Sewing Projects 1: The “Buttons, Buttons, Who’s Got the Buttons” Dress


Originally written for, and posted at, The Sew Weekly where I am sporadically participating in their 52-week challenges. This week’s theme was buttons.

The Facts
Fabric: Pink gingham from mom’s stash, ivory stretch jersey ~$7
Pattern: A modified Sorbetto top and self-drafted pleated skirt, and Stretch ‘N’ Sew 300 from mom’s stash
Year: 2011 and 1974
Notions: 7 buttons from mom’s stash and 5 from Jo-ann’s ~$1, bias-tape from my stash.
Time to Complete: ~10 hours (8 episodes of Star Trek: TNG, 4 episodes of Archer)
First Worn: January 2012
Wear Again? Definitely the cardi, meh on the dress.
Total Cost: ~$8

My original idea was to just do a top from a McCall’s pattern I have, but then I decided that no, I had enough fabric for a shirt dress – but let’s do it in as few pieces as possible – so tank-top with skirt it was. I don’t know how successful all that turned out. My alternate title for this was the “Home Ec” dress because my husband told me I looked a little like a school teacher, and to me it sort of looks like something a Home Ec teacher might wear only because it was made by one of her students. The more I see it, the more I like the skirt portion. The pleats are decent.

The cardigan was a UFO from last summer. I was apparently incredibly ambitious when I began sewing and wanted Jersey everything – not realizing how difficult it is to work with. I asked (and received) a walking foot for Christmas so that helped me to finish this project without too much frustration. I didn’t count the original time I put into this, in my “Time to Complete” stat.

Having learned how to use my automatic buttonholer when I first got my machine has been an asset in my short time sewing. The learning curve I wanted to get over was how to use it with stretchy fabrics. Using stabilizer is the key!! I forgot to use it on the first one so it turned out a little wonky, but the others look perfect! I might make another cardi and use grosgrain ribbon as a stabalizer and decorative element. The functional buttons on the dress are basically useless because it can get it on/off without having to undo any of them, but it was good practice.

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About EBS

Museum curator, nerd, chronic watcher of TV show marathons, married to a soccer hooligan, vegetarian, obsessive sewer.
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