It’s Sewing Indie Month and I am lucky enough to have Lisa of Paprika patterns on my blog today with a really great tutorial for the Southport Dress. Hands down, the most common question I have gotten for the Southport Dress is whether or not there is a way to get around doing buttonholes.  Lisa has come up with a great tutorial for you on how to sew up the Southport Dress without having to sew those pesky buttonholes. Enjoy!


Hi! This is Lisa from Paprika Patterns. Today’s tutorial is for all those who love the Southport Dress, but are dreading those buttonholes on the front bodice, or just like a different look. In this post I’ll show you how to make a front close with buttons and loops instead of buttonholes. We’ll start with altering the pattern, and then I’ll show you the sewing steps.

Pattern Alterations

1. If your have any other alterations for the front, such as lengthening or an FBA, do them before you start altering for the button + loop closure.

2. Trace the bodice front onto pattern paper. Extend the CF line. Ignoring the fold lines of the original pattern, draft three new lines starting from the center front (CF), as indicated on the pattern:

1. 7/8” (2,2 cm) away from the CF

2. 1 1/4” (3,2 cm) away from line 1

3. 1/2” (1,3 cm) away from line 2

3. Decide how many buttons you want. Since a button + loop closure can gape a bit when the buttons are spaced too far apart, I’d add at least one. I added two in this example because I also lengthened the bodice 1” (2,5 cm). Keep the button at the top and at the bottom in the same place as the original, and divide the others in between.

4. Trace the bodice again, but facing the opposite direction. Starting from the CF, draft two lines:

1. 1/8” (0,3 cm) away from the CF (towards the side seam), this is the new pattern edge

2. 1/4” 0,6 cm) away from line 1

3. Move the notch at the bottom 7/8” (2,2 cm)

5. Draft a facing from the left front piece. Copy the pattern starting from the 1st line you drafted, 1 1/4” (3,2 cm) in. Then mirror the facing: After tracing, flip the paper over and trace the lines through the paper. That’s the right side of the pattern piece. You’ll need to cut one in fabric, one in interfacing.

Cutting fabric

You have two front pieces to cut out instead of one. Cut them on a single layer of fabric, in opposite directions (with the CF towards each other, as you drafted them). Cut only one interfacing piece (Nr. 10). Cut the other pieces as indicated on the pattern pieces, including the new facing piece. Clip the folding lines on the bodice on top and bottom for easy reference when sewing.


Step 1: as indicated.

Step 2: Fuse one interfacing piece to the right front bodice, along the first fold line and 1/4” from the top. Fuse the other one to the new facing piece.

Step 3 and 4: as indicated

Step 5a: On the left bodice front, fold along the 1rst foldline (closest to the edge) with wrong sides together and press. Stitch along the raw edge. Keeping this folded, fold again along the second fold line, this time with right sides together. Press lightly with your finger and pin at the top (neckline) edge. Stitch Baste in place at a scant 1/4” from the top edge.

Step 5b: Make bias tape for your loops, 1” wide. You’ll need 2” for every loop, so in this case 12,5” for 6 buttons + one extra just in case, makes 15”.

Step 5c: Fold the bias tape in half, right sides together. Sew at 1/4” from the edge. Trim to 1/8”. Turn inside out and press flat. Cut into 2” pieces and urn them into a loop with the seam on the outside.

Step 5d: Finish the edge of the facing with a serger or by folding one side (the slightly longer one, facing toward the side seam) 1/4” in and stitching (as in example). Press.

Step 5e: Baste the loops to the left front bodice, the raw ends flush with the bodice edge. Sandwich the loops between the front of the right bodice front and the new facing piece, right sides together. Sew at 1/4”. Take out the basting stitches. Don’t fold open yet, this will be done after attaching the bias tape. Baste at the top (neckline) edge.

Step 6: as indicated.

Step 8: As indicated, but don’t stitch the center front fold down. Baste the folded edge and the facing along the bottom on both sides of the bodice.

