A happy early Valentine’s Day to you!
Actually, we don’t usually do much for Valentine’s Day. As a couple, Mel and I historically have never made it a big deal as before we were married it was two weeks away from anniversary, so for 10 years we really just never did anything.
One thing I’ve always loved, however, was vintage Valentine ephemera. Just so cute! So when I saw this vintage-inspired fabric with a heart toile print, I decided to sew up a Valentine’s Day dress. The fabric is from the Pam Kitty Love line by Lakehouse Dry Goods. I bought it on sale from Fat Quarter Shop and sadly there’s no more!
This is my second Emery dress by Christine Haynes. I told you I was going to make a bunch of these! I’ve only just begun. After my first version which had no alterations to the pattern, I decided to change the neckline to square for this one. I really like square necklines and I think they make a great frame for necklaces. I also increased the shoulder width by 5/8″ to give me a little more coverage.
To sew the inner corners, I decreased the stitch length to 1 for about an inch going into and out of each corner. And with clipping into the curves and understitching, it lays perfectly flat with no puckering in the corners or anything.
The bodice is lined with red cotton voile, and I used a vintage Talon zipper from my stash to do a lapped and hand picked zipper. I have very few zippers on hand so how I managed to have a cherry red 22″ one is beyond me, but I did!
Now, you know I usually don’t bother with print matching or anything like that. But with this print, how could I not center the hearts right along the front?? Admittedly it was absolute dumb luck that the bottom heart didn’t get caught in the waistband. Swoon… seriously, I’m so glad I spent the time to line this up.
Even though, if I’m being honest with you, cutting the bodice on one layer meant I totally forgot to straighten the grain and I paid the price for that as my hem is a little wonky. Whatever–no one’s looking at my hem with this great print! Same with the bust darts which I’ve now come to realize are a little too high on me. (I’ll move them down in future versions.) You’re not looking at that, you’re looking at those kitschy hearts instead!
I also decided to match the print on the back. It worked out great except for the fact that when I lined it all up, I didn’t take into consideration the seamline, so the hearts are not actually centered, even though the print matches. Whoops. But hey, it distracts from the fact that the top of my lapped zipper is a little crappy. I had decided to use a hook and eye at the top of the back neckline so I could have the zipper finish a little lower and not have it look a tad doofy like my first one. But when it came down to it, I didn’t have any hooks and eyes (where did they all go?!). So, a tad doofy it is. (And now I have no hair to hide it. Ha!)
By the way, that matching really does go all the way to my waist, but I forgot to interface my zipper area so the overlap (on the left) is flaring out a bit at the bottom, I think, or else it’s the angle somehow.
Quibbles aside, I’m really quite thrilled with this dress. This print could not be any cuter or more perfect for Valentine’s Day!
And of course I had to throw in a little themed vintage jewelry! These screw-back heart earrings, for one…
And an adorable brooch, which I added to my cardigan.
So let’s talk about how great those centered hearts line up when I’m wearing this cardigan. It’s so perfect I can’t stand it! I knew I’d be wearing this dress with a cardigan because like so many others in the country, we are having the crappiest winter ever. This is about 2 layers of clothing less than I’ve been wearing every day. Ugh.
(By the way, I took off my Luxulite necklace when I put on the cardigan and then forgot to put it back on for a few of the other photos because my anal-retentive side likes to pick and choose what I actually remember to be anal about, apparently.)
But back to the dress. So I lined up the hearts on the center front, I matched the print on the back, and my goal was to line up one of the heart motifs on both sleeves. I used 2 1/2 yards on my first Emery, and had 3 yards to use for this one. But even so, at the end I was about 2″ shy of being able to center the same heart motif on both sleeves… so they don’t match. No one but you will ever know, though, since it’s not like you can see both my arms at the same time!
I only made one other change, which was to cut the skirt using almost the full width of my 44″ wide fabric (I got this great idea from Roisin). It gave the skirt just a slight bit more fullness which I really like.
Hard to get a full-body photo indoors that looks decent but here you can see my shoes, the final piece of the outfit. These L’amour Remix wedges were a gift from Mel few years ago.
What else is there to say? I love this dress! I’ll be wearing this outfit when we go out to dinner on Friday. And my third Emery (timed for a special event early next month) is already being planned, along with a matching cardigan that I’m furiously knitting for the Ravellenic Games, the event that Ravelry hosts every Olympics. I know some of you out there are ‘competing’ too, so good luck! For the next two weeks I’m knitting and watching Olympic events like a mad woman. 🙂
Perlchen Noir says
Oh wow…what a lovely dress!
xoxo Perlchen Noir
I love this whole outfit. You did a fabulous job matching up that print in the back.
