Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Amy Butler Mini Dress pattern review

I've sewn the Amy Butler Mini Dress, Tunic & Top pattern in both the dress length as well as the short top versions. Jennifer, my daughter -in-law is wearing the Short Top sewn out of Midwest Modern 2 Honeycomb- fuchsia.

It isn't surprising the Amy Butler Mini dress, top and tunic pattern has been popular.
First off, if you are like me, you like designs which only consist of a few pattern pieces! Let's face the facts: We are B U S Y, but we still enjoy our sewing projects! Simple designs means we have a better chance of actually finishing the project!

This dress has 4 pattern pieces and an optional pocket piece. FOUR. Count em. Only Four pieces!

Select your size by the fullest part of the bust measurement and you should be fine with this easy fitting design.
I made the dress exactly to the pattern for my size. It fit a little low under the arms but looks nice with a little T-shirt. When I sewed the Short Top version, I shortened the length of the shoulder straps about 1/2 inch which pulled the bodice up.

Probably there is a more professional technique for altering the fit under the arms, but trimming a little from the shoulder seam area was quick and painless.

The pattern calls for cute little pleats in the shoulder straps. Wanting more coverage on the shoulders, I skipped the step which called for making the pleats. This resulted in the straps being a tiny bit wider which is noted in the photos.
On top of that, I saved a couple of minutes in construction time, which results with more time to blog!

If you scroll back to the top of the page, you notice the inverted box pleat in Jennifer's top. Compare it to the picture on the pattern cover.

The pattern calls for the box pleat to be stitched with a temporary basting stitch. Once the bodice is attached to the dress front panel, the basting stitches are to be removed.

Because I wanted to close a few inches of the box pleat , I stitched instead of temporarily basting.
The result can best been seen in the photo below. The box pleat could be stitched closed for several more inches if desired. It would change the look of the dress, but is something to consider for added variation.

The Amy Butler Mini Dress pattern calls for a invisible back zipper. If you've never put in an invisible zipper, you'll be pleasantly surprised as to how simple it is! This is an easy garment to "give zipper installing a whirl". Follow Amy's instructions.

Typical to this Designer, this pattern has detailed instructions which are well written. Most likely you will do a great job! If it is a 1st zipper application for you, be sure to stop back by and let me know. I'll give you a Hi Five and shout out "Way ta go Sista"

BUT..... if you want to be wild and crazy, don't use a zipper in this top.

Here is how I did it:

Complete all of the steps up to the point of putting in the zipper. Sew the back bodice to the bodice lining right sides together and insert a button loop between the bodice exterior and lining and the top edge.

The center back seam below the bodice is sewn and pressed open the same as if you had put in a zipper. Read the pattern instructions and complete the back seam in the normal manner.

Do you like my Dorset Button? I found a great tutorial for making them at Craft Stylish!
These little babies are wonderful to make while watching TV!

The embroidery floss on this button..... is.............Vintage. It took 45 minutes to find my floss which had been stored in the bottom of a rubber maid container for many many years! Goes to show........never throw stuff away!

Will I make this pattern again? YES
Would I recommend it for a beginner? YES

Personal ideas: Make the tunic length to wear over a T Shirt later on in the season or turn the dress length into a jumper. Any questions? send me an email! Let's talk sewing! :-)


  1. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay cute! I DO love the button! I am going to make some too...thanks for the site!

  2. Super cute top!!! I'm thinkin' it could also be used as a maternity top!

  3. Now you are making me want to buy that pattern, too!! I love your variations, as always. Fabulous!!

  4. That is the cutest dress. I love the top you made for your dil.
    Unfortunately, even with a year of sewing lessons, my skills are nil. This one might be easy enough for me!

  5. That is adorable. The button is gorgeous.

  6. Love the Dorset Button, that is just cute!!! I snagged your button a while back while surfing and while rearranging my page today noticed I forgot to follow! I have family in Carrollton!

  7. Wow I just love that top! I think Brittany might like one. I went and got my sewing machine from storage today and I was just thinking of ordering a pattern or two from you. Well I am pretty sure that this one I need :)

  8. for you...

  9. I hate when patterns have a ton of pieces, I love this one! Very cute. Stopping by from SITS.

  10. Stopping in from SITS to Share the Love on Saturday or whatever they are calling it!!

    The top is super cute although I have to admit - I have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to the actual sewing of it - I did read it and caught a few terms - like stitch, zipper, I think you threw needle in there once, oh, and shoulder - got that one too, LOL. No really, the top is super adorable!!
    My mom sews and although I'm pretty "crafty" that is a long way off from being a seamstress - I should know - I've seen what she can do!

    Happy Saturday to you -

  11. Visiting from SITS. That turned out just gorgeous!!

  12. This is too cute - it makes me wish that I could sew!

  13. HAPPY SITS SATURDAY SHAREFEST! I'm so glad I got sent to a fellow seamstress (even though I have almost no time for sewing these days) love this post, your model is adorable, and you have helpful tutorials. great blog!

  14. Hi! Just found your blog. I have recently re-taken up sewing, which I haven't done since I was very young and my mom/grandmother would help me. Now I don't live close to any of them, and I'm all on my own. I just made this dress for myself. I only wish I had found your blog earlier. Although I'm proud I installed a zipper all by myself for the very first time, I really don't need it -- it goes right over my head. There is only one part of it that I might have messed up. The shoulder straps look fine from the right side, but they seem unfinished on the wrong side. I guess it's ok, but I just like to know how to do things the correct way. Anyway, I am happy to have found your blog. It's especially nice when you see someone making things with similar - good ;) - taste!! We are practically neighbors, by the way. I live in a little town close to Clemson.

  15. Lillie,
    congrats for installing the zipper! Next time you make this, don't bother putting in a zipper if you don't need it. Save the time and the cost of the zipper too! :-)

    Your question about the straps has got me scratching my head. I'm not sure how it can look unfinished, because the bodice is lined. ? Did you line the bodice front and back? If so, the entire top of the dress would have hidden raw edges.

    Can you send me a picture of what you are talking about so I can be of more help? email me at

    Glad you found my blog helpful. :-) Keep on sewing!

  16. I really like the empire waist style on that dress and the very nice fabric you used.


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