My First Dress!

I am unbelievably proud of this one! I only started sewing seriously last year and I’ve been putting off dresses for the longest time, worrying that it would be too hard to tackle as a beginner.

Turns out, dresses aren’t as hard as I thought! They’re like a skirt and.. (not being able to compare to a top, because I’ve never made a top before) a skirt joined together! Or something.

I bought this fabric last year at some point, intending to make another gathered skirt from it. (Skirts are easy and don’t lift me out of my comfort zone very far.) Unfortunately, after deliberating on my fabric choice (and you can bet I do a lot of deliberating when I’m starting a project), I decided that the teapots wouldn’t stand out enough in a simple gathered skirt–it just wouldn’t do the print justice! But as it turns out, the pattern is exactly large enough for 6 teapots to fit around my hips. That’s what made me the most excited–the prospect of matching up my patterns on the skirt!

It’s not 100% perfect, but from a distance, the sides are practically seamless and I’m utterly thrilled!

For the dress, I used a vintage reproduction pattern from Butterick–B5747, and went for the pencil skirt instead of the a-line version. The model on the website really doesn’t do the pattern justice; I’ve seen some other bloggers do some fantastic work with this pattern, but I hadn’t seen a pencil skirt version out there, so I’m pretty pleased with how everything turned out.

To review the pattern a little bit, the instructions were pretty straight-forward, although some mention that the part about sewing on the waistband was kind of ambiguous. Truthfully, I skipped their instructions on the waistband and sewed it on the way I knew was easiest for me. Everything inside the dress is finished with bias binding (I can’t get enough of the stuff), and the bottom hemline has been sewn down with clear thread instead of an invisible stitch. Ain’t nobody got time for invisible stitches.

I bought about two metres of the teapot-printed linen for around $20 from the upholstery section at Spotlight (I think it’s fabric meant for tablecloths or curtains or something) and stiff, white bridal satin from a local gem called Trad’s Liquidation Store for a couple of dollars! The button kit is the 27mm variety from Daiso Japan covered with scraps from the bridal satin. I still haven’t decided whether I’m going to add teapot patch pockets to the dress lined in the satin, but after several days working on this dress, I think I’m done for the month!

My verdict? Definitely a pattern I’ll use again and again. Next time, I plan to turn the neckline into a sailor collar and sew up a flared skirt. I’ve only ever sewn flared skirts from self-drafted patterns, so I want to see what it’s like to follow someone else’s guidelines for a change!



  1. […]  displacement activity editor dress & carbon chic teapot […]

  2. Silvia says:

    This is sooooo cuuuuuuuute!! the pattern and the design are beautiful!! :-)

  3. Jamie Rose says:

    It took me way too long to see this post. This dress is so amazing! You’re a sewing wizard. I think this pattern looks wonderful on you and the print on the dress is so quirky and cute!

    • Demi says:

      Haha, aww! You’re lovely, thank you! I’m really lucky to have found this fabric when I did, sold out pretty fast!

  4. Birgit says:

    I can’t believe your first dress looks like this… My first surely didn’t look THAT GOOD! I’m impressed! Great fabric, too, I really like the teapots :D

    • Demi says:

      To be fair it took me several days worth of work and seam ripping involved half of it, haha! Thank you very much, Birgit :) (I love teapots too)

  5. Sassy T says:

    To be featured on SSB tomorrow, thanks for permitting. ❀

  6. Patricia says:

    It is awesome! Great job. It suits you to a tee (pardon the pun).

    I have put down sewing as something I would like to try this year.

    • Demi says:

      Haha you’re too late, I heard that pun a few days ago! :P You should definitely give it a go–so much fun and endless possibilities!

  7. Sassy T says:

    Thanks. I will let you know in the future.

  8. Bronwyn says:

    this is so cute, well done! the fabric is amazing and the collar is lovely. its so well done too

  9. Sassy T says:

    Very pretty!
    Would you mind me sharing this on SSB in the future as part of my Retro Wednesday series? I credit, link to your post and let you know when featured.

  10. Harlow says:

    LOVE this dress – that teapot fabric is so gorgeous and I really love the cut and the collar! Hugo is so adorable, what breed is he?

  11. Esther says:

    Oh, it looks great! Amazing job matching up the tea pots!!!

  12. CiCi Marie says:

    This is amazing – I’m so impressed, particularly at the teapots lining up! Such a cute pattern, such a cute style… I am in envy at your skills again! Also… invisible thread?! If only I’d known before my hemming disaster… Sigh. CC x

    • Demi says:

      Thank you so much, CiCi! Yeah, I am ashamed to admit that I only discovered invisible thread like a month ago.. it’s like very very very fine fishing line, awesome stuff. Just zipped right across the hemline, couldn’t be bothered doing an invisible stitch after all that work, haha!

  13. Jen says:

    Oh wow! It looks great! So much so that I cannot believe you’ve not made a dress before?! Those side seams are beautifully matched. Did you have to make any alterations to the pattern, or is this that how it fit out of the packet?

    • Demi says:

      Aww, that’s so lovely of you! This is pretty much exactly out of the packet. I added belt loops and slimmed down the waist a touch with a second set of pleats to the front because it was too big around my middle.

  14. Klara says:

    This is so beautiful! The first thing I noticed was how seamlessly you joined the side seams of the skirt. I had to zoom in to make sure there was any seam at all! Very clean work, congratulations! And it suits you perfectly. Now I want to make it myself.

    • Demi says:

      I am quite impressed myself at how seamless (heh) the seams look from a distance! Definitely the perfect fabric for these hips, haha :) Thank you so much! I’d love to see your version of it–you sew beautifully.

  15. erin says:

    Oh it’s such a pretty dress, amazing job for a first dress! Love the teapots and the wide collar!

    • Demi says:

      I don’t know what I was scared of, I should make more dresses! I’m glad you like the collar, part of me was worrying whether it was comically large or something, haha.

  16. QSue says:

    Great matching of pattern, fabric and pattern – fabulous work!

  17. Beautifully executed ! I would not add pockets, it is simple and very flattering. Superb job Demi!

    • Demi says:

      Awwww Aunt Adrian, thank you for coming here to comment! Mum says no to the pockets too, but boy am I tempted..

  18. Natalie says:

    Wowza! That looks AMAZING! Such a great job!

  19. Claire says:

    That’s such a great print that you chose! And I adore the pattern you used too, because the final piece looks amazing. Fair play, this is a great outfit you made!

    Claire //

  20. Beth says:

    Oh how divine!! Suits you to a . . . TEA!

    • Demi says:

      That is an excellent pun! :P I am quite ashamed I didn’t do a teapot pose for these photos.. opportunity lost..

  21. Becca Lynn says:

    Oh my gosh, this is crazy adorable! You did such a fantastic job with it, and your first dress is def a success :]

    • Demi says:

      Thank you Becca Lynn! I’m really happy with how it turned out too, it’s great to hear such good feedback!

  22. Colette says:

    Well done! Great match of pattern to fabric and nice tea pot matching ;o) Looks great with those shoes. Have to get my butt to Trad’s one day and see what they have.

    • Demi says:

      Thank you so much! (These are like the standard shoes for all my sewing projects nowadays, haha). You should definitely check out Trads, they always have heaps of cool stuff :)


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