Monday, June 22, 2015

Lips as red as rose

Do you ever have one of those projects that just fights you? Well, one happened to me recently. The dress you are about to see actually has appeared on this blog before but in a slightly different version.

I had grand visions of a fabulous 50s shirtwaist dress when I first spied this lovely rose print cotton swiss dot. It's part of Gertie's fabric line. So some yardage came home with me and I started plotting.

Originally, I opted for the bodice from Simplicity 2851 but I swapped out the late 40s skirt for a pleated fuller 50s style one. I loved the sweet collar and easy cut on sleeves.

But the waist came out too big. I did have this great wide red belt that I could have used to make it work but I do like flexibility in my wardrobe. Plus I didn't like the lack of mobility from the cut on sleeves. And then I messed up the position of the button holes so they weren't centered properly.

Thankfully, I had over a yard of extra fabric left and I could squeeze out a new bodice. My next try was Butterick 8078 which I'd made twice before. (1) (2)

It's got a great collar design! And then all I had to do was convert the 3/4 length sleeve into a short sleeve. And that's where things went wrong again. I tried a narrow shoulder adjustment and it didn't work out. Whoops!

I fretted for a few days and then just decided to scrap the sleeves and make it a sleeveless dress. I live in Florida now and sleeveless dresses are perfect for summer.

I'm so happy to have been able to use some of these cute vintage glitter buttons. So pretty! I wanted something pretty enough for this dress but that wouldn't compete with the fabric. These were the winners. Plus I have four more that I'll be saving for future project.

I also copied the opening style from a vintage dress. The skirt closes in the center front but it's hidden in the pleats. The pleats over lap enough so that the opening stays closed.

To play up the great vintage buttons, I accessorized with a vintage crystal necklace that belonged to my husband's grandmother. I love sparkly things!

So even though this was a trial and error project, I'm so happy that I pushed through and finished it. Yay for pretty new dresses!


  1. Kudos! It looks great and I am so impressed by your perseverance! I generally get so frustrated with that kind of project that it gets put in a corner (like a Bad Project Who Needs To Think About What They've Done) and never get back around it. I realized the other day that I still have a paper bag full of silk gauze from when I was making a layered, floofly 50s summer dress, but my embroidery machine was acting up and I got frustrated. :-P

    -- Tegan

  2. I think it looks great! It's so satisfying when you can "fix" something and end up with a great dress you'll wear a lot. :-)

  3. This looks wonderful, and I never would have guessed it gave you so much trouble! I'm in the middle of one of those projects right now... and I'm hoping it turns out as well as yours finally has!

  4. This dress looks absolutely fabulous! I love the print, and you did an awesome job recovering from the issues that came up. I would never have known this was ever meant to be anything other than a sleeveless dress. Red is really your color, you look lovely.

  5. So stunning! The glitter buttons really are the perfect accompaniment to that superb fabric {which is just so gorgeous! Love the swiss dot!}, and I think the whole dress came out wonderfully!

    I'm wrestling with my current project which is in a knit fabric ~ my first time with knits and I have made some horrendous mistakes already... I only hope it will be wearable at the end; if it turns out half as good as yours I would be so happy! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  6. That dress is so pretty! I am glad that you persevered, and made something so delightfully wearable! And those vintage glittery buttons combined with the rose somehow remind me of Beauty and the Beast. :) Love it!

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  7. That fabric (and the dress itself) is breathtaking!!! I want ten garments, a bedding set, and curtains in it right now! :D I love the glitter buttons. They add even more loveliness to an already deeply pretty dress and don't compete with the fabric at all, which is so nice when it comes to buttons and prints (IMO).

    Have a beautiful week!
    ♥ Jessica