Stacey Stitch says
Oh my gosh, this is beautiful (and you too!) 🙂
Aww, thanks Stacey! 🙂
This is oh, so beautiful Tasha! I’m running out of compliments for your makes, but I truly adore this! You look like a million bucks and I reckon Mel should take you out on V-Day on account of such a lovely dress ;o)
Thanks, Marie! We’re going out for Italian food on Valentine’s Day and you now know exactly what I’ll be wearing. LOL
Mr. Tiny says
What a sweetheart of a dress! It is so flattering. Nothing I sew is ever perfect; to me, that’s the charm
Of a homemade garment. Beautiful job and happy valentines day!
Very true! Actually one of my favorite things about when I find vintage handmade clothing is seeing imperfections. Makes me feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit. 🙂
it’s lovely. and your hair suits you so much!
Oh thanks! I’m still getting used to it since it’s such a big change, but enjoying it. 🙂
This dress is adorable! That print is pretty incredible. I love that you took the time to be aware of the pattern placement down the center front, because it really has a gorgeous effect visually. And, the little bit extra in the fullness of the skirt is a great idea!
Good luck with the Ravellinic games! I’m not competing, but I’ve been seeing a lot of competitor projects all around the internet.
I’ve put aside my Effervescence cardigan for my Ravellenic Games cardigan, but your gorgeous one will inspire me to turn right back to it once this project is finished. 🙂
Lauren of Rosie Wednesday says
This is fantastic!! The square neckline is just great. What are you talking about a fear of plaid? If you can match hearts, you can match stripes!!
Thanks, Lauren! Well plaid has a lot more going on, so it still scares me! lol
Christine Haynes says
I’m dying!!! This is so frickin’ adorable and wow, those hearts down the front are perfection! So cute and I love the square neckline. I can’t tell you how lovely it is to see your gorgeous versions of my pattern! Like a dream come true! Oh, and ps- LOVE your hair cut!!!
Thank you so much, Christine (on both the dress and the haircut, hee hee)!!! ♥
*Swoon* This dress is so great, and again is a perfect fit.
The matching hearts takes some mad skill, lady! Awesome that you were able to do it so great on that lapped zipper. Your accessories & *more swooning* those shoes! Love this new look you’re sporting. Cheers.
Thanks, Liz! (And the shoes look way better when they’re not in the grainy end of a photo. lol) The back was really the first time I matched a pattern like that, I was so nervous that it was just going to be completely off. 😉
Joanna Kostrzewa says
Amazing fabric and great fit, I love your dress! (And now I regret not planning to make my own Valentine dress… I must plan one next year! *^o^*~~~)
Thanks! And yes indeed, there’s always next year!
You look stunning!! I adore the heart print and you look fantastic in red! The fit is amazing! I am so glad I ordered this pattern!
Bring on more Emerys – I can’t wait!
You have inspired me to return to apparel sewing. I love this dress and the attention to detail put into its making is great. The hutch in the background of the picture showing your shoes is to drool over. Love it love it.
Can’t wait to see what you are making next. Keep up the great work.
Thanks, Tammy, I’m flattered to hear that! Also, the hutch was my step-grandmother’s and the perfect addition to our living room, I’m very lucky she was willing to part with it and that my folks were willing to drive it across country. 🙂
Gorgeous! I’m a fan of those centre front hearts. Looks lovely with you new hair-do too.
This is so cute! Red is a great color for you! I really appreciate all the time you spent matching everything up- it looks great!
Thanks!! Red is actually my favorite color but I don’t have a lot of it since I’m picky about types of reds, hee hee!
Looks great! Can’t notice any of those things you were annoyed with, and no one will notice. I really like the square neckline and think this style looks great on you.
Thank you! 🙂
Rochelle New says
Geeze that dress really does fit you perfectly!! I can’t wait until I find a pattern I love so much I want to make it twice in a row 🙂 I love the square neckline and can’t wait to see all of your other Emery versions in the future!
Also… CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IN YOU IN LESS THAN 20 DAYSSSSSSSS!!!!!! <3
I KNOW!!!!! Oh and thanks. 😉
Ugg, our winter here is been just dreadful also. Boo!
But yay for a super cute dress and a darling look! And loving the new hair. 😀
I know, it’s really been the pits hasn’t it! And thank you! 🙂
The fabric! The sweater! The themed jewelry! It’s all fantastic 🙂
Thanks, Meg! 😀
So sweet! Love the way you style your adorable dress! Super great haircut on you too!! Happy Valentines! 🙂
Thanks Rebecca, happy Valentine’s Day to you too!
That fabric is just perfection! All of these beautiful valentines-themed projects I’m seeing everywhere are making me wish I’d planned ahead and made something too!!
