Hot! The “Roses are Blue” Dress

The Facts:

Fabric: 2.5 yards Liberty Tana Lawn – $20/yard; 2.5 yards cotton poplin (lining & buttons) – $1.50/yard
Pattern: Simplicity 2215, $0 (fourth use)
Year:  Contemporary
Notions: Fusible interfacing – in stash, six covered buttons – $3
Time to complete: 10ish hours
First worn: Unworn, as it is suddenly very chilly here!
Wear again? Definitely.
Total cost: ~$56 – Thank you, Liberty.


Confession time, ladies. I don’t have a lot of UFOs on my sewing table. When I start a project, I tend to become an obsessive whirlwind of sewing. Normally that’s great, but I didn’t have a lot of options for this week’s post. What I did have was a version of Simplicity 2215, one of my favorite patterns, which had been languishing on my table, half-sewn, since early January. Not exactly a long unfinished object, but as much of a UFO as I had. What stopped my whirling dervish of sewing, you ask? Indecisiveness. Originally, I had planned to add a Peter Pan collar of blue poplin, the same fabric used for the buttons. Once I’d  sewn most of it together, however, I couldn’t decide if the collar would make it overly sweet. As I had more things to make, I let it sit while I considered.

And considered…and considered…

Then, this week’s challenge swooped in like a dress-saving superheroine. This dress should not go unloved, it insisted! I agreed. After all, this was Liberty. That stuff doesn’t exactly grow on trees! Especially Texas trees! Add to that the fact that this print, Carline, is my favorite of Liberty’s. This length I’d held close for well over a year, debating what best to make with it. After all that, I didn’t want to make the wrong decision about the collar and negate the wonderful fabric. So, I did what any girl would do: tried it both ways.

Obviously, dress-sans-collar won out. Over two hours (I may be a whirlwind, but I am a slow one) of collar drafting and ironing proved it was, indeed, way too twee. The collar urged me to run through the hills, impersonating Julie Andrews. It just wouldn’t do. So some buttons, hemming, and collar-unbasting later, this dress was finally finished! Hooray!

Even more, I love it. I could wear this dress everyday. Well, once it warms up a bit, anyway.


Shall will talk nitty-gritty details a bit more? The buttons, which one must squint to see in pictures, are covered in the same sapphire blue poplin I used as the lining and the ill-fated collar. Though the pattern calls for four buttons, I used six, because I needed more, shall we say, containment. They work delightfully well. I also added self-drafted cap sleeves, just to differentiate this dress from the other versions I’ve made. I’m normally not a sleeve girl, but these are wonderfully comfortable. They may even be added to a few more dresses in the near future…

So, that’s it! One of my only UFOs, all sewn up and finished. This challenge arrived just in time, as this probably would have waited, unloved, until March. Instead, I now have another spring dress I can’t wait to wear!






After bemoaning the lack of affordable, pretty dresses in stores, Mary finally took her mother's advice and learned how to sew in the summer of 2010. She is now obsessed with vintage patterns, lovely fabrics, and the quest for - of course - the perfect dress.


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  1. Your dress looks lovely on you, loving the liberty print too

  2. Beautiful, and totally agree regarding the colar, too sweet. and more buttons are better, great choice to go with buttons versus making a statement and detracting from the print. Hope it warms up soon. Too good to keep in the closet.

    • Thank you, Liza! I certainly hope the weather cooperates too. We’ve had a pretty mild winter, but right when I start sewing spring dresses, we get a cold snap. Of course! I can’t wait to take this one for a spin.

  3. Beautiful! This will be such a great dress once it warms up.

  4. This dress is lovely. I love the fabric and the pattern.

  5. GORGEOUS! Absolutely, gorgeous! And, thanks for the beautiful photography!

    • Thank you so much, Michelle! Also, I’m thrilled you like the photography. I received a new camera for Christmas and have had such fun playing with it since.

  6. I love the fabric! I haven’t splurged on Liberty yet – I’m still waiting for the right fabric/pattern combo to cry out. Yours looks great! And I’ve had my eye on the pattern for a while. Beautiful work!