Step 9: as indicated, but stitch the bias tape though to to the front edge. This will look better since there is no stitching line vertically along the front.

Step 10-13 as indicated.

Step 14: Attach your buttons according to the markings on your pattern or button guide, at 7/8” (2,2 cm) from the edge.

Step 15-29 as indicated.

That’s it! Not necessarily less work, but it gives a different look and you won’t have to do buttonholes. If you have any questions, I’ll answer them in the comments.


As I mentioned before, I will not be doing a full sewalong for the Mini Sutton Blouse.  Most of the directions are the same as the adult Sutton Blouse and you can follow along with that sewalong by clicking here.

I did, however, want to do a little tutorial for the instructions for the button band as it is an added item to the Mini version and I know that it can get a little confusing.


First, fuse your buttonband interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric, on the wearer’s left shoulder, of both the front and back. Place it 1/4” from both the neckline and armhole edges and 1/2” from the top edge. (Note that this is the shoulder that has been left longer and not the one that was trimmed.)

On this same shoulder of the back piece, fold the shoulder edge down by 1/2” (along the top edge of the interfacing) with wrong sides touching and press.

Now take this newly pressed edge and fold it back, right sides touching, at 5/8” (along the bottom edge of the interfacing). Press the edge lightly with your finger and pin at both outside edges. (Notice that in the photo below it has been flipped over so that the main area is right side up.) Repeat this process for the left shoulder on the front piece.

Unfold one side of your bias tape. Starting at the back left shoulder, pin the open edge of your bias tape to the neckline edge with right sides together. Continue until you reach the front left shoulder for view B (shown here) or center front for View A. If doing view A continue to follow the instructions in the pattern for center front and attaching the bias tape to the rest of the front neckline until you reach the front left shoulder. Trim your bias tape to be flush with the folded edge. Stitch at 1/4” seam allowance.

On all neckline edges, press the the bias tape up and away from the neckline edge and over the seam allowance.

With the right side facing up, understitch by carefully stitching 1/16” inside of the bias tape, catching the seam allowance underneath.

Using the same process that you did for the neckline, attach the bias tape to all armhole edges. Trim the ends of the bias tape flush with the armhole edges.

On the top edge of the back left shoulder, clip both corners within the seam allowance.

Flip the button band right side out, adjusting the corners so that they have a nice point. This will cause the bias tape to start flipping in towards the inside of the neckline and armhole. Press the fold of the buttonband. Pin and edgestitch along the open, folded edge from neckline edge to armhole opening, catching all layers underneath. Repeat for front left shoulder.

On the neckline edge, continue to turn the bias tape to the wrong side of the blouse while rolling the seam slightly to the inside. Using a curved surface such as a tailor’s ham, press and pin in place. Starting and ending at the button band stitching, edgestitch the open side of the bias tape to the neckline. Sew down the bias tape on both armholes in the same manner.

OK, I think that is it for the buttonband. Let me know if you have any questions.  If you want a little extra help with the hem and slits you can check out this tutorial that I did for SewMamaSew awhile back which walks you through it.

I hope this helps!


pattern bundle

I remember last year’s Indie Sewing Month. I had just released the Hudson Pants and sales were barely trickling in. I remember seeing all of the cool, and well know pattern designers that were participating and wondered if I would ever be known as an Indie Designer.  It seemed so far away. What a year it has been! I am so excited to be participating this year and to help celebrate all of the Indie designers in the sewing world. To do this I will be joining up with a few other designers for interviews and tutorials during the month of September.


In preparation we are also doing an Indie pattern bundle and my Sutton Blouse is included. It is on sale until Wednesday August 12th with 20% of the proceeds going to the International Folk Art Alliance. You can learn more about all of the cool stuff that they do here.

As far as the bundle goes, you choose how much you pay and therefore how much you get. Head on over to Sew Independent to learn about how it all breaks down. But in the meantime here is a list of all the patterns and designers in the first bundle.



