Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Turquoise Linen Button Down Dress: Simplicity 2404

The inspiration for this dress was a color. When I was planning my summer wardrobe, I couldn't get the color turquoise out of my head. Not just any blue-green-- it had to be that particular blue-green that is the color of the caribbean ocean on a white-sand beach.

This is me immersed in salty turquoise water on our honeymoon to Eleuthera! Just look at that color, it is hard to believe it is real! Too bad we can't go back every year, it was amazing.

The best I could do this year was find that color in a luscious linen.

I scoured the internet and ended up finding it at Sawyerbrook Fabrics. They match buttons to fabrics, and I bought the matching buttons too since I knew I wanted to make a button-down dress.

These pictures don't do the buttons justice.. they are a bit like dichroic glass, and match the fabric perfectly. Sawyerbrook is sold out of this gorgeous color, but Mood still has the aqua linen that was a close runner up in my search.

I used the altered Simplicity 2404 pattern that I used to make the Polka Dot Linen Dress. For this dress, I had extended the pleats into princess seams and put in a button placket down the center front, and I did the same thing in this dress. To make it a little different, I used the rounded neck variation, but deepened the scoop a little to make it a bit more summery.

To make it extra special, I experimented with using some self fabric trim. I cut strips of the linen, folded the raw edges under, and sewed pleats into the strips. I didn't really measure it, I did it by eye so that it would have a structured but handmade look. I used the pleated strips as trim around the neckline and the around the hem.

I made the buttonholes using my singer "professional" buttonholer, which I bought on ebay over a year ago. Here are some pics of what it looks like on my machine-- it is quite a contraption! My machine is a Singer CP-17C.

I don't know how to lower the feed dogs (I'm not sure if it can be done??? If you know how, do point this out to me!) so I use the plate that comes with the buttonholer. It doesn't quite fit on my machine, so I tape it down temporarily. The screw doesn't tighten down enough either, so I use a washer to hold it in place. But once it is set up, with works great!

Look at how it sticks out the back, hilarious isn't it! The back part opens up to hold the buttonhole templates.

But take a look at these buttonholes! These are from my Polka Dot Linen dress, fresh off of the buttonholer. You really don't want to see what buttonholes look like on this machine without the buttonholer-- they are pretty terrible, despite hours of trying. With the buttonholer, they are quite decent and pleasant to make!

And here is one on the Turquoise Linen dress, with a couple months of hard wear. It isn't perfect, but it is holding up pretty well.

So a turquoise dress is not quite as good as a trip to the Caribbean, but it is fun all the same!


  1. I love the dress. Linen is so nice during the hot summer. Great colour on you. I have the same buttonholer, and it is quite a contraption but it makes great buttons every time.

    1. It is totally crazy looking, but that old buttonholer works!