    • Thank you, Christine! You should definitely try this pattern out – it’s one of my favorites. I haven’t seen a version that isn’t adorable. Also…Liberty has become my fabric addiction. It’s getting easier and easier to rationalize the price! Not a habit my wallet enjoys. ;)

  7. I love the dress. It looks really great on you.

    But…where do you get Liberty lawn for $20.00 a yard??????

    • Thank you, Colleen! And…I totally have a Liberty secret. I’ve bought almost every bit of mine off of Ebay from UK sellers. There are quite a few who sell end-of-rolls, so the price is pretty reasonable and the international shipping price isn’t terribly high. So much better than the $35 price tag they normally carry!

  8. So pretty. Liberty prints are divine. Such quality fabric and fine detail in their designs. I have a few pieces of it around but I have never been able to make up my mind what to make !

    • Thank you, Trish! Isn’t Liberty the best? I tend to hoard mine away, as well. With such lovely fabric, it’s hard to pull the trigger on actually using it! This was quickly becoming one of the oldest fabrics in my stash.

  9. Simply beautiful and a wonderful color for you. Great job!

  10. What a result! I love it all – glad it has no collar. :-)

  11. Very becoming and such lovely fabric. I love the covered buttons too.

  12. This dress is fabulous! I have the same pattern, I like how you changed it. I think I will do the same.

    • Thanks, Bethany! You should definitely give these changes a try. It’s really such a great pattern as it is, but so easy to alter as one wants. I can’t wait to see your version!

  13. Great dress and a lovely fit. It was fun to read the story.

  14. Oh Mary!!! (Do I really need to say anything else?!) This is so perfect, and the sleeves are such a great addition! Gah, I feel like you never make anything less than lovely (even the tulip skirt!!)!

    • Oh my. Thank you so, so much, Katie! You’re the best. I’m so glad you like it and everything else! (Though, seriously, I am still grimacing over those tulip skirt pictures! I can’t quite believe my blogging won out over my vanity in posting those. ;))

  15. Love the fabric and the dress. It looks great on you.

  16. Oh, sweet Liberty…your price always comes between us. At least I have Mary’s blue floral beauty to admire.

    • Oh, Najah, if only the price would be a hindrance to my Liberty addiction. Once I felt that first piece, the rationalizing began. “But it’s Liberty, it’s worth it!” goes through my mind way too often, when browsing Ebay. My wallet does not appreciate it. ;)

  17. Great frock Mary! I’m like you, I tend to get projects finished without UFO-ing up the sewing room.

    That last photo is just darling!

    • Thanks, Veronica! I’m so happy to not be the only one without many UFOs. I felt a bit out of place in this week’s theme. :)

  18. Oh this is adorable! I love this fabric, such a cute design too, very versatile.

  19. So pretty!! I’d say it was worth the wait and now you have a brand new dress for spring.

    • Thanks, Jessie! And supposedly our temperatures will pop into the 70s briefly next week, so you can bet I’ll finally be wearing it. I can’t wait for spring weather, simply because of this dress!

  20. Just adorable, I love front-buttoned dresses!
    And I totally understand the UFO thing, I also tend to start and finish without leaving UFOs around.

    • Thank you so much, Anna! Front-buttoned dresses are my favorite. I’m such a sucker for buttons, in general. Can’t resist them!

  21. You look so pretty in this dress! The fit is good and the length is perfect.

    • Thank you, Gina!! I’m so glad the fit looks good – I spent a lot of time on the FBA for this pattern, so it’s lovely to know it paid off.

  22. Gorgeous! I have this pattern and haven’t used it yet- the picture just didn’t inspire me. Your versions have made me want to get started straight away.

    • Thank you, Taracat! Isn’t the picture on the pattern envelope dreadful? It’s a classic example of an envelope doing the actual dress no favors. I can’t wait to see your version!

  23. Very cute! The covered buttons were a great idea and blend beautifully. Great job!

  24. You look smashing, gorgeous dress and photos, well done.

  25. Obsessed! What an amazing dress and the belt completes the look. So cool!

  26. I love love love your fabulous style and creations. Your posts always make me so happy! This dress is fantastic on you – that print! *sigh*! Divine.