Helen's Reynolds Top and Dress Button Front Hack

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Reynolds Button Front Hack

Thank you so much for the very warm welcome of the Reynolds Top and Dress. This was one of our biggest launch weeks ever, and we’re so excited that you love this summer dress pattern as much as we do!

Helen's Reynolds Top and Dress Button Front Hack

Today I want to share with you our first Reynolds hack tutorial (you saw this coming, right?)! Last week I teased some fun ideas for how to hack this pattern during our Reynolds Q&A, and the first one we’ll be covering is how to add a button front! It’s as easy as extending the center front pieces to create a button placket, but we’ve done all the math for you and outlined the steps for you in this post.

Helen's Reynolds Top and Dress Button Front Hack
Helen's Reynolds Top and Dress Button Front Hack
Helen's Reynolds Top and Dress Button Front Hack
Helen's Reynolds Top and Dress Button Front Hack

Adding buttons can give such a cool vibe to a summer top or sundress, and it’s a great option if you prefer not to pull tops or dresses over your head. I also love a great button design, and I think you could use this hack to showcase some special buttons in your stash!

Helen's Reynolds Top and Dress Button Front Hack
Helen's Reynolds Top and Dress Button Front Hack

I made my Reynolds Top with a gorgeous linen from my stash and paired it with my Donovan skirt. I was excited to get to use up this linen! I only had one meter because it was pricey, but thankfully the Reynolds Top doesn’t require very much fabric. Both of these patterns are easy to sew and easy to wear. I know I will be reaching for them again and again this summer!

Helen's Reynolds Top and Dress Button Front Hack

Pattern Hacking Instructions: 

1. Place a piece of extra paper under the center of the front piece. Extend the top and bottom of the front piece out horizontally 2 ¼” (5.75 cm). 

Reynolds Button Front Dress Hack - Creating the Button Placket Technical Illustration

2. Draw a vertical line ⅝” (1.6 cm) away from the center front. Draw another vertical line 1 ¼” (3.2 cm) away from the first line you drew. Finally, draw the third vertical line ¼” (0.6 cm) away from the second line. The three lines you just drew will be the fold lines to form a button placket. Cut the new front piece out. 

Reynolds Button Front Dress Hack - Creating the Button Placket Technical Illustration

3. Draw a pattern piece for button placket interfacing. It will be 1 ¼” (3.2 cm) wide by the length of your front piece.

4. Finally, extend the center front of the front facing by ⅝” (1.6 cm).  

Reynolds Button Front Dress Hack - Interfacing and Facing Extension Technical Illustration

Note that the front and front facing pieces will no longer be cut on the fold and instead you will cut 2 pieces each. 

You do not need additional fabric to make this pattern hack. 

Sewing Instructions:

1. Apply fusible interfacing to the wrong sides of the facings, straps and button plackets. When applying interfacing to the button placket, apply it ¼” (0.6 cm) away from the raw edge.  

Reynolds Button Front Dress Hack - Applying Interfacing Technical Illustration

2. Pre-press the button plackets on both front pieces ¼” (0.6 cm) to the wrong side. Turn another 1 ¼” (3.2 cm) and press again. Unfold the pre-pressed button plackets.

Reynolds Button Front Dress Hack - Creating the Button Placket Technical Illustration

3. Follows steps 2-18 in the instructions booklet. 

4. Using pre-pressed fold lines, turn the button placket ¼” (0.6 cm) to the wrong side. Turn the button placket another 1 ¼” (3.2 cm) to the right side. This second turn will be against the pre-pressed line. Pin the button plackets at the top.  

5. With right sides together, align the front and back of the top/dress with the front and back of the facing. Pin in place. 

Reynolds Button Front Dress Hack - Attaching the Facing to the Bodice Technical Illustration

6. Sew the facing to the top/dress, pivoting carefully to sew around the straps. You want to sew as close to the straps as possible at the sides.   

7. Sew across the bottom hem of the button placket, 2” (5 cm) away from the raw edge of the hem. This stitching line should fall right onto the pre-pressed hem line. 

Reynolds Button Front Dress Hack - Pinning and Sewing the Seam Allowance Technical Illustration

8. Grade the seam allowance, trim corners, and clip into the underarm curves. 

9. At the hem of the center front, trim the button placket, cutting out a rectangle. This will reduce bulk and make hemming the top/dress easier. 

Reynolds Button Front Dress Hack - Clipping the Facing Seam Allowance Technical Illustration

10. Follow step 22 in the instruction booklet to understitch the facing. 

11. Turn the facing to the inside of the top/dress. Using a point turner, poke the corners of the button placket out. Press everything flat. 

12. Using pre-pressed lines, fold the hem of the top ¼” (0.6 cm) to the wrong side. Turn another 1 ¾” (4.5 cm). Pin the facings, button plackets, and the hems in place. Topstitch the button placket from the top to the hem, ⅛” (0.3 cm) away from the inner folded edge. Starting at the button-front stitch line, topstitch the facings and repeat for the hem. You will need to complete the mitered corners on the dress before you can sew the hem on the dress views. See steps 26 – 29 in the instruction booklet.

Reynolds Button Front Dress Hack - Topstitching Technical Illustration
Reynolds Button Front Dress Hack - Topstitching Technical Illustration
Helen's Reynolds Top and Dress Button Front Hack
Helen's Reynolds Top and Dress Button Front Hack

13. Try the top on to determine the button placement.

14. Decide on the number of buttons you want for your final look. We recommend at least 4 buttons for the top. You can use any size button you like. We used a larger button—7/8” in diameter. The bigger the buttons, the less you will need.

Reynolds Button Front Dress Hack - Topstitching Technical Illustration

15. Sew the buttonholes on the right side of the top/dress (as worn) and the buttons on the left side of the top. Feel free to do the opposite if you prefer! 

Reynolds Button Front Dress Hack - Line Art All Views
Helen's Reynolds Top and Dress Button Front Hack

And you’ve done it! Congrats on finishing your button-front Reynolds! I can’t wait to sew one up in the long dress view, too.

About the author

Helen

Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

10 Comments on “Reynolds Button Front Hack”

  1. In theory, I could likely follow similar instructions to hack the Ashton this way, too, no? I’d also have to account for the faced hem at the bottom too. Hmm…the wheels are turning! Everything is possible. Thanks Helen!

    1. I love everything about this hack and this pattern…lol I should have purchased it when it was 20% off I do have the donvan skirt tho!
      Thanks Helen always so inspiring…I love your printed linen

  2. Well! It seems if I procrastinate just a little bit blog posts do write themselves!! Thanks so much for sharing the details of your hack!! My approach was quite similar except that I have the neckline facing attached to the grown on placket (added 2.5″), and I switched up the construction order (that just happens when you’re playing around). I’ll just be waiting for that yellow tiered dress hack now…

  3. I was literally thinking about doing this this morning. Awesome timing to stop my head scratching whilst I figured it out! I love your pattern hacking blog posts.

  4. This is great. I am awaiting my pdf being printed and think I may be up to trying this with your fantastic instructions!

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