Spring for Cotton Farm Animals Dress

spring for cotton farm animal dress

When some people think of spring, they think of budding flowers, or sunshine, or lengthening days. Nothing says spring to me like baby farm animals. Now that we live in a rural area, I find myself squealing when I drive past a neighbor’s yard full of baby sheep and goats (much to Adam’s dismay). I even took a chick-raising class at the hardware store (although actually getting chicks is going to have to wait until we have a home of our own!). For the Spring for Cotton sewalong, I knew that I was going to have to sew a dress form this amazing/ridiculous farm animal print cotton that I found at the thrift store recently.

butterick 4309 from 1966

I used vintage Butterick 4309 from 1966. A fairly basic shift dress I had in my pattern stash, but I was drawn to the oversized asymmetrical collar and contrasting yoke.

pockets in vintage cotton dress

And even better, the dress has pockets! It’s a kangaroo pocket with the openings hidden in the center front seams. I found that it sits oddly low in the dress, so future iterations I’ll raise the pocket a bit. And, the pocket as is placed at the exact widest point of my hips (which is quite low) so any movement makes the pocket seam pull open and I think that will be  alleviated a bit with raising the pocket.

contrast collar on butterick 4309 vintage dress

I pinked all the seams to finish them, which is atypical for me – I almost always serge things that aren’t lined. But almost all of my serger thread is still in storage right now, and pinking seemed to fit with the vintage dress, so I went with it. It’s also supposed to have neck facing and sleeve facings but I swapped those out for bias tape.

lapped zipper in vintage dress

I put a lapped zipper in the center back. I spent a lot of time fitting the dress and am very happy with the result. The only thing that I don’t feel like I got perfect was the neck/collar in the back – it’s just a tiny bit too wide. It wasn’t very noticeable until I applied the collar, but the weight of the collar causes a bit of gapping in the back.

spring for cotton 2015

I finished this dress just in time for Seder dinner – and I mean just in time. I was sewing on the buttons and pinking the seams in the car on the way to dinner! I took it with me on vacation to Washington D.C. where I was so excited to do a photoshoot in front of the cherry blossoms because those are ultimate signs of springs. However, I got the flu and couldn’t leave the hotel room the whole week (so bummed!) so I had to take photos back home instead. I’m still getting over this dang flu, but I’ve reached the point where a stripe of lipstick and some mascara makes me look like I belong in the land of the living again, so I’m getting close!

spring animals cotton dress

Comments 14

  1. bummer about the flu, it seems like there’s been more of that than usual going around this year. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the dress is great and that neckline is fabu!

  2. That’s so fantastic. I <3 it! If it's any consolation, the gaping you speak of is not at all noticeable. But if you're worried, could a hook & eye sort it out?

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      Not really, as the neckline is just a tad too wide and the collar fits perfectly in the too-wide neck. But it’s minor, so I’ll leave it as is as I dont’ think it’s worth the ripping to fix it in this go-around.

  3. Really nice dress! I agree about the fit, too, it is especially fetching in this one. Great vintage pattern on you as well. Sometimes vintage feels overly twee or dowdy to me but this one looks flattering, ready for action/practical, and the collar is on trend. Score!

    ugh, this has been a bad winter for bugs – glad you are feeling better, take care of yourself so no relapses!

    “I finished this dress just in time for Seder dinner – and I mean just in time. I was sewing on the buttons and pinking the seams in the car on the way to dinner! ” I lived in a neighborhood with a bunch of jewish families who were pretty strict about no work on the sabat, so i was confused there for a moment – by that time everybody was walking! hahaha ;) Again, enjoy the baby critters and keep getting stronger, steph

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      I agree – other than the hemline, this dress doesn’t really read as “too” vintage to me (even if I do have a soft spot for obviously vintage as well!)
      Our Jewish family is not strict, but it is pretty funny to imagine pinking seams while walking :)

  4. I followed the link on the Sew for Cotton Flickr page!

    The print you chose for this project is absolutely adorable and amazing. It looks super fresh and super fun- something to run around and be silly in and have backyard picnics in. In the photos the back neckline doesn’t seem too off, so I’m sure future changes won’t have to be too drastic.

    Great job!

  5. This dress is so fun. That fabric speaks to me on a spiritual level. I just made a skirt with animals printed on it and have a bunch of other clothes with animals. It’s such a me thing that a friend bought me some elephant print crepe because she knew it was so me.

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      Fun! So glad the fabric could be a source of inspiration. My husband laughed at me when I brought the fabric home from the thrift store, and honestly he laughed at me when I finished the dress too – but in a good way!

  6. Ah, this looks so cool! I love the whimsical print, and the collar. I have yet to use any sixties pattern, although I do own a few. Thank you for the inspiration! +++get well soon!

  7. I love the dress… especially the novelty print :) I’m glad you’re feeling better, even if you didn’t get photos in front of the cherry blossom! (If it makes you feel better, the time I was up there to see it, there were horrendous crowds and I never did get photos of it ;) ).
    Nicely done!

  8. you rock I’m new to your blog but I just think you’re fabulous and this dress is great

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