Lately I have been seeing the cutest button-up dresses, and of course I wanted to make my own. I had every intention of hacking a button-up pattern myself, but fortunately the ladies at Do It Better Yourself made the perfect button-up pattern! The Julianne has the following options:
- 3 neckline options: traditional collar, hood and fold-over collar
- 2 button-up options: full or half
- 4 sleeve lengths: short, ebow, 3/4 cuffed and long cuffed
- optional roll up cuff button tab
- 8 hem lengths: shirt, tunic, mid-thigh dress and above the knee dress (each of these can be curved or straight)
- optional drawstring waist
Usually I have prefer purchasing my fabric from online stores. There are so many great sources for fabric online, especially knit fabrics. However, Jo-Ann fabrics has an excellent selection of flannel fabrics that are perfect for the Julianne (it would look great in chambray or other woven fabrics as well). I knew that I wanted to make a Julianne dress in plaid, and I found this gorgeous purple and blue plaid flannel.
I decided to make a mid-thigh length dress with the curved hem, drawstring waist, 3/4 cuff sleeves with a roll up button tab. Since I was using a plaid fabric, I was very intentional with how I cut out each of my pieces of fabric. I cut the back yoke and the cuffs on the bias, which I think adds a nice look. In order to get the plaids to match on the sides of my dress, I made sure to carefully lay out the bodice pattern pieces. I find the easiest way to do this is to make sure that the bottom of the armscye is lined up on the same stripe of the plaid for both the front and back bodice pieces. When I am trying to match up a pattern on my fabric, I use a lot of clips/pins and I sew slowly to ensure that the fabric doesn’t shift. It is always satisfying to see your pattern match up on the seams!
While I was very intentional with how I cut out most of my fabric, I did have a fun surprise with the collar. The collar you see on this dress, was actually the third one I cut out. The first one I cut out ended up being too small. During testing we discovered that a stay stitch is needed on the neckline of the bodice pieces, or they will stretch out when you are sewing everything together. This has been added to the instructions and I would definitely encourage you to make sure you do not skip that step! Since, I had not sewn a stay stitch, my neckline did change slightly and my first collar didn’t fit. For my second collar I thought I would cut it on the bias, but quickly realized it didn’t look right with the back yoke being cut on the bias. Finally, when I cut out the collar for the third time I was just anxious to finish my dress. After sewing in on, I found that completely by accident the plaid lined up perfectly with the back bodice (under the yoke) of the dress!
The only modification I made on my Julianne, was that I moved that drawstring casing up 1″ from the pattern marking. I did this so that the drawstring would hit at my natural waist. I did not alter the cuffs this time, however when I make them again I will take them in a bit, since I found them to be bigger that I would prefer. Also, if you choose to make the long sleeve, roll up cuffs you will want to find a fabric that is the same on both sides. My fabric has a right and wrong side, so if I were to roll the cuffs up more that once you would see the wrong side of the fabric. The 3/4 sleeves are only rolled up once, so I did not have that problem.
I am so happy with my new dress! I am excited to try out some of the other options in the pattern, and I definitely need a shirt length Julianne. Tomorrow I am part of the Julianne blog tour and I will be sharing how I hacked a long sleeve Julianne to have ties at the wrists!
Modifications: I moved the drawstring casing up 1″ so that it hit at my natural waist. The next time I make the cuffs, I will make them a little smaller.
Recommendations: Make sure to stay stitch the neckline before sewing to prevent it from stretching out.
Fabric: Flannel from Jo-Ann Fabrics