I am super excited to introduce you to my newest mini (kid’s sized) pdf sewing pattern, the Mini Sutton Blouse.  The Mini Sutton Blouse is a simplified version of the adult sized Sutton Blouse that I released last year with the same basic boxy and easy to wear shape, but with a few changes to make it more kid appropriate.

This blouse has two versions, the V-neck which is view A and the scoop neck which is view B.  Both versions have a split hem at both sides seams and a button closure on the left shoulder.The back is about 1 inch longer than the front and the seams are finished with methods such as bias tape and french seams for a clean finish on the inside of the blouse.

Recommended fabrics for this blouse include light to medium weight woven fabrics such as cotton voile, lawn, quilting cotton, linen, double gauze, and seersucker. The fabrics I used for the samples include a medium weight chambray for view A and seersucker for View B. Although the sewing techniques used for sewing up the adult sized and mini Sutton Blouses are almost identical, using these more stable fabrics as opposed to silk, crepe, rayon etc… make it a much easier and quick sew.

Because the instructions are so similar to the adult Sutton Blouse I will not be doing a sewalong for the Mini Sutton Blouse.  I will, however, being doing a post on a couple of the more difficult parts to help you through those.

If you would like to purchase the Mini Sutton blouse you can do so by going to my shop here or by clicking on the image in the sidebar. And, from now until this Sunday at midnight EST you can get $2 off your pattern with the code LAUNCHWEEK.


I’ve been attracted to very simple shapes lately.  Easy to wear garments that are great for layering, have clean lines, and are quick to sew.  Admittedly these are not always the most flattering things in my wardrobe, but I love the ease of wearing them.

I decided to sew up a quick trapeze dress this weekend much like the ones I have been seeing in ready to wear. I had some simple black Kaufman Essex Linen that I knew would be perfect for it.

I decided to use my Southport Dress as a base since I like the way that the bodice fits me. I simply took the bodice and eliminated the button placket but instead added a seam at center front for some interest. Then I used the slash and spread method to add fullness to the bottom, rotating the dart out in the process.  You could do this with almost any tank or basic top pattern, although if you don’t want to draft your own the Sway Dress by Papercut Patterns or the Gabby Dress by Tessuti Fabrics are great examples of a similar style.

One thing that I love about dresses like this is that they are so easy to dress up or down. I am showing it here with heels, but it’s just as easy to wear with strappy flats for a more casual look.  I am also super excited about the idea of throwing a loose cardigan over it once it’s not so hot.

Outfit Details:

Dress : Handmade, Fabric – Kaufman Essex Linen

Necklace : Maslo Jewelry
Shoes : Moheda Betty Clogs



When I saw the new Blue Ridge Dress from Hello Holli I immediately knew that I would make one.  I love the modern lines and yet still feminine cut of this dress. My daughter is still in a dress and skirts only phase which means that I am always on the hunt for great little girl dress patterns.

Holli contacted my awhile back with this amazing idea that she had – pattern swaps.  The idea being that we each sew up one another’s patterns. I loved the idea and was completely on board. On Holli’s blog, Hello Holli, you will find her version of the Mini Southport dress.  Be sure to go and check it out to see what she came up with. She has great style so I am sure that it will be amazing.

The Blue Ridge Dress has so many things that I love.  Besides the modern lines, the finishing is really great. Not only does it look amazing on the outside, but it is beautifully finished on the inside with no exposed seams. Quite the work of art I must say. I love the twirly skirt and large 2 inch hem. I also think that the bias binding outlining all of the parts allows for a lot fun and unexpected fabric combinations.

The fabric that I used is this gorgeous woven textile from I am kicking myself for not buying more although admittedly it was a beast to work with. Lots and lots of fraying. The bias tape is store bought.  Holli recommends making your own for better results and after making up her dress I have to agree with her.  The store bought worked fine, but I think that homemade would be softer and would turn the curves better. The bottom of the dress is just some Kona cotton. I love the way it looks – kinda like chambray – but if I were to do it again I would use something more lightweight.  It ended up a bit thick for summer.  I think either linen or two layers of voile would have been more appropriate.

