Valentine’s Day Dress

I’m baaaack!

I got so crazy busy before I left on vacation, I didn’t get time to leave a message to you all.  I went on a 6-day getaway to sunny Florida and it wasn’t nearly long enough.  I felt like just as I was getting acclimated to the warm weather and relaxing, I found myself back on a plane coming home again.  I’m already bugging Felix about where we should go on our next trip.  I’m torn between saving for a mega-vacation like Scotland versus going up to Oregon and renting a fancy Yurt (aka glamping) for a more ‘local’ vacation.  Have any of you done the yurt-vacation before?

Due to my vacation, I’m a  bit behind on my blog posts.  And instead of showing pictures from my trip I wanted to share images of my most recent Sew Weekly creation for Valentine’s Day.

Oh my, oh my! Was I ever so cold for this photo shoot!  I’m standing in a sleeveless dress, right after I was done being sick in 15 degree weather.  I’m not smiling… my teeth are chattering. heh

Felix and I went to the bean early on Monday morning and I dressed in layers to keep warm.

I had on my winter boots, socks, leg warmers, and workout pants all underneath my skirt and on the top I had my puffy coat, cardigan, bolero, and then the dress.

To recap, I used Simplicity 3016 for the dress and Simplicity 1655 for the bolero:


Mega thanks to your input, I used the red gingham check fabric for all of the trim and used a red cotton for the main fabric of the bolero.

I took off my cummerbund when I wore the bolero, as I think it looks better without it.  I think the stark white of the cummerbund detracts from the overall scheme of things.  But I’ll definitely wear it whenever I’m not wearing the bolero.

Annabellebumps gets a mega!!! shout-out for thinking to send me her bolero pattern.  It was completely unprompted and I think it is the sweetest little pattern.  I want to make a bolero to match every outfit now; it was so easy to make and took up very little fabric.

For the construction, I used french seams wherever possible (shoulders & center back).  Before stitching the gingham trim on, I pressed under all of the outside seams and I top-stitched them down in place once they were affixed to the bolero (instead of sewing them down by hand).  The main alteration I did on the pattern was to shorten it significantly since I’m so short-waisted (I believe I trimmed down about 2″ of fabric from the bolero hem).

The Chicago bean is super huge!

I am so mini compared to the gigantic bean!

Every so often I would have to run back to my clothes pile and throw on my coat to warm up.

I couldn’t feel my feet and hands at this point….  But what’s a girl to do for photos?!  I wish I could take decent indoor photos in the warmth of my apartment, but it doesn’t have very good lighting.

One of the main reasons why I wanted to make a bolero with dress is to complement the main feature of my dress: the heart cutout.

Every since seeing Vivat Veritas‘ heart dresses last year, I’ve been toying around with the idea of making one of my own.  The Sew Weekly ‘Red’ theme for Valentine’s day was the perfect excuse I needed to try my hand at it.

I used a combination of tutorials, the first I referenced was Vivat Vertias’ Heart Cut Out Dress Tutorial which gave me the general idea of how to do a cutout.  But the main tutorial I used was from CationDesigns.  (She made a super cute superman dress in her tutorial.)  Ms. Cation Designs’ tutorial was for a bodice with a cutout that also includes a lining, which I found really helpful.  I lined my valentine’s day dress with white batiste and somehow got my piping to behave on the heart cut out.

Heart Detail:

I think the top of the heart could stand to be more pointed, but it was super tricky to finish that top edge with piping on either side.  I’m quite amazed I was able to pull it off!  I have one large (flat) hook and eye that serves as the closure at the top of the heart and at the base of the heart, I did a lapped zipper that is hand stitched down on the lapped side, on the right.  ( I still need to add in a small hook & eye here.)

One more image to show off the heart in all its glory.  :)

Would I make another heart-cut out dress?  Probably, but I think other shapes would be fun and I can see making another dress using the basic idea for a open-back design.  The inclusion of the piping was super stressful, but I think it makes the dress all the more fun.

If you’re interested in making a cut out dress, do reference the two tutorials I mentioned above.  But in researching online I also found this tutorial from crafterhours that was informative, I just didn’t use it for the construction of this dress.

Hope you had a lovely weekend, and I hope to catch up my rss feeds (aka blog posts) from all of you guys in the next week or so.  :)

In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

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