Saturday, 11 June 2011

Beautiful Buttons Dress - Complete (At Last)

This dress would have been completed a long time ago, if only I hadn't been slowed down by belt buckle problems. I just couldn't find one I liked. I wasn't asking for much - 1" wide, black plastic, it didn't have to be particularly special, as long as it had a metal pin so it stayed buckled. Could I find it? It was like trying to find rocking horse poo. 

 I settled on the one you see above, though I think it's a bit big. I can always change it later......

Here are some highlights from making it - 

No zip! I've never made a dress with a placket at the front, but I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. And it shows the buttons off beautifully:

Close up of button placket
I reinforced the split at the back with a little arrowhead. I should use these more......
Close up of Arrowhead being worked
Over the years, I've become fussy about the inside of everything I make. I find it hard to just 'run something up'; I can't leave the insides alone! I try to line everything; on skirts I usually bind the hems; on dresses I also bind the waist seam; and I use French seams wherever possible, just so it's neat and tidy on the inside. (Maybe I'm a bit OCD......) The result is this:

Skirt lining with bound waist seam

Bound hem, catch stitched to dress

Lining at back split, hand sewn to seam allowances
Though I'm happy with the way it looks, and it feels lovely to wear, it means that a dress which was meant to be something I could just 'throw on' is now a bit too special. Don't get me wrong - I'll wear it as much as I want - but I need to stop being so meticulous because it's slowing my output down!

Here are some close-ups of the belt:

I've never made one before, so really I just made it up as I went along. A stiff interfacing gave it some substance, then after it was stitched and turned right side out, I bound the holes for the pin with buttonhole stitch.

Finally, the dress has shoulderpads, which I thought was bit unusual for a dress of the 1950's. Wasn't the New Look all about round, natural shoulders, a departure from the square shouldered 1940's? I toyed with leaving them out, but decided to follow the pattern faithfully, so put some lightweight, rounded ones in. I didn't think they'd work, but they actually create a nice line. 
Shoulder pad (it was really hard to photograph)

I planned to wear it tomorrow to the Stitch Crawl, but rain is predicted, so I'm in 2 minds about attending. If I do, pictures will follow!
 It's not my car - I can't even drive!


  1. Gorgeous! You are so clever - I am seriously in awe - and I especially love the buttons.

    Sarah xxx

  2. I can only dream about making something that resembles your gorgeous dress. It is stunning. Love the buttons too.

    Rocking horse poo, now there's a thing.....

  3. Amazing, you are soo talented! x

  4. I am sooo envious of your talent. That dress is amazingly skilful. Fantastic pictures too - you look so glam in the car, yours or not!

  5. Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments - you make my day.

  6. I adorar you, you remind of Tongole amor. love tht last pic of you in the car. great job! can you be my dressmaker.

  7. That dress is amazing and you look fabulous in it.

  8. OW! OW! OW! hot 50s mama! you did fantastic. You got 50 street cred points now for all that finishing!

  9. I really appreciate how much work you put into the dress and those buttons are amazing!!

  10. 'it was like trying to find rocking horse poo'-that is one of the best sayings I have ever heard, I am defiantly going to use it! Oh, and I like your dress :p

  11. I'm soooo far behind on my blog reading that I have only just seen this fabulous creation! Its Amazing!! Those buttons have definitely found their perfect home!!


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