Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Button-Up Colette Pastille Dress

Hello there.
     Today is the day. This is the day that the year two-thousand and fourteen officially ends and a new cycle of three-hundred and sixty-five days begin. I am actually really excited about this coming year. Seriously, it is 2015. It ends in a 5. How. Cool. Is. That? Okay, okay, I admit it. I am a little strange, but I like things that end in zeros and fives!
      Anyway. . . I do not have a fantastic round-up post planned or an amazing year-end review of life. Instead, I have another dress to show you! I actually made this dress quite some time ago, but with all of the Christmas sewing and knitting that I have been doing, it is a wonder I accomplished anything! Introducing my Button-Up Pastille:

This is definitely one of my favorite dresses! I have recently discovered that I really, really like buttons, and, in most cases, I prefer them over zippers. 

This dress is actually a compilation of two different patterns. I purchased Sense and Sensibility's Ladies 1950's Party Dress a long, long time ago (Probably last year!) and at that point I did not know a lot about fitting. (I still don't, but that is beside the point. . .) When I attempted to make it, the bodice did not fit at all. I was quite put out. The bodice was disposed of and I repurposed the skirt pieces (Finally!) to make this. There was just enough of the fabric leftover to cut out the bodice.

 I was actually surprised at how easy this pattern was to convert to a button-up. I garnered most of my information from Tasia's (<--this link goes to Tasia's blog) tutorial on how to make a button-up Cambie dress (<--this link goes to the tutorial).

Once I had my pattern pieces adjusted for buttons, this was a whiz to sew up. The skirt was already sewn together, all I had to do was gather it to the waistband. Yes, I added a one inch waistband to this dress. Sometimes gathered skirts can enable you to lose your waist line, but I discovered that using the waistband gave it a bit of waist definition.

This is a flower clip that I made using a fake flower from somewhere and a rolled fabric flower. I winged this clip together on the spur of a moment so I was pleasantly surprised when this ended up being one of my favorite flowers.

 If you had not noticed, the buttons only go part way down. I made up that bit as I went along. I could not find any good tutorial explaining how to do a partial button-up dress. Then I found this post by Mary at Idle Fancy where she told how she used a side zipper to achieve the partial button-up. Using the zipper would work amazingly, but I am determined to figure out a "professional" way to do a partial button-up without it.
Here you can see the waistband a bit better.

Notes For The Avid Seamstress:
Fabric: Quilting cotton from Joann. (Pretty soon I won't even have to put this in here any more. You will already know!)
Notions:  Buttons - Possibly vintage, I purchased them from a thrift store; Lace - vintage from my stash
Notes: There is nothing that I can think of that I would change on this dress. I will make my facing a bit thinner just to save on interfacing and fabric, but I love everything about the dress itself. It is super comfortable. Casual enough for everyday, but still dressy enough to wear to church or town. A quick note on my failure to make the Party Dress: I now know that I needed to do a FBA which would probably have eliminated most if not all of my issues. I am planning to reattempt this dress at some point to prove to myself that it really is a lovely dress pattern!
Fellow Bloggers Renditions: I have just decided to add a few of my favorite makes from other bloggers using the same pattern.
1. Brigid and Charlotte from The Boyer Family Singers have made several different variations of the Ladies Party dress here, here, here, here, and here.
2. Katrina from Edelweiss Patterns made three versions of the Party Dress here, and here.

Have a fantastic New Year's Eve!



  1. A beautiful dress. Love the fabric and your button adaptation - very clever indeed!

  2. What a beautiful dress, Emily! Turning the pastille into a button-down dress was a stroke of genius--it's a really lovely take on this pattern. Incidentally, I've seen vintage patterns that handle the half-button down by using a placket technique. I know I have some in my stash that do this--I'll try to snap a photo of the instructions and send them your way.

    1. Thank you Mary! I would really appreciate any help you could give me. It is much nicer to have some type of guidelines rather than just throwing things together and hoping they turn out!

  3. I absolutely adore this dress! I am a beginning sewer with SO much to learn, but this would absolutely be my goal dress ~ it is gorgeous and lovely on you!

    1. Thank you very much! I am glad you like it. I am not a very advanced seamstress either, and this dress looks much harder to make then it really is. I am sure you could make a dress exactly like this without too much trouble. The hardest part is in getting the fit right. Once you have the fit of a pattern down, there is nothing you cannot do!