Thanks! There’s always next year to join in the fun! 😀
What a beautiful dress! I’ve seen so many Emerys popping up everywhere but I really think this is my favourite! Excellent fabric choice, and such a good job with positioning the hearts. Taking time over things like that really does pay off doesn’t it?
Jessica Cangiano says
Splendidly spectacular Valentine’s Day dress. I love that it’s both super festive and yet can just as easily be worn the rest of the year ’round, too. I really gravitate towards holiday appropriate pieces like that as well.
Yes, I definitely intend to wear it year-round! I tried to balance it by not making it too over-the-top Valentiney and accessorize, instead, just for that very purpose. 🙂
So stinkin cute! You are the cutest little vintage Valentine EVER! 😀
Awww thanks Lauren! 🙂
That is gorgeous, I think the effort in lining up the print was totally worth it.
You have made an absolutely gorgeous dress – and I am so envious of the print! What a gorgeous dress for Valentines 🙂
Miss Crayola Creepy says
I’m totally peanut butter and jealous about your print matching! I think it all looks so perfect!
Ha ha, that’s the best phrase ever!! 😉
Lovely! I adore the print, and the hearts centered with the cardigan are just charming.
Thank you so much, Frances! 🙂
Vintage Musings of a Modern Pinup says
Argh, I just wanna claw my EYES out at how stinking GORGEOUS you are! Superb backdrop and glorious outfit. Perfect, perfect, perfect. xx
Ha ha, thanks!!
It’s lovely. Perfect fit and the hearts down the front were well worth the positioning efforts!
That is lovely. It looks fab with the cardigan.
Beautiful dress, you’ve really done that fabulous fabric justice. I’m seeing so many gorgeous versions of the Emery, I need this pattern in my life. Thanks for the tip about decreasing the stitch length at the corners, genius. Good luck with the games!
Oh my – that is absolutely perfect!
Incendiary Blonde says
This is so, so adorable! It looks really pretty on you, too! I love the colour pairing with the cardigan, and the little brooch ties it all together so nicely. Bravo!
This dress looks fantastic on you. What a great fit and you’ve managed the fabric pattern placement perfectly. Seriously great job 🙂
Cute dress! We don’t really do Valentine’s Day either. After nearly a decade of working at a candy store the holiday was all but completely ruined for me. Fortunately my husband is ok with the fact that I’m not really into it. 😉
Melissa Borromeo says
Amazing work! And you have styled your ensemble so well. Your hair really tops it off!
Hi! I have the exact same bow and heart pin. I’m 53 and have worn that pin every year as long as I can remember… just took it out of my jewelry box for tomorrow’s ensemble… Very cool seeing yours on your cardigan! And your dress is absolutely “love”ly !
Love this so much! Your attention to detail is so meticulous and makes the finished dress that much more amazing. Do you make dresses to sell, too? Because I am seriously hankering after one of these for myself but have zero sewing skills 😀
Your dress is fabulous, such a great shape and the fabric is pretty. It looks great with a cardigan too, those centred hearts are amazing.
Your dress is so pretty! And I am loving your new hair cut, lady! Happy early v-day!
Your haircut is so cute! Looks great on you. So does the dress. I love your knitted pieces too. I laughed out loud reading the part about the hearts matching up but then the seam being off-pattern. Totally something I would do!
Bellis Winter says
Oh you’re so cut in that dress !!!
Here, for valentine’s time, we offer just cards with a lot of love words !!!
It’s gorgeous! I am a big fan of the emery, if only it had long sleeves!
Melody Mae says
I WANT THIS QUITE A LOT.
Caps necessary, this has put the nail in the coffin for buying the Emery.
Ugh I just love it and it looks so gorgeous on you!
wardrobe experience says
what a beautiful dress! the pritn is so cute …. and it looks just perfect paired with the cardi.
OK. You have convinced me. I’ve seen so many gorgeous Emery dresses across the sewing blogs and couldn’t decide if I ought to spend the money on the pattern, but they come out perfect every time and you styled it so wonderfully. Your blog is beautiful!
jude ammar says
i LOVE your quibbles! the pattern placement on the two sleeves is brilliant and the zipper worked where it most needed to and just plain made me happy. i never became the seamstress my ma was, but as is so often true with prolonged exposure to quality, i am a snob. Nicely done!
Your dress is perfection! Great details–nice job centering those hearts and getting the neckline to lay perfectly flat. Now I want to make this dress too.
What an awesome dress and way to show off the print!! Total queen of hearts!!
I am trying to adapt a square neckline, and came here for a little more detail on the process. Can you please measure the dimensions of yours? Width, drop front and back, etc. Yours is just perfect, not too deep and wide.
Yours truly, Erika