Well hello sunshines! I’m so happy to kick off my very first blog for Sew Me Sunshine, and to continue sharing my sewing journey with you. I really look forward to hearing from you too with your maker experiences!
My first make as a Sunshine blogger is bang on trend: the In The Folds button-up dress. This fabulously versatile pattern is the perfect addition to your wardrobe, yesterday, today and forever. Buttoned pinnies are here and going nowhere — it channels all the right retro vibes and is perfect layered up with woolly tights and a roll neck (don’t forget to add your beret and brogues!) As an added bonus, the pattern is offered free as part of the Peppermint Magazine sewing school. Go and download, now now now!
The button-up dress is listed as a skill level 1.5 out of 5, so definitely beginner friendly, with a few elements that might push your skills. You’ll need to be happy with button holes (there are 10), and using the burrito method to attach the sleeves and facing together. There are 10 sizes to select from, from A to J, and only 6 super simple pattern pieces.
Harriet stocks some fabulous denims in her shop, and I opted to use the Green Black 11oz Reversible Denim for this dress. The fabric is pretty medium to heavy weight, and as the pattern doesn’t require any stretch, this stuff seemed spot on. I wanted something timeless and with longevity, and denim is that all over. Increasingly I’m thinking about the sustainability of my sewing, and felt that choosing a fabric that would not only last, but would work throughout the seasons felt like the best way to go. The denim was a dream to work with. I love sewing with denim, and just adore denim full stop. This denim is now unfortunately sold out but there are some other fab denims to choose from:
Cutting out the pattern was super simple - I had the pattern printed online and traced off my size, cutting a size C. I have a small waist but larger hips, but this pattern is quite accommodating as well as flattering, with it’s princess seams and gentle A-line. Denim is so easy to cut out too - I’m team cutting blade and mat!
Construction was really easy for the most part - I decided not to add interfacing as the denim was already sturdy enough. You kick off by attaching the panels using princess seams - these are lovely rounded seams which add shape and help with fit - which are worth taking your time over so you avoid a pointy, Madonna-esque bust! Then comes the shoulder seams, the facing, and the dreaded burrito. There are tutorials online, but in the end I decided to use a non-official method of leaving part of the shoulder seam open in order to turn it right side out, before folding over the remaining seam and stitching down as a top stitch. I must have been having an off day - I’ve used the burrito method before on my Closet Case Kelly Anorak - but when it came to this make, I couldn’t get my head around it. All worked out well in the end anyway!
Once you’ve done the facing and shoulder seams, you’re pretty much there. Just buttonholes, hemming and you’re away!
I can’t wait to make another of these. I’d certainly like to see another in my wardrobe in a blue wash denim, or perhaps a chunky corduroy - do check out the range of cords and twills stocked in Sew Me Sunshine, there’s some great options for the button-up dress there!
I’d just like to finish off with a big thank you to Emily of In The Folds for creating such a fab pattern and releasing it to the world for free, along with the help of Peppermint Magazine and We Are The Fabric Store - such an incredible dressmaking resource! Download the pattern here.
I was kindly gifted this fabric by Sew Me Sunshine in exchange for this blog post, and I was able to choose the fabric myself and also choose the project I wanted to tackle!
Let me know how you get on with your button-up dresses via Insta, at @sew_norfolk.