Both my daughter and I give this dress two thumbs up. Holli has done as amazing job and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.


I have been wanting to do this ever since I released the Southport Dress and am so glad that I finally carved out the time to make this happen.  I wore it to a picnic this week for my husband’s work and I felt so comfortable and confident.  I want to make another one in black already.

It was a bit of trial and error type of process making this so I don’t have a full tutorial for you yet.  My goal is to make another one soon and photograph the steps now that I know what I am doing, but I will tell you in the this post what I did in case you feel ready to go ahead and make one up yourself.

I made the top portion of the jumpsuit according to the top portion of the Southport Dress with a few changes. You want to add a few inches to the bottom, much like I did in this tutorial where I turned it into a tank top.  You will also need to adjust the width of the bottom so that it’s the same width as the waistband of your Hudson pants.  Sew the top portion up according to the directions, except wait to put on the buttons and buttonholes until after you make the rest of your jumpsuit.  This is because you may shorten the top more and you want the buttons to be in the correct positions.

When making the bottom portion of your jumpsuit, cut it out according to my instructions for Woven Hudson Pants which you can find here but with a few changes. You are going to want to raise the crotch length at the top of your pants on both the front and the back so that the waist hits nearer to the natural waistline instead of the hips. After trying on some of my Hudson Pants I decided that adding an inch the front and back rise was good for me. The other change that you are going to make is to add 3/4″ to the height of the waistband. Once folded in half this will be 3/8″ on the top of the waistband that will serve as the seam allowance to sew the blouse to the bottoms. Sew the pants up according to the instructions except when doing the waistband, sew a row of stitching 3/8″ from the top folded edge before attaching the waistband to the pants and inserting the elastic.

Once you have your bottoms and top completed separately, try them on together, tucking the top into the bottoms and pinning in place. When you have it fitting like you want, mark where you have the top pinned plus 3/8″ for seam allowance.  Cut off any excess and sew the top and bottom together. Now sew on your buttons and buttonholes.

Like I said, I hope to do a more thorough tutorial soon, but if you have any questions please ask and I will try to clarify as much as I can.

The fabric used in this version is some rayon challis from JoAnns which was great to work with. I made a couple mistakes when cutting out so I wasn’t able to pattern match as much as I hoped, but in the end I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out.


I’ve been wanting a simple chambray shift for awhile now. I love the ease of wearing a denim dress.  Feels dressed up and down at the same time. I bought some denim from JoAnns ages ago for this project just waiting for the weather to warm up so I could sew it.

After a lot of searching I finally landed on New Look 6145 for the base of my dress. I knew that I wanted a simple shift with sleeves and french darts and this was the closest that I could find.  I like that it was kinda a blank slate since I would be changing it quite a bit.

I did make quite a few changes to the pattern to suite my taste. I made the neckline less boatneck shaped and more of a crew neck. I also lengthened the sleeved to a longer short sleeve length instead of the cap sleeve that was included. The pattern does call for a center back seem and zipper even though you can get in and out with out it.  But I did add the zipper because I wanted the look of the exposed metal zipper. The pattern also has back darts for shaping, but I did not sew those as I wanted more of a cocoon shape. The other thing that I changed was I did a large 4 inch hem just because I prefer the look of that to the smaller hem width.

I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. The only thing is that I wish I had pegged the bottom a bit instead of having the hem slightly A line as it is. This is not because it would fit better, just because I prefer the shape that way.

All in all a great dress. I look forward to being able to wear it out or dress it down for the park.  Love everyday appropriate dresses like this one.


Like I mentioned before, I will not be doing a full sewalong for the Mini Southport Dress. Most of the steps are the same or similar to those in the adult sized Southport Dress so check those out if you want a little more help.

