Sunday, November 25, 2012

Standing on One Leg

Thank you for all of your suggestions for coping with my frustrating machine buttonhole experience.  It is probably going to be some time before I pull out that particular foot again, but we shall see . . .  And it is further proof that they just don’t make things like they used to if all those owners of vintage Singer machines are to believed (and I do believe!!).

I have had this fabric for quite some time.  So long, in fact, that it was tucked away in a plastic storage bin that has been untouched for years.  But it was so memorable that I was continually making plans for it, if only in my mind.  My original idea was a pleated bodice with halter strap and full skirt.  I wanted to add some fuchsia contrast – perhaps a ruffled petticoat?

Over the years, the idea morphed as I came across suitable patterns.

And then came Butterick 5747.  I immediately thought of my pink flamingos.  

But how was the contrast color going to work?  (Because I really felt that the fabric needed a bit more pink to bring out those flamingos.)  

And, to be perfectly honest, I am not a fan of the yellow example of the pattern produced by Butterick, so I was concerned that the pattern might not be as fantastic as the illustration. 

Piping was the first idea that I came up with.

I did not bother adding cording or yarn or any fill to this particular piping because the contrast color was striking enough on its own (and is a bit easier to work with!).

Then came the question of where to place the piping.

Instead of waiting until the dress was constructed, I applied bound buttonholes at the beginning of the process. 

I happened to have a couple of packages of 1 1/8” covered button kits, so my buttons are a bit over-sized.  But the flamingos barely fit as it is!

The pattern places a button at the waistband which is rather ridiculous considering the belt that is included.  I decided that the fourth button should be moved up onto the bodice and a hook & eye would take care of closing the waist (and it does not interfere with the belt).

The insides look a bit crazy.  I ran out of rose colored seam binding, and ended up finishing the spool of wine as well.  

Two more spools of Hug Snug have bit the dust; which takes the total to well over 300 yards of the stuff used in the last couple of years – I am an admitted addict, and rehab is inevitable at this point.

Instead of using the embroidered fabric for a facing and dealing with ironing issues with the extra bumps, I used the pink cotton that was used for the piping.  So that is rose, fuchsia, and wine mixing it up on the inside of this crazy dress.

But flamingo fabric is quirky to begin with, so mismatched colors add to the fun factor (at least, I think they do!).


  1. Oh my goodness - that fabric is amazing!!! I love it!!! I just bought an amazing second hand bag that would go so so so well with your outfit! Its at the bottom of my blog post from today: And I'm not saying that because I want you to go and look at my blog... promise!

    I love the flashes of hot pink, and the crazy hug snug seams. Looking forward to watching this one progress :)

  2. I am looking for this pattern too! The flamingos look very interesting!

  3. You have mad sewing skills! The fabric is perfect and so much fun! And I adore the color combo. I can't wait to see it on!


  4. this fabric is amazing, and the piping really compliments it... can't wait to see it worn!

  5. I just now received my first rayon seam binding in the mail from the source you referenced in an earlier post. WOW. I could not understand why people went on about how wonderful seam binding is, until I realized that they didn't mean that horrific crinkly polyester stuff at the mainstream store. I cannot wait to use this. Thank you so much for the tip.

    And although my machine makes awesome buttonholes in most fabrics, you are inspiring me to try bound buttonholes. They have always been something I have wanted to master.

    Thank you for the inspiring blog.

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment! And just be aware that rayon seam binding can become highly addictive!