Welcome to the Fawn Dress Button Front Hack Tutorial!
This is a great hack to do to our classic Fawn Dress pattern and is also suitable for when you are pregnant and it is breastfeeding friendly!
Plus SURPRISE Ali is growing a new little team member for
Common Stitch, a little girl due in August!
When I make new additions for my wardrobe I like them to serve many functions and this one does just that! I made this when I was 16 weeks pregnant (finally found some energy!) and it should see me all throughout my pregnancy and for my breastfeeding journey afterwards, so it's a win win! Plus you don't need to be pregnant or breastfeeding to make this, it's just a fun hack to do and gets you more variety from your Fawn Dress pattern!
For reference I made my usual size 8 in this pattern as it is already an oversized style. I used approx. 2m of light-weight cotton fabric all up and it only took me a day to cut and sew it all together. I'll pop my 'before pregnancy' measurements below for you for reference. My body is changing every week so I haven't re-measured myself for this make.
In this journal article I'll take you through all the alterations to the pattern pieces I did (super simple) and the modified process of sewing it together. The original instructions that are referenced are available in our Fawn Dress Pattern - digital + paper versions available.
The below is a list of all the alterations I did to the pattern pieces and the new pattern pieces I made - all super simple and easy, they are not scary!
Please note these alterations are made based on my personal body measurements and where my natural waist sits, they may be slightly different for you. Definitely check the length of the bodice pattern piece against you before making the length alteration! I made the bodice to sit above my growing bump and the skirt flows on from there for maximum comfort and growing space.
As I am putting an opening at the front I didn't want the centre back seam design feature also. I took out 1cm seam allowance at the centre back and cut this piece on the fold. I also took 10cm off the length of this piece.
This piece I cut out as a pair (not on the fold) so that it would be in two pieces for a centre front opening. I added in 1cm to the centre front of each piece for the opening seam allowance. I also took 10cm off the length of this piece.
I made this approx. 4cm longer to give me extra to fold the ends in at the centre front opening. I still had to trim this a little whilst sewing the final end.
I decided to not do pockets on this dress as the fabric is quite 'light + floaty' and I didn't want heavy phones in pockets weighing it down at all.
Even though I took 10cm off the bodice pieces I only added on 3cm to the skirt pieces as this was the overall length I wanted (I have a short torso). You may want to add more or less depending on the length you are after.
I also made my panels a bit wider as I had enough fabric to do so and I wanted some more volume in my skirt as my fabric was light weight. This will also help it fit over a bigger bump when the times comes! (This is completely optional, I ended up using the remaining width of my fabric to use it all up. It'll still fit fine with using the original pattern piece.)
I made a pair of simple facings for the centre front. This gave more support for the buttons and a neat closing sequence for the opening - aka you can wear it with a few buttons un-done and you don't see all the overlocked seams inside!
Diagram below of how to make a pattern piece for this using the Front Bodice piece.
Now you could easily use cord elastic for you button loops but I was after a different look. I made teeny tiny binding from my fabric to make my loops - measurements below.
I made one long piece then cut it into smaller sizes for each loop. This worked well for a 1.2cm diameter button. Check the size of the buttons you are using before cutting this piece - you may need to adjust. I used 7 buttons in total for mine and they were spaced 4cm apart (centre to centre).
Now that all the alterations are covered I'll walk you through the slight modification + addition of steps to make this. They differ slightly from the usual sequence of making the Fawn, due to the centre front opening.
Join both shoulder seams together, right sides of fabric facing each other.
Overlock / Zig-Zag to finish and press the seams to the back of the bodice.
Overlock / Zig-Zag the outer edges of your two facing pieces (do this separately).
We are now going to attach the facing to the side of the bodice you would like the buttons on (left side when wearing it). Right sides of fabric facing each other, sew along the centre front edge and finish with your overlocker / zig-zag stitch to finish the seam. Fold this around so it is sitting on the inside of the bodice and give it a good press.
Before we attach the facing to the other side we are going to sew on the button loops. This means all the exposed ends will be encapsulated in the facing and hidden from view.
Pin your button loops (fabric or cord elastic) onto the right hand side of your bodice piece, on the right side of the fabric. Making sure the loops face towards the garment. We recommend holding them in place with washi tape whilst you sew over them. It easily pulls off afterwards and your loops stay in place!
Now that the button loops are attached, we are going to sew the facing on. Right sides of fabric facing each other, sew along the centre front edge and finish with your overlocker / zig-zag stitch to finish the seam. Make sure to encase the ends of your button loops when stitching down. Fold this around so it is sitting on the inside of the bodice and give it a good press. Your button loops will now be facing towards the centre front opening.
Make your neck binding as per the original Fawn Dress instruction booklet (step 03). Additionally fold both ends in 1cm for a clean finish to the exposed edges.
Attach your neck binding, starting at the centre front, working your way around the neckline and back to the opposite centre front. Make sure the exposed ends are folded in 1cm before stitching down for a clean finish and no fraying.
Place the binding on the right side of the garment and unfold the edge of the binding closest to the raw edge of the neck hole. Stitch in the fold ditch of the binding.
Roll the binding around to the inside of the garment keeping the binding folded. Stitch the folded edge of the binding onto the body of the garment. This is the only stitch line you will see from the outside of the dress.
Time to attach your buttons!
Before sewing on your buttons, place the side with the button holes on top of the remaining side and use pins to mark where your buttons should be placed. This will be 1cm in from the edge of your facing to the centre of your button.
Sew on your buttons.
The centre front bodice pieces will sit butted up next to each other (not overlapping).
Continue sewing your dress as per the original Fawn Dress instruction booklet. These will be from Step 7 onwards for views A + B (sleeves) and Step 6 onwards for views C + D (sleeveless) (skipping step 7 as we have already joined both shoulder seams).
This dress has been in my wardrobe for a week now and I have worn it on multiple occasions! It is super comfortable and looks so cute! It can easily be dressed up or down and I already have plans for more in different fabrics. I can also see myself wearing it long after pregnancy which is great for my sustainable wardrobe.
Make sure to tag us on socials if you end up making this hack! We'd love to follow along on your sewing journey and see all the things you've been making. Plus stay tuned for some more fun hacks + projects coming your way!
@common_stitch #FawnDress #FawnDressHack
A little note to anyone going through fertility struggles, we know these announcements can be bloody hard to see, trust us we've both been there. IUI, IVF, OHSS - between Charlie and I we've been through it all and then some. We see you and are here for you. Our best piece of advice is to surround yourself with people who will always check in on you, let you vent and give you fertility crystals.