sewing saturday! red velvet valentine dress

attaching flowers

Sewing Saturday! I didn't expect to have a completed project to share with you guys today - but after two full days of sewing, I finished my Valentine dress!

Now, it's just a matter of waiting a full week to wear it.

sewing the bodice

Lots of steps, so I'll try to abbreviate a bit (sorry there aren't photos for every step.. I'm trying to keep this short-ish, but if you have any questions, feel free to email me!).

My first section to finish was the bodice, which was considerably more time-consuming than the skirt. I began by marking and sewing darts - four in the back (shoulder and waist), and two in the front (bust). I clipped them with pinking shears and pressed them.

Using my zipper foot, I sewed the 18 inch zipper at the back, pressing the 5/8 seam allowance on both center ends of the back bodice inwards, as well as attaching the two back pieces by sewing a couple of inches at the bottom of the bodice.

I then tackled the facing - armhole and neck. The neck came in three different pieces, so I sewed them together and clipped and pressed the seams. I then sewed 1/4 inch from the outer edges of all three facing pieces, pressed at the stitching line inwards, then stitched over the pressed 1/4 inch. I sewed the facing, right sides together, to their designated spots on the bodice, making sure to match markings. I pinned them in place first and trimmed the seams afterwards. Once they were stitched in place, I stitched a second seam right above the first on the facing, stitching the inside seam edges and facing together to reinforce it a bit.

I then pressed the facing pieces inside (this is the part where you should stitch them in place inside the dress.. and if I wasn't lazy, I'm sure I would have done that). Then, I stitched the sides of the bodice together - front to back, right sides together.

gathering the skirt

Skirt! The skirt pattern pieces called for two separate pieces for the back and one for the front (cut at the fold), just like the front and back bodice. First step was sewing the two back skirt pieces together (so the seam would be the center back seam on the skirt of the dress, and be in line with the zipper), then sewing the back piece to the front at the sides. I then pressed the hem and sewed it - I pressed two inches, wrong sides together, at the hem, then folded one inch of the hem inwards, pinned it, and stitched it shut.

Then it was time to gather the skirt. I gathered the skirt the old fashioned way this time.. stitching two lines at the top of the skirt (within the 5/8 inch seam allowance), being careful not to backstitch or connect the ends (or cross the lines). I then pulled the threads and gathered along them, spacing it apart so the width of the skirt matched the width of the bodice (for a more detailed description, go here).

sewing the skirt to the bodice

Then, I had two finished pieces. I sewed them at the waist, right sides together.


Somewhere along the way, I had to choose which trim I'd use on the bodice. I wrestled between a lot of choices, but mainly these three - two strands of thin, cream colored lace and light pink floral buds. I ended up choosing the flowers.. I sewed three buds near the neckline, once the dress was finished.

valentine's day dressbodice

Finished! What do you guys think? And how would you style this dress? I'm thinking cream colored tights and maybe some lace up oxfords.

To bed for me, I've got an early morning. Lots to do tomorrow.. fabric shopping, work downtown, time with friends, art crawl, amateur wrestling. A weird mix. Have a great weekend!