Hot! The “GRRRRRR! Buttonholes” Dress


The Facts

Fabric  Two pale pink single cotton sheets, thrifted – £2.00
Pattern Vogue v2960 – from Diane as part of the pattern swap organised by Kat
Year 1954 Reproduction of an original pattern
Notions 9 flower buttons, from ebay  – £1.20
Time to complete about 8 hours, much of which was spent either practising buttonholes or staring at the dress on my dress form and trying to figure out what the hell I was doing
First worn For these photos – January 2012
Wear again? Maybe, but not until it gets warmer. Make again?  Definitely.
Total price £3.20


I’m sorry Mena for all the bad words that came out of my mouth when I saw this challenge. Nothing personal, I promise.  It’s just that I have a pathological fear of buttons.  Or more precisely, button holes.  I have been known to substitute poppers, hook and eyes, even zippers where there should be buttons. Stupid, irrational, I know, but I just could not bring myself even to try.

Until now.  After several views to see if it had all been a mistake and the challenge had changed I realised I had to Man Up, Grow a Pair and just get on with it.   I already had the perfect pattern.  I received this from Diane as part of the pattern swap organised by Kat, and fell in love at first sight. You know when you see a pattern and suddenly you just have to put all other projects on hold? This was one of those moments. I had fabric, notions, time, everything I could possibly need.
Then I realised it had buttons.  Nine of the little bleeders.
I wasn’t feeling that brave, so back in the drawer it went until this challenge.

Okay, even allowing for the crap photos (husband on strike after I criticised his lacklustre efforts so had to rope in the six year old for photography duties) you can see that it’s not perfect.  It also needs washing.  If you look carefully not only can you see my pattern markings, there are also traces of ketchup, jam, butter and felt tip pen – the perils of having to use your kitchen as a sewing room. But this was only ever meant to be a muslin, albeit a wearable one.  So I am going to ignore the little imperfections and the mess that is inside.  It actually went together pretty easily with minimal adjustments to the fit. The pattern actually called for bound buttonholes but I’m afraid I woossed out and went for stitched ones.  They would have been a lot easier if I’d worked out before number six that my recently acquired second hand Bernina actually has a special dial just for that purpose. However I don’t think it’s a bad first attempt.  I will definitely be using this pattern again now that I have sussed out what it’s all about.  And as for the buttonholes, I have no idea why I made such a fuss. Just give me a little time to recover before you get us to make trousers.



Taracat is a beginning seamstress, scientist, teacher, mother, gin drinker, almost author, drama queen and a bit of a stroppy 'mare. She discovered The Sew Weekly in February 2011 while using the internet to teach herself to sew. She's getting there.


Comments are closed.

  1. Well done on taking on your fear of buttonholes! They are fiddly little suckers :D

  2. Ha! I love that you counted your “stare at the dress form for a while” time. I do the same thing! Cheers to your button bravery.

    • Cheers Najah! I don’t think you can underestimate how important that ‘stare at the dress form’ time is. Glad I’m not the only one!

  3. Well done Well done!! Glad to know that there are a few of us staring at the mannequin. Great pattern and I like those cute little buttons.

  4. I’m so glad to hear you got over your pathological fear of buttonholes how could you not after sewing nine of the little bleeders, your dress came up a treat. Buttonholes buttonholes Taracat LOVES buttonholes. :P

    • Hi Kazz! Cheers! Taracat TOLERATES buttonholes. I no longer have the nightmares but may still need more therapy :)

  5. Thanks Jen – mannequin staring is definitely an integral part of the process,isn’t it.

  6. Just want to say I love that you call yourself ‘a bit of a stroppy mare’!

  7. I have this pattern and you have just reignited my need to sew it immediately. Your dress is gorgeous!

  8. Hi Kat! Thanks, and hopefully my next one will be even better. I definitely recommend this pattern, can’t wait to see your version.