the very easy route of just using some simple white buttons.

Maybe, one day (considering my pace, probably in November), I'll swap out these buttons with the self-covered ones that are in room…somewhere. But for now, it was just more important to get this dress done and into my closet. The thing about UFOs is that they seem to multiply once I hit a certain number. It's like once I think "oh, I can just finish this later," I give myself permission to half-finish everything!  

So my lesson this week: Even if it is a little fix, it still counts as finishing a UFO!

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Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. It’s lovely. And I actually really like the simple white buttons. They look so fresh and summery.

  2. It’s beautiful! I think the white buttons are fine. Does it have a slip and tulle under it? It has a great fullness in the skirt/hem.

  3. I love the white buttons – I think they look great! Well done on finishing the dress!

  4. YAY for the easy win! and that hat. that hat is the BOMB.

  5. A great summer dress. I too am guilty of doing all the hard work on a garment only to put it down just before the end. And when I spend the hour to finish it I always wonder why I didnt take the time way back then!

  6. So lovely! I must really try this colette pattern!

  7. Love the fabric and the buttons! I’m actually wearing my Ceylon today as well. It’s such a great dress.

  8. hemming pants is about where I put them into the UFO pile. That’s the good thing about an occasional UFO challange. The feeling of completion without the stress of the whole job. Lovely dress – 16 buttons is still a fair effort.

  9. Love this dress. I am eagerly awaiting my pattern in the mail! Is this pattern easy to fit? I have a big bust so I hope I don’t have too many fitting issues.
    I like the contrast of the plain white buttons on the bright and busy fabric.
    Also, are you wearing a crinoline under the dress?

  10. margueritedesigns

    Great dress – worth finishing.

  11. I’m the same as Debi I need to try this Colette pattern. I LOVE all the buttons, It’s lovely to see such summery goodness while we are all snug as a bug in a rug here in Melbourne.

  12. Thanks, Gordita!

  13. Thanks, Rae! Yes, I’m wearing a tiered slip underneath but it’s not a petticoat.

  14. hehe! I’m constantly loosing packets of buttons forms myself all the time. ;) I love your fabric choice for this Ceylon–so beautiful!

  15. Thanks, Debbie! Yeah, my problem usually is that I’ve misplaced something or I have to do something I dread (like threading my serger).

  16. Thanks, Christine! It really is a great dress to make and wear.

  17. Thanks, Jen! Yeah, any hand sewing is always so last on my list of things I want to do.

  18. Thanks, Anna! I think it shoudl be fine if you just try it on while creating the bodice. And there’s always a muslin. I’m wearing a tiered half-slip but it’s not a crinoline.

  19. Thanks, Kazz! This dress could be great in a heavier fabric like corduroy, I think.

  20. Thanks, Casey! And, of course I found the buttons today, after straightening up my room some more. That’s how it always happens.

  21. Wow! This is lovely – the fit is adorable on you (I never liked this pattern until seeing this post – might have to try it!)

  22. This dress is really lovely, the printed fabric is so sweet! And …. Oh my God! I’m dying for that hat!!

  23. Thanks, Sarah! Give it a try — it’s a great pattern!

  24. Thanks, Rosy! I actually wrote up a tutorial on how to make this hat. It’s over here:

  25. Just wanted to say thanks for the topic this week (and I love your dress). I am a newish sewist and was wondering why I had these unfinished projects and what was wrong. I discovered your lovely blog a couple of weeks ago and felt right at home. The UFO posts have inspired me to finish my skirt and my son’s PJs bottoms.

  26. A beautiful big floral dress! You look great Mena, and summer certainly looks great on you!
    I just found my Colette Ceylon (I’d bought it during our Colette week, but found it’s way into a nice hiding spot in the sewing room for the last few months!) so I’m loving seeing another made up!

  27. I love that you can’t find the buttons. I have that problem all the time and is part of why I have not sewn in a long while. I must clean up my sewing room before I just have to get a shovel and a trash bin.
    BTW love the dress. It is really cute.