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071: Button loops & festive frills: the Lily Button (party) dress

with Jacqui Blakemore

In this article:

Episode 71: Sew Mindful Podcast

Getting Party-Ready plus SPECIAL OFFER!

In this article I want to talk about finding the ideal party dress pattern that strikes the perfect balance between being flattering, comfortable, and easy to follow.

With the festive season just around the corner, the hunt for the ultimate party dress can be quite a quandary. You want a pattern that is easy to follow in a relatively short time. It needs to have dressy design details that make people surprised to hear that you made it. And you feel like a million dollars wearing it.

And as a special extra (festive) gift I’ve got another special offer just for you so read on to find out more about a dress pattern that I think is super flattering, extremely dressy and feminine and just enough of a challenge to make you feel like a sewing superstar.

My Recent Sewing Project: Made Label's Lily Button Dress Pattern

If there's one thing I absolutely love, it's discovering and sharing the joy of sewing patterns, fabrics, and making with you. Today, I'm excited to dive into my latest sewing project with you – the enchanting Lily Button dress pattern.

Lily Button Dress by Made Label
Lily Button Dress by Made Label

I'll walk you through the pattern's description, fabric and notions recommendations, sizing tips, and the techniques I used to create a dress that's both timeless and elegant. Let's dive in! So, grab your favorite cup of tea, settle in, and let's talk about this delightful pattern.

Pattern Testing

I had the pleasure of testing out the Lily Button dress pattern as part of Made Label's website relaunch. And let me tell you, it was an absolute joy!

This dress immediately caught my eye with its classic silhouette, flutter sleeves, and a delicate frill skirt detail. What's more, it can be sewn in either a mini or midi length, making it versatile for various occasions. As someone who appreciates the beauty of flutter sleeves and feminine details, this pattern was a perfect choice for me.

Getting to Know the Lily Dress Pattern

My Lily Button Dress
My Lily Button Dress

The pattern includes bust and waist darts, loop over buttons, a center-front closure, flutter sleeves, a waist tie, and a delicate flounce detail.

It's described as suitable for advanced beginners, which I found to be a fitting description. The pattern comes in PDF format, and includes comprehensive instructions, pattern pieces for two size ranges, and helpful tips on selecting the right size and fabric requirements.

The recommended fabrics for this pattern include rayon, silk, linen, crepe de chine, and slub, perfect for adding that touch of elegance to your creation. The pattern instructions include a visual chart summarizing these fabric recommendations, making it easier to choose the right one for your project.

When it comes to fabric requirements, it's worth noting that for the mini length in the smallest size, you'll need approximately 2.2 meters of 51-inch or 130 cm wide fabric. For the midi length in the largest size, you'll require about 3.9 meters.

Additionally, you'll need 12mm or ½-inch buttons (10 for the mini length and 20 for the midi length), around 0.6 meters of sew-in interfacing, and an 18mm bias tape maker if you plan to make your own bias binding.

My Fabric and Button Choices

For my Lily Button dress, I decided to use a beautiful rose-colored viscose fabric that I had bought a whole bolt of (for wearable toiles). It turned out to be the perfect match for this pattern, and I was delighted with the results.

As for buttons, I initially bought self-cover buttons but found that they didn't quite work with the viscose fabric. Ultimately, I opted for silver-colored dome-shaped buttons on a shank, which I felt added a touch of elegance to the dress.

Speaking of covered buttons, I must mention DM Buttons, who offer a fantastic service for professionally covering buttons for those who want a customized touch. You can send them a piece of your fabric, choose the button size and style you desire, and they'll cover them and send them back to you. I've had a great experience with them in the past, and I highly recommend checking them out.

Finding the Perfect Fit: Sizing and Adjustments

Back view of Lily Button Dress showing delicate tie
Back view showing delicate tie

The Lily Dress pattern offers a size range that goes up to size 30, accommodating a 64-inch bust at the largest cup size. It's split into two parts, with some overlap in the middle. The pattern also provides five cup options across the entire size range, ensuring a personalized fit.

When I made my Lily Button dress, my measurements were a 36.5-inch bust, 31.5-inch waist, and 41-inch hip. Initially, I followed my instincts and past experiences, which led me to cut out the bodice in a 10 C cup, despite the pattern's recommendation for a 12 A cup.

However, a quick fitting test revealed that I had made a mistake, as the 10 C cup resulted in a baggy fit under the bust.

I corrected it by following the pattern's recommendation for the 12 A cup, which proved to be spot on.

The pattern offers extensive guidance on choosing the right size, and I highly recommend watching the linked video, even if you're an experienced sewist like me. It also provides valuable information on checking other measurements, such as the bodice length from neck to waist, ensuring a well-fitted dress.

