A Denim Dress and a Shirt full of Butterflies

I’ve been overdosing myself with fashion magazines in the recent months and one of the Spring 2013 trends I love is denim, especially the denim dresses. I was very much inspired by Diane Kruger’s denim dress in a very 50s silhouette to try something different with the fabric.


And with the forties being my favorite fashion era, I couldn’t help but wonder how the two would look together. Denim+40s dress design=?

Simplicity 1777

The result of my experiment is a rather figure hugging dress made with lightweight denim/ chambray fabric I bought from the Dongdaemum fabric market in Seoul Korea (US$7 for 3 metres!!!) and Simplicity 1777, a reissue 40s sewing pattern.

denim dress

I chose the version with a V neckline as it’s more flattering and cut a size 12 from the Simplicity pattern. My two deviations from the instructions were the shortening of the sleeves and the replacement of facings with a bias tape finishing for the neckline. Two important things to note if you are keen to sew with this pattern. 1) Use a light weight fabric- the amount of pleats and gathers and the layers of fabrics/ interfacing will create bulk and the bulk will multiply with the thickness of your fabric. I decided to do away with the facings (front facings mirrors the entire front yoke of the dress) because of the additional bulk it could create and used bias tape instead. 2) This dress will not look flattering if the bodice does not hug your curves so it is important to take in the sides of the bodice and waist after finishing your dress. I did.

denim dress side

Other than these, it’s a pretty fast and easy dress to sew and I love the end results too. As the pattern also recommended matte jersey as a fabric choice, I’m already planning a knit version of the dress! The gathers drove me nuts before I adjusted the fit but I love them on the finished dress! Somehow, 40s designs never fail to awe me with their understated elegance, even in denim. Being so casual and yet so different, I’m quite sure this 7 dollar dress is going to get lots of wear.

My original plan of sewing two shirts for the two most important men in my life didn’t go as planned though. So for the first time in years, I told dear hubby to buy himself a shirt this year. After all, I just made him a handsome winter coat? No?

For dear daddy, I sewed a shirt from burdastyle’s Jakob sewing pattern using a butterflies cotton lawn fabric from Alexander Henry. It’s only the sixth day of the Lunar New Year today and dad has already wore the shirt on two occasions. So, I guess he likes it:)

Butterflies shirt

Here’s a close up shot of the inside seams, all hemmed or finished with french seams for a clean finish. I get asked quite often how I finish seams since I don’t own a serger. For light weight fabrics like cotton lawn, I find french seams super duper efficient for the job. I love this fabric, it’s just SO Spring!

Butterflies shirt inside

Thank you so much for leaving me such sweet and encouraging words in my last post! Having sewed 2 projects in January, it’s definitely a good start to the new year for me! I hope you are enjoying your sewing projects too! Here’s my family wishing all those who celebrate a prosperous and blessed year of the golden snake!



29 thoughts on “A Denim Dress and a Shirt full of Butterflies

  1. The dress is beautiful and I love that you did it in chambray..[Bet its really comfortable too].
    Love the family photo..
    Your dad’s shirt is so pretty..Love the butterflies [on shirt and your shoes]. Happy sewing.

  2. Love this! I’ve been toying with the idea of making a denim dress for a while, this gorgeous dress may have just sealed the deal for me. Great job!

  3. I started cutting out that pattern and stopped half-way through. Your version has inspired me to take it back out again – you look so elegant! Your shoes are great too 😉

  4. i was eying that pattern myself but seeing your version has made me decide to buy it! I don’t think I will make it in denim, but for sure in a solid color. I’m not a fan of the contrast shown on the envelope – yours is much better!

  5. Love the denim dress! Dressy but casual. And you can wear it with fabulous shoes, obviously!
    The butterfly print is beautiful. Can’t believe you didn’t use it for yourself!! 🙂

  6. Happy Chinese New Year!
    I love love love your new dress!! Beautiful and you look gorgeous! will go get the pattern next time =) The butterfly fabric is also stunning, I didn’t know they have cotton lawn,,,I shall go find it.
    Thanks for sharing 😉

  7. Love! The dress is absolutely beautiful and I love the fabric.Fantastic web site.I have gone through all of your posts,I really like your writing so so much!I mostly prefer online shopping for my family members and at same time it saves lot of time and money for me. it is important to get discounts too.For this i go with Target Coupon codes to get the simplest quality of goods at desirable costs.

  8. There’s nothing you make that I don’t love. What amazes me most is how you manage to turn a pattern I wouldn’t look at twice, and wear it like it was something really, incredibly special. I’m totally loving this dress on you – and the family photo is just gorgeous. You have such a beautiful family 🙂

  9. As always I love what you sew. The denim dress is a favorite because I love denim. I would rather wear it than any other material. The butterfly shirt is very nice too. I have got to learn to do button holes because my dream is to make some shirts for my husband.

    What a great picture of your family. Your beautiful children have grown so much. My granddaughter just turned 8 and I can’t believe how fast time flies. I am sure you know the feeling looking at your children. Blessing to you all in the remainder of the year.

  10. Your family is beautiful! Happy New Year! The dress and the shirt are wonderful!! I am so glad to have found someone who loves denim as much as I do. If I’m not sewing something from old denim jeans no longer being worn, I am sewing from scratch and loving every minute of it. You look phenomenal in this dress! Happy Sewing!

  11. Pingback: Announcing the first challenge of 2015! | The Monthly Stitch

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