Monday, January 23, 2012

Sew Weekly Challenge: Buttons or "How Green Was My Button" Dress

Friends, when I first saw this challenge come across the screen, I knew exactly what I wanted to try: Colette Patterns Ceylon Dress.  I bought the dress pattern months ago knowing it would eventually need to be made and my fear of buttonholes conquered.  I also knew that this challenge would be the perfect chance to try my hand at this tutorial I found via Pinterest.  I was so excited to see that I could dye buttons!  I, for one, must have at least 100 white mismatched buttons that could easily be dyed.  I was pumped.

(Pardon the face.  My skin was sticking to the ice cold metal pole I was leaning against.)

My main issue with dyeing buttons is that I needed to use almost an entire bottle of Rit Forest Green liquid dye to dye 16 buttons.  These went into a dye bath four times, and yet, are mossy and not dark at all.  I was originally working for these buttons to match the piping on the dress, but it was not meant to be.  I would say that the buttons are the only thing I am disappointed about in regards to this dress.

Aside from the mossy bits of sadness, I LOVE this dress.  I was not really crazy about it until I tried it on - and then I was oh so pleasantly surprised by how flattering the cut was, how great the neckline lays, and how the sleeves have just the right amount of Anne of Green Gables puff to them. 

This dress took about 14 hours to make.  I took my time, which is quite amazing, considering how impatient I am in real life.  I flat lined each piece with a white bed sheet, I basted piping onto the un-interfaced pieces before sewing the seam, and I even hand stitched the hem.  I so desperately wanted for this dress to turn out like I had imagined, and I worked slowly with that goal in mind. 

The piping might be one of my favorite parts of the whole dress.  While I was working, I remembered this dress I had made some time ago, and how the dress (green shamrocks on white background) needed a little oomph.  Noticing the similarities in fabric between that dress and this Ceylon, I knew that I needed piping in order to make the fabric pop and not let my skin get completely washed out by the white background.

I could not be more pleased by the final version of this dress!  I recommend this pattern for anyone who is looking for a challenge and is willing to take their time.  The steps were clear and easy - there were just more of these than usual!

I apologize for the photos - the best ones seem to be from the elevator ride in our building.  My kind photographer stood on the rails to take these pictures.  I thought for sure he would bust his head on the ceiling, but he came out relatively unscathed.
Why no photos outside, you ask?

While it's called the "Windy City" for political reasons, it is totally weather appropriate for 360 days out of the year.

Friends, I hope you are keeping warm where you are, and if you've tried the Ceylon pattern in the past, post a link in the comments - I would love to see your versions!


  1. I love this dress!! Even with the 'mossy bits of sadness' hahaha I think it looks great - it makes me want to try this pattern in a print. And the piping is fantastic!

  2. AH! LOVE your dress! That last photo is so incredibly awesome. And I didn't know you could dye Ok, you've convinced me that I need to try this's so flattering and such nice lines to work with! Well done, my friend!

  3. how can you always come up with a even better pose from the previous week. amazing dress.

  4. That piping is so beautifully done; you're right, it's the perfect pop of color for this dress! I, too, had no idea you could dye buttons...I might have to give it a try now.

  5. Oooohh, this dress is so worthy of Anne! That's a lot of buttonholes, way to conquer! I like the color of the buttons; I don't think they look sad. :)

  6. I loved your "I recommend this pattern for everyone looking for a challenge" :-) how true - i made it only as far as cutting pattern pieces. After piece nine I gave up, ha ha. But you soo cute dress inspires me to revisit the pattern.

  7. Oh wow, it looks so pretty! The piping really makes the dress and shows off the cut! :) I've been thinking about buying that pattern for ages. I think I'll probably give in at some point...