Exploring Exciting Techniques

Button loops and testing buttons on Lily Button Dress
Button loops and testing buttons

There are a wide range of techniques in this pattern that add unique details and make sewing this dress a really interesting make.

While it includes instructions for creating the entire dress with French seams, I opted for standard seams for my first attempt due to time constraints. However, I do plan to try the French seam option for my next version.

One standout technique in this pattern is the use of sew-in interfacing for the front neckline. It's essential to handle V-neck fabric with care, as it's cut on the bias and prone to stretching. The sew-in interfacing provides stability and ensures a beautifully fitting V neckline.

Remember to ease your fabric to match the length of the interfacing during the attachment process (as your fabric may seem to be a bit longer than the interfacing piece). This will ensure that you get a great fitting neckline.

Darts and a set-in sleeve are also part of the pattern, along with bias binding to finish the inside edge of the dress. While I had primarily used facings in the past, I found that the bias binding provided a lovely finish, albeit adding a bit of time to create the bias strips.

Rolled hems are used on the sleeves and frill due to their long edges, and I followed the instructions for the sleeve hems. However, I found using my rolled hem foot more efficient for the frills.

Even if you opt for the non-French seam version, you'll still use a French seam to attach the frill to the bottom edge of the skirt. This attention to detail adds a touch of elegance to the inside of the garment, ensuring a polished finish.

Lastly, the dress features rouleau button loops and thin rouleau-style ties. I was initially nervous about creating the button loops, especially when faced with positioning 20 loops consistently down the front of the dress. Fortunately, the pattern provides a fantastic button loop template and an accompanying video, making this part of the construction surprisingly easy.

My Learnings

Button loop turner and guide tool
Button loop turner and guide tool

This project did allow me to try some new techniques and brush up my skills on some lesser used ones. I had never attempted that quantity of button loops before.

I have made button up dresses before and found it can be difficult to get the buttons and buttonholes to sit flat when wearing. But the button loop closure turned out to be not only a lot more forgiving but also provided a better fit, making me a real fan.

I have sewn French seams before too, but not for some time and this first version of the dress definitely highlighted that I need more practice. On my first attempt I didn't properly trim the edge of the first seam allowance. Because my fabric is prone to fraying this meant I did get some wisps of fabric poking through the second seam. I've learned my lesson and will improve next time.

I also discovered room for improvement in creating rouleau loops. They turned out a bit wider than I would have liked, partly due to pressing, which flattened them more than I would have liked. Next time, I'll avoid that mistake.

This project also gave me the chance to dust off tools I hadn't used in a while, such as my rouleau loop turner, bias binding maker, and sew-in interfacing, which I don't often use as my go-to interfacing is usually iron-on. But for this project, the sew-in interfacing made it much easier to get the fabric to take the right length and shape for the V-neckline.

Downsides & niggles

In terms of things I didn’t like about it or that I would change, the pattern pieces do have the notches marked as triangles going outside the pattern piece which is not my personal favourite as I think that makes it more time consuming to cut out.

And I think if I made it again I would raise up the V neck as after wearing it, it is lovely but a bit too low when I move around.

Other than that, apart from my mistake in choosing the size, I didn’t have to change anything. Once I did choose the right size, the fit was really good and it was nice to be able to make without having to do lots of blending sizes and fitting alterations.


The pattern costs £11.50 in the UK, $22 AUS and $14 US (with lots of other currencies also available) and that includes access to all of the video tutorials which is really great value.

But I also have a special offer for you. If you use the code SEWMINDFUL at check out, you will get 30% off - how amazing is that!

Offer code for 30% off: SEWMINDFUL

The offer code is also valid until the 31st December, but I’d say don’t wait around, get this onto your project list!

Would I make it again?

My finished Lily Button Dress
My finished Lily Button Dress

All in all as you can probably tell I’m a big fan of this pattern and the work that has gone into creating the resources that go with it.

I will be making it again both for the spring/summer and I’d also like to try it in maybe a linen blend or viscose twill for the cooler months.

FREE pattern

This is a great dress and it does incorporate some lovely design details that I think give it a really feminine edge. If you’d like to try out one of Made Label’s patterns for FREE then you can also download the Frankie Wrap skirt which also has that lovely frill detail completely free.

FREE Sewing planner

And there is also a really comprehensive FREE sewing project planner on the Made Label site which allows you to sketch out and plan your makes so be sure to also check that out.

If you do make this or any of the other Made Label patterns then I’d love to see how they turn out and get your feedback so be sure to email me or DM me with pictures.

I hope you have found this review helpful. If you have, please do share it with your sewing friends.

To listen to the podcast version of this topic click on your favourite podcast app below:

And if you would like more help with any of the aspects mentioned in this article or this podcast episode then I would love to hear from you so do please email me at

Thanks for taking the time to read this article and I hope you find some useful tips that you can apply.

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Thank you so much for listening and for all your support. x

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