Last night all I had to do was sew the buttons on this dress and I'd have the perfect red Valentines Day Dress. This is a New Look pattern I saw in a Walmart in December and bought on the spot:
And I knew exactly the fabric I wanted for it. The same fabric I made my Laura Ashley Dress from Hancock's, but in a solid red color. It took me awhile to get this one done just due to work/wife commitments. The pleats on the left side drew me to the pattern right away.
They were easy to do and have great impact. The pattern required a one inch button at the collar and four 5/8 inch buttons for the sleeves. I found them at the expensive fabric store in town:
The other aspect of the pattern that I love is the sleeves. I used to hate putting in sleeves, and I still am not a great fan, but I find myself looking at dress patterns with sleeves. Without them, I'm too cold at work, even in the summer. Well, especially in the summer, given the HVAC overkill in our country. That means I have to wear sweaters with my sleeveless dresses, both summer and winter. And that sort of defeats the purpose of making your own clothes. I don't want to cover up all my hard work with a sweater!
The sleeves actually went in really well. So maybe I'm getting better at them after only 11 years of sewing!
My usual photographer is on a cruise (!), so these photos were taken later in the day, and you can see some of the wrinkles, but I still enjoyed wearing this dress.
It's sort of mod-Mad-men; vintage-like, but without the vintage pattern. I made size 12 and sewed it straight up, with no alterations, other than making the hem one inch, rather than 1 1/4 inches, just to have a little extra length.
This pattern reminded me why I like the "Big Four" patterns.
1) The finished garment measurements are printed on the pattern (independent pattern makers please take note);
2) I know what size works for me and what the usual ease is on these patterns, so no muslins;
3) They are cheap, especially during a $ 1.99 sale (or less), so no tracing for me - if another size is necessary, I just buy another pattern (my time is worth more than the $ 1.99!).
The dress is Carpenter-approved, and he told me that my dress looked "just like the pattern picture". He's kind and I love him.
Parting Shot: Flowers for Valentines. I know they are cliche, but I love flowers this time of year. I'm tired of winter and we are months away from seeing flowers in the yard yet, so they are a welcome sight: