A Pulled Thread Unravels

Spotty Ultimate Dress Collage

This dress arrived with a large side dish of failure.

The fabric is a lightweight wool crepe (I’m guessing) bought from a House Of Hackney sample sale. Even in the sale, the fabric wasn’t cheap but I couldn’t resist that random splatter of polka dots. I thought it would make the perfect Ultimate Shift Dress. And it did. Until…

Dress assembled, I noticed that a thread had pulled across the upper chest. With those polka dots, a pulled thread was very, very obvious. No choice. I had to slice the dress apart and recut a front piece. It took me 24 hours to gird my loins for the task in hand, but with equilibrium restored it was much less painful than I’d imagined. Patience, patience…

heart button

A reader recently asked if I use the pattern’s instructions to close this dress’s rear neckline with a hook and eye. Never! On every iteration, I’ve sewn a roulette loop and picked out an accompanying button. On this occasion, a glass heart. I can go into more details on a future blog post if it would help.

This is my third Ultimate Shift Dress. Someone commented on the 60s vibe of my outfits and haircut, of late. To be fair, I’m just looking for comfort. I’m about ready to leave this pattern alone for now, but I do really love it. Just remind me not to pull any more threads…

Spotty Ultimate Dress ii


This entry was posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to A Pulled Thread Unravels

  1. Trish says:

    It looks lovely! Worth all the extra effort!

  2. Melody A. says:

    I love the dress, especially the polka dots! It looks smashing on you !!! and thank you for posting your mistakes, errors, whatever one calls them so I know that experienced sewists still have things happen too. Love you blog!

  3. Melody A. says:

    it should have said ” Love your blog! “

  4. Fab! Love how you’ve styled it too.

  5. Gayle says:

    Nice dress. Love, love, love the fabric. Great shoes. Comfortable clothing is so much fun to make. You end up living in them!! But to be that cute and comfortable, WAY TO GO!

  6. Love it! and that button is perfect!

  7. Wow, nice dress! It’s beautiful, especially with the cute polka dot pattern. Can you please explain how you have made this dress and the sewingpattern? 🙂 x

  8. sewsincity says:

    I love the glass heart button! Those polka dots are awesome too.

  9. bayeaston says:

    Love, love, love this dress. Lucky you to sew so well. I’m not quite up to clothing yet.

  10. Irene says:

    Lovely! Those polka dots are to die for.

  11. Becca says:

    Looks great! Amazing job 🙂

  12. lisa g says:

    Well worth persevering on this one, it’s perfect in that fabric. Very cute!

  13. you look amazing in that dress, beautiful anyway, but that dress is WOW!

  14. heather says:

    love it! & yes, i would like to know how you do that button (pretty), please? happy holidays! 🙂

  15. claregarden says:

    Love your dress the fabric is stunning ! I would love to know how you do your roulade, I resort to a hook and hand stitched eye

  16. Catia says:

    It looks amazing! Despite the trouble, the fabric looks super gorgeous!

  17. Nane says:

    Absolutely lovely dress. And perfectly styled.

  18. Nadine in NC says:

    I love this dress; the fabric is gorgeous. I guess I’m just lazy, but I would have just added a white grosgrain ribbon to cover the pull and then added another of a different width at the hem so it looked “planned.” I suspect that would have really looked 60’s though so maybe not the look you were going for. I admire your perseverance and am sure you will wear this dress a lot.

  19. Elisabeth says:

    60s or no 60s, it’s a pretty dress! And I like your hair too. Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of 60s wibe?

  20. susan says:

    It looks gorgeous – worth all the effort of taking it apart and reassembling. I live a good shift dress – they look nice and smart but are secretly so comfie!!!!

  21. Frankie says:

    I always close with a loop and button, gives me chance to use up all of those odd buttons I have that are too pretty to throw away!


  22. All your ultimate shift dress versions make me want to buy the pattern and this one is no exception. I have to agree with all the others it was worth the effort of recutting the front! Wonderful print!

  23. Deborah says:

    Do post a tutorial. I have such an awful time getting the loops to turn neatly. I’d love to see how you do it. The red flats look perfect with your dress!

  24. dokucug says:

    Love this dress! This is such a great look on you.

  25. Sheree says:

    Have liked all your ultimate dresses. A great basic that looks completely different depending on the fabric. Cut mine out this week and to be on the safe side added to the side seams. Having tacked and tried on, I think ( and hope) it’s going to work well. One question which I hope you will have time to answer Karen. According to the instructions the neck facings have no interfacing. It goes against all I have ever learnt. What did you do?

    • Good question! I’ve always added lightweight interfacing to the facings as, like you, that’s how I’m used to doing things.

      • Sheree says:

        Thanks. That has confirmed it for me. Can’t stand it when facings flop out all the time, which I think would happen without interfacing. I have a tendency to always follow patterns exactly as stated ( just as I will follow a recipe word for word when cooking). I should be more confident and go with my instincts more.

  26. Joen says:

    My mother once made my sisters dress for a school dance and noticed a thread on the top of the sleeve as they were taking pictures. Well needless to say she pulled the thread and whole sleeve came undone!LOL I always remember that so I’m very careful about pulling a thread!

  27. PsychicKathleen says:

    I love this dress too especially in this fabric. I had a disaster this week too and ended up tossing the whole works. Good for you for persevering and cutting out another bodice. It was worth it 🙂

  28. Peta Louise says:

    Gorgeous dress Karen! The patience (and presumably frustration!) involved in replacing the front panel was definitely worth it 😀

  29. redsilvia says:

    It’s fabulous! I’m glad the extra hassle was worth it. I’m sure you’ll wear this one tons.

  30. Melanie says:

    Grrr, how frustrating to have a pulled thread! But I must say, you handled it with the resolve of a true meditation master. Great fix. The great dress carries on. Yes, I love the ’60s vibe but I can see how the comfort factor makes you partial to this style.

  31. I would be lured by random dots too!! It is fabulous.Jo x

  32. Absolutely worth the recutting of the front. So lovely.

  33. Krystyna says:

    I must admit I NEARLY prefer reading about your failures than your successes. It makes me less guilty when I fail – again and again.
    Thank you; best wishes.

  34. Fabulous shift dress. The polka dots are very cute. You really rock that style. Fabulous shoes BTW. Xx

  35. Gail says:

    It might be your third, but I’m not bored yet. The spots rock.

  36. Pingback: By Hand London- Anna strikes again | sewniptuck

  37. vintage51 says:

    Reblogged this on vintagethrifter51.com and commented:
    Love this dress, and goodness knows, I love me some polka dots. And navy and white together, so awesome. Cheers, Michele

  38. Marjorie says:

    I’m new here…..what pattern did you use? The dots are fabulous, btw.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.