By the Numbers

Remember those nursery curtains I bought at Target? They turned into this:

DwellBaby Target fabric dress

It's Butterick 2626, the same dress as the one in this post. It's not ironed — this is how it looks after being hung up wet from the dryer.

I didn't realize until I took the picture how … prominent … the numbers are on the bodice. In my mind, it's an alphabet dress, not a numbers dress, but I don't mind. (And since I'm going to be wearing this mostly for work, I hope I earworm everyone I meet with Dolly Parton's "9 to 5".)

It took me forever to figure out what buttons to use, until I remembered I bought fifteen packets of covered-button forms at the last Hancock's notions sale:
DwellBaby Target fabric dress

The covered buttons were EASY. There's a template on the back of the package and then all you have to do is get the fabric wet and put it in the mold. It took less time to make the buttons than it did to sew them on. (Just remember to check the orientation of the shanks if your buttons have a definite up-and-down … a couple of mine are sewn on an angle for that reason!)

If I had it to do over again, I would, and with a glad heart, but this time I'd unpick the curtain hems BEFORE washing them; the sizing made the fabric stiff and in my haste I ripped one of the hems along the seamline, which made cutting-out a bit awkward. (If you have rips or stains in your fabric, you can mark them the way I do, with blue painter's tape — it's stiff enough so that you can feel it from the wrong side but it comes off easily without leaving any sticky stuff behind.)

The obligatory "Let me show you where I screwed up" part is here:

DwellBaby Target fabric dress

The skirt has an interesting slashed/darted opening on the left for the zipper, and the right-hand side is supposed to have just a plain dart. Which I forgot to make. Which means the back skirt is not centered on the back bodice. To which I say: big whoop; I gave up being worried if people were staring at my ass a decade ago.

Here's the full back view:

DwellBaby Target fabric dress

Despite that annoyance and assorted others (if you remember, this is the dress where I turned front and back bodice gathers into darts, plus I had to let out the waist an inch, which is irritating on a skirt with side-seam pleats) I will probably make this pattern at least once more. It's so comfortable!

If you're playing "spot the pockets", they're set in the front skirt seam, between the third and fourth outermost pleats. Very convenient!

0 thoughts on “By the Numbers

  1. fix your site Erin. Put DressADay where it belongs, without this odd /dressaday.html silliness. I can show you how to do it if you want.

    Like

  2. I know how to do it; it’s just that it’s linked all over the web at the /dressaday.html address … and by lots of folks who wouldn’t bother to update/change. I’m happy with the way it is, but thanks for the offer.

    Like

  3. first off, those buttons are adorable.Did you thin out the skirt a bit? The a-line doesn’t look as extreme as it does in the picture. The fabric worked out so well!

    Like

  4. You totally crack me up. Can you somehow work the word “to” in there between 9 and 5? Maybe THAT’S what needs to go on one of the bodice buttons.CarolExtreme Cards and Papercrafting

    Like

  5. I especially loved the buttons. And I wouldn’t worry about the small goof in the back- I have seen far worse offered up for sale in middle and even high end stores!

    Like

  6. I was happily admiring your numb3rs dress until you had to say Dolly Parton…….the music!!!!!!!!! make it stop!!!!make it stop!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  7. It worked. I’m totally singing 9 to 5 now. :)But I did notice the “e” buttons first. I gasped and said, “brilliant” to myself. The e’s eclipsed the 9 & 5 at first. But when I looked again, I swooned at the perfection of it being a work dress.

    Like

  8. This Saturday’s episode of “George Shrinks” on PBS featured Perdita Shrinks in a black-on-white clock-themed dress. Big skirt with black numbers on it, and a clock hat. I think it’s the “If It Ain’t Broke” episode. Anyway, I thought of you and your numbers/letters dresses.Please don’t ask why I was watching “George Shrinks”, though.

    Like

  9. Earworm! (although I prefer the Alison Krauss version, it’s got a Delta vibe.)E is for ErinE is for ExcellentE is for… envious!

    Like

  10. Oh it’s gorgeous! Congratulations. I love me some covered buttons. I do them all the time. Sometimes I wonder why I have this ginormous button stash when I use covered buttons so often.–Lydia

    Like

  11. LOVE the buttons (perhaps you should add “covered buttons” to your tags?)…they caught my eye right away. Lowercase “e”s are so lovely, they always look to me like they’re smiling.And I’m not mad about the Dolly Parton earworm at all – love her!

    Like

  12. I’m with you, covered buttons are the best and these are awsome! I also noticed them before I noticed the ginormous 9 and 5. There’s no reason to sweat the off-center back seam unless it pulls funny. Only another sewer would be likely to pick it out and they’d probably be sympathetic, anyway.

    Like

  13. Love it! The E buttons are a dorable and it is so funny how 9 and 5 ended up so big on a work dress. I have the ear worm by the way –thanks.

    Like

  14. The dress is quirky, alright. And I love it that it’s a work-dress. Your blog posts always make me smile. It’s the way your words flow.

    Like

  15. How could I resist a cheeky work dress and a Dolly Parton reference?Major kudos and hurrahs to you, Erin, for those covered E buttons. Oh, the covered buttons are making me plotz, and kvell.

    Like

  16. Erin, I watched the talk you gave on TED. I think this is a wonderful blog, and though I neither saw, nor wear dresses, I can see what one lexicographer does with her time.

    Like

  17. I LOVE the dress- the freshness of the fabric meets the vintage of the pattern. And the buttons E for Erin are fabulous. Bravo!

    Like

  18. ok I confess. I am a tad bit jealous of your ease with the covered buttons.It took me five freaking tries to get just one for the skirt I am working on.and does the earworm music ever stop?

    Like

  19. RE: Miss Frizzle’s wardrobe in the Magic School bus books and TV shows:Everytime I see one of these books, I am consumed with envy and lust for Miss Fizzle’s wardrobe. I desperately want an entire wardrobe of brightly colored clothing covered with images of reptiles or insects or monkeys or space vehicles or volcanoes or microscopes or bacteria or, or, or…. well, you get the picture(s).CMCps: My sedate software development engineer co-workers would just freak. All the more reason to start sewing.

    Like

  20. the buttons are enormously perfect! and who cares about the back. i didn’t notice it til you said so. and then i had to really LOOK to find the mistake.or maybe it just shows i’m blind!

    Like

  21. Love love love the buttons. I don’t even sew, except in my imagination, but I’ve seen those button-cover forms at JoAnn and I might make a couple “e” buttons just for the hell of it.-*e*laine

    Like

  22. Oh my! I love this dress!My (mostly) lovely husband has just peeped over my shoulder and asked why you made a dress that said Sex across the chest?!? “It’s a 5!” I screeched, “A FIVE!”.Sorry :-SAnna

    Like

  23. Hi Erin, your dress is great! You said that you had to let it out an inch… next time if you don’t alter the pattern… you might just either give up one pleat per side or make all the pleats smaller to gain your inch for the waist… that way you still get to keep your dearly loved pockets! Jean

    Like

  24. I really appreciate people like you who can see an item,curtain, and visualize and make it into something else. I hope that someone like myself who is what I call a “concrete” thinker sometimes can acquire this ability if they work at it. The dress is certainly appropriate for who you are. Love the covered button idea, perfect.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s