the Dress that Nearly Killed Me!

Here it is. That dress. Pretty cute huh? I’m so completely in love with it, that I’m just about to cut out another – in an emerald green ponte knit. So, I already told you much of the background on this dress, you know, perfect fit and all that. I’ll cover my findings on how I went about fitting the bodice with the sleeve later on. For now, here’s some more fun facts and ideas for you:

The skirt of this is none other than the Sewaholic’s Lonsdale (Tasia, you now have complete monopoly on my skirts). I went for an above the knee length and have to admit, above the knee looks better on me than below the knee for this particular style.
The skirt section is interlined in a whale of a print flannel (meaning there’s whales on it, ha!), just for warmth. Well, and for fun cause I’m silly like that.
I also used the flannel as my stabilizer for the buttonhole placket and collar. Worked out wonderfully too.
The sleeve is my own design – besides taking the cap from Simplicity 2724. I managed to take out the fullness from the original design and tacked on a pretty cute tie embellishment to the bottom.

The buttons are hand covered buttons made with the wrong side of the fabric. I’m about to make a belt too, but you know, I was practically jumping out of my skin to show you this dress.
The fabric is a denim – almost a chambray type, lightweight – from Joann. The flannel was from Joann too. So were the hand cover buttons.
The collar was trimmed down to be shorter so that it could stand up instead of fall down. That means that the placket and lapel were thinned out too. Since I like my look better with the collar standing up, I flipped the stabilizer (the flannel in this case) to the undercollar instead of applying it to the upper collar. Have to say it makes a huge difference too – the collar stays up all day.

I stabilized the buttonhole placket with flannel, but the flip side – where the buttons are attached – is stabilized with a strip of rayon petersham, also from the shop. Hemmed it all up in petersham too.
My fingers went blue from the indigo dye every time I worked on this dress.
I feel rather Daphne-esque (Scooby Do, you know) in this dress, especially with my hair down, and I’m fine with that. Mr. S is not.

That’s about it, I think. What do you think? Oh yes. I’m sure you are wondering if I can, indeed, put my arms out comfortably in front of me. Why yes. Yes, I can. It’s a beauty, eh? After finishing this dress, I keep wondering why I haven’t made more things in denim.  Do you even have any idea how easy this dress is to wear to anything? I’ve no doubt that I’ll be wearing it, until it literally falls off my body. Classic. Timeless. Cute. Stylish. Comfortable too.

I know I’m a geek. It’s totally OK if before these photos you didn’t think I was, but now you know I am. It’s a wonderful Wednesday! Thanks for tuning in to my show and tell.


  • ReadyThreadSew - Gorgeous dress. Every time I read a post like this and see garments with such perfect fit I realise that I really must get more patience with my sewing and go for quality over quantity. Still not sure I have the patience yet though.
    ReadyThreadSew recently posted..Meh! (and a little bit about Margot)ReplyCancel

  • K-Line - This is the cutest dress evah! I love the sleeves. Totally.
    K-Line recently posted..I Love ThisReplyCancel

  • Melanie - LOL You’re so cute ! This dress is a beauty. I wear denim 75% of the time, heck 85% of the time and I’m totally jealous right now!
    Also what a neat idea to do the buttons with the wrong side of the fabric. This dress is classic but not conservative, I love it!
    Melanie recently posted..WIP: I might actually finish something by the end of the year…ReplyCancel

  • Susan Camobell - I love denim. Maybe next year I’ll make it the primary fabric for my garments!ReplyCancel

  • Emilia - I absolutely love this dress, especially the sleeve and the collar! Good job!
    Emilia recently posted..temporary veneersReplyCancel

  • Jasz - Super awesome! You should think about making it as a download pattern ;D I would buy it and can‘t wait to see the green one! Actually this is the first denim dress I adore. Lovely! And so perfect with your haircolour.
    Jasz recently posted..Inspiration: Chloe from Victory PatternsReplyCancel

  • Reana Louise - Look at you with your arms thrust out in front of you! Now you can push a trolley, press horns, reach for chocolate and flowers and all kind of arm-infront-of-you action! This dress really IS amazing and so are the photos. Two things: (1) Can we please see the whale lining? (2) If you ever feel like doing a tutorial (or have and I just need to be pointed to it) can you please explain the whole button stabiliser thing? I’m new to buttons and I don’t really get it (the shame!). RL x
    Reana Louise recently posted..While I was packing…ReplyCancel

