“Tommy Girl” dress

The Facts

Fabric: Reprint Vintage Collection – Spotlight.  I think it’s cotton with a little stretch

Pattern: McCalls 2631

Year: 2000

Notions: Seven vintage red buttons from stash

Time to complete: About 6 hours

First worn: For photos

Wear again?: Absolutely – I can see this dress becoming a regular “throw on” dress

Total Price: Approx. A$30.00

A couple of years ago a friend had a Tommy Hilfiger shirt in red, white & blue paisley that I loved and wished was in my wardrobe instead of hers.  So when I saw this fabric in Spotlight a few months ago I HAD to have it.  I have also wanted to do a shirtmaker dress for ages, so this week’s challenge was perfect.  Big problem ….. I don’t like doing button holes.  Mine NEVER turn out as neatly as I think they should be, but my mantra this year is “have no fear” so I got the scissors out!

 We are still on school holidays down here in sunny Oz, so I have had plenty of time to spend with the girls and sew.  I took my time with this dress, which needed only a few minor adjustments.  I tapered the side seams to be more fitting around the shoulder/bust area but a little looser around the hip area.  I also took about 10 cm off the length, which was about 5 cm too much!  I had to put a band onto the hem as the length I cut the dress was just right.  This is a great way to do hems, one I can see myself using more often.

I had fun sewing this dress, I had no time restraints and I wanted to make sure I did the best finish I could.  One of the things I don’t like about home sewing is that sometimes garments look home sewn – so I spent some time with my lovely friend “Google” researching the best method to get great points on the collar.  Now, mine aren’t perfect, but I’m pretty happy with them.  One of the advantages of such a busy print is that it hides some imperfections!  Once I got to the buttonholes I did a little more research ….. and I actually dragged out the instruction manual for my machine.  It appears I have been doing buttonholes all wrong (I’ve had this machine for about 16 years) – slightly embarrassing.  See what a friend instruction manuals can be!  I am now the buttonhole queen and fear them not!

I’m feeling pretty chuffed with this dress.  It is super comfy, easy to wear and when the weather cools down I think it will look great over jeans.  I apologise for the poor quality photos – I HATE having my photo taken, I never know how to “pose” and my 12 year old daughter was my photographer – in the rain, hence no great outdoor shots.








Deb has been sewing on and off since she was 10 years old. Her main sewing goal for 2012 is to challenge herself as a sewer and to "have no fear"!


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  1. Great cute fabric! Nicely done!

  2. Great dress, really pretty

  3. I think the dress is lovely! I love the red buttons.

  4. All hail the Buttonhole Queen! Love the print on that fabric. Great work.

  5. beautiful fabric and buttons are great.

  6. Thank you everyone for the lovely feedback – much appreciated.

  7. Woohoo ‘Buttonhole Queen’ you are Deb, well done.

  8. I *HATE* getting my picture taken as well : ) But I figure I can put on my big girl panties and get over it so I’m struggling mightily to do just that. Keep up the good work, your dress is lovely!!