Dreaming of…spring cottons and hearty good wishes

Last month I made 3 dresses for myself. All of which were from fabric from my stash. All of which I took photos of on holiday. And, all of which I love!

Simplicity recently got in touch and asked if I’d like to be part of their bloggers network in return for a free pattern. Of course I said yes.

I’ve had Simplicity 2444 on my pattern list for years, so the first pattern choice was easy. It’s a pretty simple dress, in exactly the same style as I usually make, but I love the darts and the pleated skirt.

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This first one is made using a beautiful quilting cotton, very sweetly called ‘hearty good wishes’. I knew straight away that I wanted it to be my Spring for Cotton dress. I think it has enough vintage inspiration to qualify?

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I looked up the pattern before I made it and noticed that lots of people had issues with neckline gaping. After making a muslin (from cotton voile, which was awkwardly thin to work with!), I knew that I’d need to take an inch from the front. On the muslin I just put a dart in the CF so I could use it as a lining, but for the actual fabric, I followed this excellent and very simple tutorial to remove the gaping.

Dart on voile lining

Dart on voile lining

I think the bodice front fits pretty well now.

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I didn’t really consider the back gaping as I was planning to put buttons there so I thought I’d just chop off any excess at the CB. This didn’t quite work as I fully lined the bodice and then forgot about the back gaping when I put in the buttonholes.

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I don’t think it matters tooooooo much, but the buttons do pull a little bit awkwardly now because they don’t line up perfectly.

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The buttons I used are actually brightly patterned on the other side, but I wanted to go for the natural, muted vibe with the colour palette. I didn’t have enough to go down the length of the entire CB, so I just sewed the base of the button placket closed. It works for me.

When I tried on the dress towards the end, the finished length looked a bit dowdy. I didn’t want to chop off the fabric in case I want it longer one day. I considered doing a deep hem, but in the end I decided to pleat the bottom of the skirt to make it look more vintage and more aesthetically pleasing. I love that feature now.

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I wore this dress to the top of the Untersberg mountain in Salzburg – amidst about 100ft of snow, which is definitely why I look so cold in this hilarious photo!
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…and then in the gardens of Mirabell palace – where they filmed the Sound of Music’s Do-Re-Mi.

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Considering all the action it had seen throughout the day, I think it stood up pretty well to the crease test. Fortunately it goes well with tights and a coat, as it was freezing in Salzburg, I was very pleased to re-layer up!

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Has anyone else been on holiday recently? I love having new made things to wear away. So many more interesting photo locations than my garden wall!

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18 thoughts on “Dreaming of…spring cottons and hearty good wishes

  1. Pingback: The next LWD | dreaming of avonlea

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  4. Love those diagonal pleats at the back and the slanting darts at the front. And the pleated hemline which adds so much to the dress.
    Congrats on being asked to be simplicity blogger!

  5. I have so much to say about this post! First of all, your dress is gorgeous. Good old S2444, I love that pattern and have made it a few times, but not recently – although the pocket piece gets used a lot because it turns out that it’s the perfect size for me. Funnily enough, I’ve been thinking about digging my pattern out again, and definitely will be after seeing your button back. That is all kinds of fabulous! I was looking at the photo of the bodice innards, noticed the buttonholes and thought “a button back – genius!”. Also, the tutorial you linked to about fixing gaping necklines is very good. I hadn’t seen that before, and it makes so much sense. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Wow- glad it gave you so much food for thought. I think I just went up a size to accommodate the button placket. It’s such a great tutorial for the neckline gaping. I think I’ll be using it for lots of my future dresses!

  6. Love these little personal touches you’ve made with the dress, especially the pleats at the hem. I’ve made a couple of versions of this dress and those front pleats are my favorite feature. I had some neck gaping in my first make, but made the neck lower on the next one to fix this. I would love to make it again after seeing how you worked that issue out. It is a beautiful dress and you did a wonderful job!!! šŸ˜€

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