Hot! The “Pretty Dress But Ugly Buttonholes” Dress

Vogue 2961

The Facts

Fabric: 2 metres Vintage Printed Cotton from Spotlight – $10.45 per meter on sale. Lining fabric from stash.
Pattern: Vintage Vogue 2961
Year: 1954
Notions: 6 buttons – $3.49, interfacing from stash.
Time to complete: 7.5 hours
First worn: Sunday, 16th January. I wore it out to breakfast with my husband and also on a trip to Ikea.
Wear again: Definitely! It is so summery and pretty. I love it!!!
Total price: $20.90

When I read that the challenge was buttonholes I started searching through my pattern stash for everything that had buttons.  I found this dress pattern which I have been wanting to make for a whole and thought this would be my perfect chance.  It wasn’t until I started cutting out the pattern pieces that I realised not only did the pattern call for button holes but it actually called for bound buttonholes.

Sew Weekly - Buttoned UP

I seriously considered picking another garment and then I thought no this is about challenging myself and I forged ahead.  Well challenge myself I did!  The pattern had quite clear instructions on how to create bound buttonholes which I followed to a t.  My execution however was not as great as the instructions.  Hence the title of the dress!

Sew Weekly - Buttoned Up

I am pretty happy with myself for attempting these button holes but I just wish that they had turned out a little bit nicer.  Not that it matters once the garment is on because with the buttons through the holes they look fine.  But I know that they aren’t fine!  Oh well. We live and we learn and the next time I do bound buttonholes they might be a little bit better.

Sew Weekly - Buttoned Up

My favourite part of this dress is the bow on the front. I love bows on anything and this one can be worn tied at the front or as a halter neck.  I prefer it at the front but someday I may want to wear it as a halterneck so it is good to know I have the option.  Now I know you want to see one of my buttonholes even though I don’t want to show you one but here it is anyway. Just promise not to laugh too loudly….

Hideous Buttonholes




Kat Lane is a twenty something Gold Coast girl who just married the love of her life! She likes to sew, bake, knit and crochet. She loves anything vintage or retro inspired. Kat Lane loves to have a project on the go and can't stand sitting still unless it is to curl up with a good book.


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  1. They do look fine! No-one would ever know they were your first buttonholes. Hope you get lots of wear out of this lovely dress.

  2. Wow Kat you look amazing. Forget about the buttonholes, you dont even see them when you look at the dress. Well done.

  3. Very Pretty Dress, I would say, plus Three Cheers for not piking out on the challenge.

  4. Bound buttonholes are hard. Well done. And what a clever pattern – love that you can wear it two ways – and avoid tan lines!! ;) The colour looks lovely on you too.

  5. I bought that pattern last year but have yet to try it. I had no idea the buttonholes in it were bound buttonholes! Good for you for not letting that scare you off! Your dress looks adorable.

  6. This is lovely, Kat! The bound buttonholes look like a very tricky technique, so great work on them :D And that fabric is lovely. Spotto has some great repro at the moment :D

  7. It’s a gorgeous dress. Bound buttonholes do get easier. And, like you said, you don’t see them when they’re buttoned! I had the exact same experience my first time. I love that the bow is the halter! I’ve seen that pattern, but never realized that.

  8. I love this dress. The color palette and fit are awesome. I know we tend to notice the flaws in our creations, but most people won’t. Super!

  9. Here is a link to an awesome tutorial about bound buttonholes. It helped me learn how to make them.

  10. I say Bravo for doing bound buttonholes – I’m totally intimidated by that skill, so to me yours look fantastic! Your dress is gorgeous and oh so perfect for warm weather!

    • Thanks Meg! I was super intimidated by these ones but I thought I would give it a go anyway. I’m glad they semi worked out.

  11. The dress is so lovely that no one will even see the buttonholes unless they’ve got their face plastered to your backside! And kudos to you–I was too scared to attempt button holes.

  12. i say bravo on a totally respectable attempt on bound buttonholes, and i know of what i speak. :-) the point is that you went for it and were totally successful!

  13. What a cute dress! I’m a sucker for bows and that fabric is to die for. Great job!

  14. I love the fabric you chose and the pattern is lovely. My first (and only) bound buttonholes look like that too but you don’t even notice when the buttons are in them.

  15. I’ve got a couple of vintage Vogue reprints that I’m scared to tackle specifically because of the bound buttonholes — congrats on rising to the challenge! This is definitely one of those times when you just hold on to the fact that the buttons look fine when the dress is all buttoned up. I love the fabric you chose and the white bow accent!

    • Thanks Cindy! I am totally holding onto that. When they are undone they look horrible but no one needs to know that. Oh except everyone that reads Sew Weekly :P

  16. Kat you look amazing, I’m so impressed with your bound buttonholes I’ve never done them myself I keep avoiding them. Your bow is perfection LOVE IT!!

  17. For a first attempt Kat, you NEED to have proof you did them! Well done all round! No one will EVER notice these because the dress is just fabulous… I’d never pick that as ‘your’ colour, but it’s just dreamy fabric on you!


  18. Kat, this dress is ridiculous! It’s so beautiful and that fabric suits you so, so well xx

  19. Seriously pretty dress – those buttonholes look SO hard, well done for trying!!