It’s no secret. I spend a lot of time looking at vintage dresses and browsing for inspiration on the internet. When I ran across this on Etsy from My Vintage Wish, I fell in love with the silhouette, especially the back view. It is such a sweet silhouette and looks so comfy. I started thinking about how it would translate into a more modern look. While I love the front, it just seemed a bit fiddly with all of those pleats, and quit frankly, it looks really tricky to construct. Since I love the back silhouette so much, I thought I’d use that as a starting point. Then I remembered a couple of other vintage patterns I’d run across.
How cute are these vintage patterns I found in kalliedesigns and VintagePatternsCo1 Etsy shop? All of those buttonholes gave me palpitations, but, I figured with enough ease, it should pull up just fine and there’d be no need for front buttons. Then I get to keep the bodice shape of the first pattern with no need for front or back closures!
I see a lot of vintage dresses use piping on collars and sleeves. I love it when they use a contrasting color to really make things pop. Pops of color are really one of my favorite things.
I’m going to tell you a secret. I hate working with piping. I don’t enjoy making piping either. Making the bias tape is no problem, but adding the cording inside? No thanks. I like to use flat piping! Then I can make the correct size bias tape, fold it in half and insert it. It gives a similar look to piping with less hassle.
All of these different vintage pieces led me to draft up my first version of Who’s Got the Button.
For my first run on Who’s Got the Button, I used bias tape above the hem to help balance the look of the bias at the neckline. Unfortunately, keeping the bias tape even was really tricky and the tape kept stretching while I sewed it on. Frankly, it just didn’t look that great up close. I figured there had to be an easier way. I asked for sewing advice from a friend and she suggested putting it in a seam to keep it all tidy looking. Very clever!
This is my first version of Who’s Got the Button. I used fabric from Blend and then added the grey piping to go with Miss B’s shoes. It was a bit of a joke to her because she kept saying that she didn’t like the grey shoes because they looked like mice. So, now she has a mouse dress to match her mouse shoes….and several more dresses as well!
I made quite a few changes from this first version. Originally, it only buttoned on one shoulder, but it was really difficult to get off and on. The waist was lowered a bit and the armscye lowered as well. Because of the width of the shoulders, the armscye would pinch a bit, so for the sake of comfort, I had to enlarge it.
My daughter loves how comfortable it is and she loves that she can pick out some of the busier fabrics in my stash because I can break them up with added trim. In fact, she’s wearing one of these dresses today, and last night, and the night before that. I made 4 different final versions of this dress, not including the one above that I’ll show you tomorrow. See you then!