I did, however, want to do this one tutorial for the armhole binding technique that I used. When creating the pattern for the Mini Southport Dress it became clear to me that it was extremely difficult to attach the bias binding to the armholes in the round because the armhole curves were so tight on the smallest sizes. When looking for an alternate technique I found this one used on some of my daughter’s ready to wear dresses. It makes it much easier to get a nice finish on your armholes. Because the bodice on this dress has quite a lot of ease it is the perfect solution. I would not, however, recommend using this technique on a more fitted garment as it does add a bit of extra bulk to the underarm seam that may be uncomfortable if close to the body.

The following steps coordinate with those in the instructions of the Mini Southport Dress:

Step 9 – Before continuing, finish the seam allowance of the front and back side seams separately. I used my serger to do this, but you could also using pinking shears or zigzag stitch the allowances.

Get your bias tape again, and open one of the folded sides just like you did for the neckline. Starting at the underarm seam, with about 1” of bias tape hanging off the front side seam edge, pin the long, open edge of your bias tape around the armhole so that it is flush with the edge , right sides touching.  Stitch at 1/4” seam allowance.

Here is how it looks once it’s done. Notice how there is a tail about 1″ long left over on the front armhole edge only.

Step 10 – Just like you did on the neckline, press the bias tape up and away from the bodice and over the seam allowance. Do this on a curved surface such as a tailors ham or rolled up towel to help support the curve of the armhole.

Understitch but stitching through the seam allowance and bias tape about 1/6″ -1/8″ inside of the bias tape.

Turn the bias tape to the inside of the bodice while rolling the seam slightly to the inside. Press on a curved surface. Steam is your friend here to help the bias tape make the curves without causing any puckering. Pin.

Edgestitch along the open side of the bias facing securing it to the armhole. Leave the 1” tail free on the bodice front.

Step 11 – With right sides together, pin the side seams. Stitch at 1/2″ seam allowance.

Step 12 – Take the 1” tail of the bias tape left over on the front bodice seam allowance and fold it over the back seam allowance so that the end touches the stitch line on the back bodice. You may need to trim it to fit snugly.

Press this, along with the side seam allowances, towards the back and pin at the top.

Step 13 – On the right side of  your bodice, stitch for about 3/4” down through all layers to secure the seam allowances and bias tape to the back bodice. Here is what the right side of the armhole should look like.

And here is what the inside should look like.

All done with the armholes.  Give them a nice press and proceed to the next part of the instructions!

I hope you guys liked the tutorial and that it helped with any of you who wanted a visual for these steps. If you would like to purchase the Mini Southport Dress pdf sewing pattern you can do it here.  Also, the fabric that I used for this dress is some cotton lawn from Robert Kaufman which you can find here.


I am so excited to introduce my second children’s sized pattern today – the Mini Southport Dress. Just like the Mini Hudson Pant, the Mini Southport is patterned after the women’s sized Southport Dress, but has been simplified and adjusted to be age appropriate for children and ranges in sizes from 2T – 10.

The Mini Southport is designed with a button opening at the center front of the bodice and the armholes and neckline are finished with single fold bias tape. For extra comfort and ease the waist is cinched in with a combination elastic and faux drawstring.

To keep this dress child appropriate, it was designed to work best with fabrics that are sturdier, easier to sew, and easier to wash / take care of.  The recommended fabrics are quilting cotton, cotton voile, linen, and double gauze. My samples are sewn up in Nani Iro double gauze and Robert Kaufman artisan batik quilting cotton.

Because of the simplifications made and the easier fabric suggestions, I think that an advanced beginner could definitely tackle it. The more difficult sewing techniques that you will use with this pattern include bias binding and buttons / buttonholes.

I will not be doing a sewalong with this pattern because so much of it has already been covered in the adult sized Southport Dress Sewalong. I will, however, be covering a couple of the new steps in a post in a few days to help out.

You can get $2 off the pattern price until Friday July 3rd at midnight EST with the code LAUNCHWEEK. To purchase the pattern or learn more about it, head on over to my shop here or click on the Mini Southport Image in the sidebar.