The “Hardest Button to Button” UFO Dress

The Facts

Fabric: Cotton (gifted to me from a dear friend while I was living in India)
Pattern: Simplicity 2927 (won in an online contest)
Year:  Contemporary but has a 1960s vibe
Notions: Vintage button
Time to complete: ~12 hours
First worn: February 2012
Wear again? With some minor fixes prior to the summer months, yes.

Total Cost: $0

Originally, this shirt was my “Button Challenge” garment. But, being the occasional gutless wonder that I am, I kinda didn’t finish because buttons intimidate the hell out of me. So it languished, forlorn and unloved (read: wadded up and forgotten) in a corner.

No more, friends. No more. I have mastered the wonder that is the one-step button hole attachment and it is AWESOMESAUCE! Seriously, my biggest issue now is remembering to measure the height as well as the width of the button and to add 1/8″ wiggle room (see this Sew, Mama, Sew! tutorial) . I neglected to do so on this project and boy howdy! That button is some what difficult to get through the opening!  Take a look:

 I kinda like this pattern. It’s got some quirks that if I made it again–which I might, but the dress version–I’d need to work out. Like the collar and the pocket placement. The collar especially. In my humble opinion, it needs to be a tiny bit wider. I’d also re-do the key-hole opening in the front to be just a tiny bit less boobalicious.

But here’s what I like about the dress:

  • Princess seams. I kinda love them and think they’re slimming.
  • Pockets. Why more pattern designers don’t include pockets is beyond me.
  • The length of the tunic. It doesn’t look spectacular with jeans (too bulky underneath) but I have a pair of white pedal pushers that this will look stellar with come summer!
  • The fabric! Indian shirt cotton is so light and soft (once it’s washed… it’s pretty stiff off the bolt). It’s like wearing a little bit of cloud next to your skin. Perfect for hot weather.

All-in-alll, it’s an easy pattern to assemble. Don’t be fooled by the number of hours I listed. In addition to tracing and (attempting) to manipulate patterns, I’m  also sewing deliberately slow and often baste, try on, pick stitches, make adjustments, and rinse and repeat until I get the fit I want and THEN I permenantly sew everything into place.

So how about some pictures?

Pockets!

My pictures are all sorts of hot-mess awkward. I never know where to look or what to do with my extremities...

 

 

Author

Tina C.

Tina C. is a writer living in Philadelphia, PA with her beau and her two ridiculously spoiled Siamese cats (this does not a crazy cat lady make!). She's not buying any off-the-rack clothing this year, so she better get cracking and learn how to sew!

15 Comments

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  1. It is really pretty! I love the fabric pattern and I wouldn’t have thought much of the original pattern but seeing yours made up looks really good! I also love pockets on everything!

    • Ditto! When my friend handed it to me I kinda had to really control my facial muscles as the colors aren’t exactly one’s I love (the yellow…er, green? No, yellow. No… green! You get the picture: it’s ODD). But I think it’ll work for summer.

  2. Hi Tina, love the pockets on the front, very flattering and fabric is super cool.

  3. Very cute! I agree – this will look fantastic with white pedal pushers! Congrats on tackling the button!

  4. I feel ya on the pictures, but yours turned out great! Its a great testament to the pattern that you finished it. Looks good. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I dig this tunic. Totally. And you’re right about princess seams being slimming. If one has any curves at all, princess seams will always flatter. Great job on tackling button holes.

  6. Oh, this is so cute! I love the print, the button and the boobalicious keyhole. All that time paid off, because the fit is great, and gonna be perfect with those white pedal pushers! One step buttonholers must vary? Mine has a spot in the back for the button, and it determines the size from there. Weird.

    • Let’s be honest: I’m not certain I fully understand the button hole attachment. My grandmother (to whom my machine belonged before it was re-homed with me) SWEARS that it accomplishes the task as you’ve described. There’s a space for the button, you flip a switch and BAM! It sews down one side and back up the other. Easy peasy button hole. In theory. When I tried that (after following the directions in the book) the button hole attachment just kept going in one direction. I kept waiting for it to go back up the other side. In the end, I would have needed a 5″ button! So, for now, I measure, do the maths, and flip the switch when I need it to go back up the other side. (I’m probably doing something wrong… I wouldn’t be surprised if I were).

  7. Love the fabric! I don’t think it looks at all bad with jeans, by the way. Although, white peddle pushers will increase your hotness factor by infinity ;)

  8. What an interesting pattern! Your top looks so cute!

  9. This is such a cute top! I love the fabric. It looks great.

  10. Ladies, thank you for all your kind comments! I’m a little proud of this one as it’s the first me-made thing (this year) that’s actually wearable!

  11. sweet! lovely fabric (fab friend indeed) and the ideal pattern. Looks great

  12. Fantastic job Tina I love that fabric, a perfect union between pattern and fabric.