Hot! The “All Buttoned Up” Dress

The Facts

Fabric: Around 3 metres of brown floral craft cotton, $7 per metre from Spotlight
Pattern: Simplicity 3407
Year: 1940
Notions: 11 self-covered 14mm buttons (half a gift from a friend, the other half around 20c from an op shop) and a vintage hook and eye
Time to complete:11 hours
First worn: For these photos! It’ll get a proper outing to work within the week though
Wear again? Definitely!

Total price: $21.20

At the end of last year, a few girls from the Sew Weekly Sewing Circle took part in a pattern swap, where we each sent a pattern to another of the girls. The lovely Debi sent me Simplicity 3407 – thanks, Debi! I’ve been eager to try making it up ever since, and the buttons challenge was perfect for it. (It also ties in well with Debi’s Sew Grateful week. Once again, this is a dress that was clearly just meant to happen at this time.)

I picked up this fabric from Spotlight just after Christmas. (Yep, stocking up before the no-new-fabric-in-2012 resolution kicked in.) There are butterflies hidden among all the flowers. Kind of like a semi-hidden surprise. The more you look, the more there are – magic!

Since this was a technique challenge, I got brave and tried self-covered buttons for the first time ever. I’ve had some vintage ones lurking in my stash for quite some time – anytime I see them in an op shop I grab them, thinking what a good idea they are. And then I get a bit scared of them. Heck, I’m still a bit scared of the buttonhole setting on my sewing machine. (It’s my secret shame, ’tis true.) Check it out ladies – my first ever self-covered buttons! I’m pretty proud of them. Even though it took me a full hour to cover 11 of the things. (Does it usually take that long? Or is it just that it took me a while to get used to the process??) I figure I did such a good job of matching the bits of fabric covering the buttons to the print on the dress that they’re pretty much invisible in this photo. Oh well, so much for proudly showing off my new button-covering skill!

I really like this dress – it’s got cute pockets with rounded tops, triangle inset details at front and back waistline, shaped cuffs, and a bow at the back. I feel rather prim and proper in it – all girly and toned-down in brown. I reckon it’ll go awesomely with purple hair and purple high wedge shoes, don’t you?

Thanks again Debi – I totally love this pattern, and I’m going to try the long-sleeved version in some nice woolen type blend for a winter dress! :-)



Kat stumbled upon The Sew Weekly at the end of 2010. Inspired by Mena's creations and dedication to sewing each week, Kat stitched along with all the weekly themes for 2011. Through The Sew Weekly and the girls who contribute to it, she deepened her passion for vintage styles and started amassing a large collection of vintage patterns. Now she needs an excuse to try using them all.


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  1. Love the pattern and the fabric. Very nice.

  2. yet another winner Kat, this is a fab dress…. love the night sky in your photos

  3. I love the fabric and OMG your SHOES! They are fabulous! The dress fits you really well, too.

  4. Kat.. Amazing.. And that shoe…I’m very jealous

  5. Super cute! And such adorable shows :D

  6. Kat this dress is beautiful ….. love the shoes too!

  7. Really pretty, those buttons blend in perfectly! (Love the shoes!)

  8. Really! Hat’s off to the dress and those adorable shoes.

  9. Those buttons blend in so well, I’ll just have to take your word that they are there! Lovely job Kat, the orangy-brown almost has an autumnal feel but I think it will be great for summer.

  10. Wow clever lady pants you seriously made those self-covered buttons camouflaged, brilliant fabric placement. Love the colour on you Kat and what a pretty pattern too.

  11. Lovely dress! Perfect with the cute self fabric buttons and amazing shoes!

  12. YAY! This is SO GREAT! Wow…that fabric is so beautiful! I just love it! And the self covered buttons are perfect!! I just love the design of the dress and it looks perfect with you shoes!

  13. Love the pattern, fabric and dress. You have inspired me to try covering some buttons of my own. Wonderful results!

  14. Lovely fabric, lovely style, LOVELY SHOES!!! Fabulous work, my friend!

  15. Lovely fabric, lovely style, LOVELY SHOES!!! Fabulous work, my friend!!

  16. Lovely fabric, lovely style, LOVELY SHOES!!! Fabulous work!

  17. Lovely fabric, lovely style, LOVELY SHOES!!! Fabulous work, my friend!!!!

  18. It’s such a fabulous dress! Congrats on the covered buttons, and please oh please can I have your shoes???

  19. Thanks ladies! :-)