Butterfly Dance Doris Dress

I have finished sewing another Sew Over It Doris Dress but this time I used a quilting cotton.

I first used fabrics from the Butterfly Dance collection by Sally Kelly (for Windham Fabrics) in 2018 when I made an English Paper Piecing quilt for British Patchwork and Quilting.

I immediately fell in love with the vibrant summer colours and beautiful floral designs throughout the whole fabric collection. When I first made the Doris dress I just knew I wanted to make another one but with a fabric from this collection too!

The rich colours, detailed patterns and overall vibrancy means this fabric was a winner from the start! So, I prewashed the fabric and started cutting out the pieces (with Misha’s help of course!)

The Doris dress has 2 variations: a shorter version (suitable for fabric with a width of 115cm and up) and a knee length version (suitable for fabric with a width of 140cm). As this stunning fabric is a quilting cotton it isn’t wide enough for the knee length dress version but the shorter version is quite short on me (as I am 5′ 7″) so I didn’t want to make anything indecent! I decided to adapt the pattern slightly to make the dress a length that lands between the 2! For this, I used the fabulous Clover curve ruler with mini ruler set.

Clover products are always incredibly high quality and so I knew this would be a great ruler set from the start.

There are 3 rulers in the pack: a shallow curve ruler (the middle ruler) for hems and hip lines, the deep curve ruler (top ruler) for necklines and arm holes) and the mini straight ruler (bottom ruler). What is really clever about this set is how it also shows you the what the radius of the arc is at different points on the ruler (where it says ‘R50’). How clever is that?!

I used the shallow curve ruler to adjust the length of the dress so that it wasn’t too short but also so I could create the fullest AND longest skirt possible from the quilting cotton.

I also used a lightweight Vlieseline interlining (F220) which is made from 100% recyled polyester. We live in a world where we are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of reducing our carbon footprint and recycling anything and everything. I love that Vlieseline are creating products that support this aim!

Once the dress was sewn, it was time to choose the buttons for the finishing touch. This meant I had another opportunity to venture into my precious button tin which I inherited from my Grandma (who was also called Doris). There are so many beautiful buttons and I love how a lot of them are still on the cards – it is a real piece of social history! Why don’t we do buttons like this any more?

There were a lot of different options but my eyes were repeatedly drawn to these golden yellow buttons.

This is a bold choice for me! I thought I would go for a delicate navy button so choosing these buttons definitely pushed me out of my safe, comfort zone! I am so pleased with how they turned out though!

They really work beautifully with the rich colours in the fabric!

So with another Doris dress completed, it was time to start twirling (which I have decided should be obligatory now with any outfit that calls for it!)

The dress pattern and the fabric has so much swishability! You just have to be careful not to overswish as there is a very real risk of falling over….!

I managed to catch myself just in time! I love this fabric, I love the dress pattern and I love how they’ve enabled me to create the perfect new summer dress! It also gave me the perfect chance to start using my new Janome overlocker (Olivia the overlocker) – isn’t she a beauty? I love how compact it is yet still being incredibly powerful and enabling a much more professional finish to dressmaking!