  • Sassy T - Love it on you. Love denim.
    Sassy T recently posted..Happy New 2012 . . .ReplyCancel

  • NuJoi - Very cute!ReplyCancel

  • liza jane - Ok, that IS a fabulous fit! I totally believe you now. I am so jealous of the picture with your arms out in front of you. I pretty much always have issue with that, too. I chalked it up to a broad back but after trying out a few broad back alterations I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the shape of the armscye. I dunno. LOVE your shirt dress! The reverse fabric covered buttons are genius and I love your polka dot tights.ReplyCancel

  • Tors - WOW! It looks AMAZING! I am in awe of your sewing skills because that is definitely a perfect dress. Can’t wait to see your other versions once they’re done!
    Tors recently posted..Rose Red DancingReplyCancel

  • Angelina S. - This is a GREAT dress. Wow.ReplyCancel

  • thesecretlifeofseams - This is the lushest dress I’ve seen on a blog in a long time! It fits wonderfully, the sleeve ties are adorable, the colour complements you perfectly, and the collar…wow, that collar is killer. This is the kind of stuff I dream about being able to sew.
    thesecretlifeofseams recently posted..The Dusk Kimono DressReplyCancel

  • Sewing Princess - I love it! you did an impressive job on it. And you look adorable in those pictures! Congratulations! Can I have one too? :o)
    Sewing Princess recently posted..New haircut – Un nuovo taglioReplyCancel

  • Stitching Spotlights – 1/13/2012 - [...] Yay! First of all today, I want to especially thank you guys for your wonderful comments about my shirtdress! You all definitely know how to make a girl feel like a million bucks. Gush…Thank you, Thank [...]ReplyCancel

  • Ololi - Great dress although I’m not much of a fan of collars. Thanks for all the detailed information!
    Ololi recently posted..OLOLI GOES TO WALL STREET!ReplyCancel

  • Susan C - I love that denim dress you made – especially the sleeves! It’s a dress you can wear a hundred times anywhere and it will never be out of place or out of fashion. p.s. Your belt kits are super and I’m looking forward to using one of them this week. I have a fab new sewing machine (for Christmas) as my old machine died. I must get some of your petersham ribbon too – where I live you can only get that awful thin polyester grosgrain that doesn’t shape properly so it’s useless.ReplyCancel

  • Joelle - LOVE it–cute pictures, too!ReplyCancel

  • Inside Look at the Dress that Nearly Killed Me! - [...] to see the inner workings and details of things I had mentioned but did not show pictures of for my shirtdress. I am more than happy to comply! [...]ReplyCancel

  • RobinDenning - Oh I love it! That is one heck of a cute, flattering, versatile dress. You must lined it, too, right? I mean, the flannel would catch on your tights without a lining? Whatever you did, it looks great. The flannel gives such nice body to the denim.
    And your personal details make it so much cuter than the original pattern.
    I have also struggled quite a bit to get a nice bodice & sleeve, so I understand.
    RobinDenning recently posted..GPOYWReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you! I actually didn’t line it, but wear slip with it. Works just great. The flannel does give it just the right body that helps it float away from the body too. Adds weight to the skirt section as well and I think that also helps it not grab onto my tights. At least there has been no problem with that yet.ReplyCancel

  • Sew Grateful Skirt - [...] more laid back and wearing casual clothing is becoming more and more of a necessity. Since I wear my denim shirtdress so much – and this only since the beginning of January – I felt that adding more denim [...]ReplyCancel

  • Two Ways to Thinner Seams – a Sewing Diet - [...] been using my fair share of thick fabrics lately. The denim shirtdress, the Green with Envy shirtdress and my Sew Grateful Skirt. Needless to say, thick fabrics can a be [...]ReplyCancel

  • Helen Anna - Wow! This is gorgeous. I’m new to sewing but you’ve inspired me to try something similar to this!
    Helen Anna recently posted..iPhone 4S CaseReplyCancel

  • Rachel - I love the tie at the end of the 1/2 sleeves, So cute.
    Rachel recently posted..J.Crew Shirt ProgressReplyCancel

  • 2-in-1 Sewalong: Inspiring Shirt Dresses - [...] do you say? Isn’t having a shirt dress like a positively must-have piece in your wardrobe? My own is incredibly easy to wear and every single time I get wear it, I get a ton of compliments – [...]ReplyCancel