A Snowball for the Summer – with Butterflies

The Snowball dress by Waffle Patterns
The Snowball dress by Waffle Patterns


Voting has been re-opened for the Dressed to the Nines category following some unusual voting activity.  You can vote for me on Seamster Patterns Blog until midnight CST on Friday 20th June.

With very few days left until the end of May (what – how the heck did May disappear so fast??) here’s my entry for Sewing Indie Month.  Well, one of them at any rate! It all depends on how quickly I can run up the other patterns..

I browsed through all of the designers on the list – most of whom were complelely unknown to me, looking for something I could make and that would be worn, either by me or one of the girls.  I had other criteria – not too expensive, not too many pages to print if it was a PDF & it had to be something I wasn’t going to (or couldn’t) draft myself.  I also had to think about the categories that stuff has to be submitted in.

First on my list was this dress by Waffle Patterns.  I loved the 60s look of it & I can see it being made in fabrics suitable for all seasons – and occasions.  It went into the basket & was printed by Husband at work. Interestingly, you can chose to just print the size you want, makes it easier to trace, but I went for all of them, then I can trace from one size to the next if necessary.  The instructions & illustrations are great, actually the whole dress makes up really easily – depending on your finishing choices…


We had a Dickens of a time finding the right fabric.  Daughter No2 eventually chose this butterfly print heavyweight cotton (like a twill but without the twill weave) with a cream ground.  We were going to use a printed cotton canvas from the stash but discounted it because of the large print.  What followed then was a fair bit of fabric shopping, mostly just looking because nothing we saw felt right for the dress – until she spotted the butterflies.  We got it in a shop in Leamington Spa, but I notice Ditto Fabrics stocks the same stuff.


Making the dress was pretty straight forward, once I got my head round the unusual 1.2cm seam allowance.  My machine has a mark for 1cm & 1.5cm – I used a piece of masking tape to show where I was supposed to be, no way I wanted to make a mistake.  I added 3cm to the hem, my only adjustment.  Daughter No2 is – as said before – pretty tall & the dress as toiled without turning up the 3cm hem was the perfect length for her.  I made no other alterations, cutting the 36.  Although if I use a sturdy fabric like this again, I will grade from the 36 at the shoulders to a 34 at the waist.  I think it could have done with being taken in a little there.


I decided to finish the seams of the skirt with a pale blue bias, this finish was repeated on the hem edge and the edge of the facing pieces in the bodice.  I didn’t use it on the bodice seams because when you use Hong Kong finish on seams you add structure.  This fabric has enough structure to be getting on with – and the bodice did not need any more!  the hem was handstitched into place using herringbone stitch.  It’s a stitch I use a lot on hems, quick to do and holds in place well.

Pretty on the inside too!
Pretty on the inside too!

I am very happy with the result.  So very happy!  I had looked online for other versions of the dress to see what other people had done, but couldn’t find anything.  Has no-one else used this pattern??  Really?  Same!  It’s fab, and I’m definitely making more..  I have a feeling that grey & black wool houndstooth I wanted to make the 1935 cropped jacket in will be fabulous in this for the winter.  I can see it with a black long sleeved t-shirt underneath & a madly coloured pair of tights & long boots.  This is the shape of dress that suits Daughter No2 down to the ground!



I didn’t spend a huge amount of time on trying to match the pattern.  It was not symmetrical, being a half drop meant that I’d have spent a lot of time on my hands & knees cutting out one layer at a time.  Instead I tried to get some sort of continuation.  The front bodice has a clump of butterflies near the waist seam on the left, another in the centre and more on the right shoulder.  For the skirt I tried to place the centre front panel where the pattern was best & fullest and let the rest land where they did!  It worked out ok in the end – I think!


Happy with her choice!
Happy with her choice!

Now to pick a category for Sewing Indie.  I’m going to take a chance and enter it in the “Dressed to the Nines” category.  It’s a dress afterall, & who says this isn’t fancy??

Author: Anne W

I love fabric, and sewing. And I could do nothing else but sew, all day, every day, if I could!

63 thoughts on “A Snowball for the Summer – with Butterflies”

    1. It is lovely, but has no “drape”, it would made good curtains or cushion covers! 🙂 Definitely feels like a twill, has a slightly brushed surface too, which made lining up the back waist seam for the invisible zip a bit of a pain, because it moves! But for something that requires structure, this is a great fabric. Maybe another Bellatrix… 😉 What would you make?

  1. I just love the butterflies and the dress design. It’s such a perfect combo. Your daughter looks gorgeous in it and it suits her very well. Definitely a cocktail type dress and suits the “dressed to the nines” category. You are so lucky to have two beautiful daughters to make such lovely things for. 🙂

  2. I love this! Pretty fabric suits the style perfectly and looks lovely on your daughter. I’ll vote for this one!

  3. Stunning! I’ve seen this pattern and was curious, yet slightly turned off by the fabric in the sample photo. It was a tad bit too vintage for my tastes. But your (and dear daughter’s) fabric choice transforms it. I am inspired. Thank you for sharing your fantastic work!

    1. Thank you so much! I am very tempted to make it again in a softer fabric, perhaps a linen. I wouldn’t go too drapey! I’m glad to have been an inspiration! 🙂

    1. Aren’t they cute?? I had thought to use a pink or orange binding, but just my luck, the local haberdashery had none.

  4. This is one very beautiful dress. I love the butterflies and the fabric seems to be the perfect weight for it. Your daughter looks so pretty in it (I mean she’s very pretty anyway) xx

  5. Fab choice of fabric, looks stunning! I’ve just looked at Ditto Fabrics. I’m tempted to buy a couple of metres before they sell out, which will be soon when everyone reads your blog!

    1. haha, oh dear, Ditto won’t know what’s hit them! 🙂 wouldn’t it be fabulous to see a whole raft of gorgeous garments made with this fabric online??

  6. Wow. I don’t have much time to comment these days, but I couldn’t help but click through to say this is just gorgeous!

  7. Absolutely beautiful! Such an unusual print, with the larger areas of white, an all over butterfly pattern wouldn’t look as nice!

  8. Another perfect fabric/pattern combination – gorgeous. I was looking at Waffle’s jackets, but completely overlooked the lines on this, thanks for showing it so beautifully.

    1. I liked the “Luffa”, cute shape, but then I fell in love with the Snowball – I could only have one… 🙂

  9. Gorgeous! I’ve had my eye on that pattern for a while bu was waiting for summer to get closer – I can’t wear anything sleeveless in winter, even with a tshirt underneath, I just feel cold. You ahve yet again produced a stunner. Wowie!

  10. Oh wow! gorgeous fabric, I’ve seen some similar on eBay, think I may have to snap it up after seen it sewn up 🙂

  11. That is lovely on her and the sewing looks beautiful. You have made me look again at a pattern that I had passed over.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad this means you’re going to take a second look, it really is a great shape & has such potential! Next time I google the pattern it would be fab to see more pictures of it than just those taken for the pattern cover! 🙂

  12. This dress is utterly gorgeous! Great job! I’ve also started looking at Waffle patterns and skipped over this dress until now…I think you just raised it to the tops of everyone’s sewing list 🙂

  13. Really lovely, Anne! I like the almost-Mandarin collar, and the butterflies are so whimsical and pretty – lovely dress! 🙂

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I do think I should have got more of the butterfly fabric, I really want to make a Bellatrix with it!

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