Hot! The “Houston is for Lovers” Dress | Sarah Gabbart


Top - V
S2248 Fabric
: 3 yards of cotton red/black heart shirting material ($1.95 yd)
Pattern: Simplicity 2248
Year: c. 2010
Notions: None
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: February 2011
Wear again? Yes – for Valentine’s Day

Total Cost: $6 (BAM!)

 When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I love me some cheese. No not cheddar (though that would be nice) the kind of cheese that comes with February 14th: hearts, chocolate boxes, giant teddy bears and a dozen roses. Yes I know that’s kind of sad. 

Back view It’s Valentine’s Day kitch that inspired my dress for this week’s challenge – a bright red retro number with a bow front, yoke back and tons of little black hearts all over. Joan Jett has nothing on my black hearts!

On many previous posts (most notably by Veronica and Mena) I have marvelled at how they were able to look past the hideous pattern cover and create something gorgeous. This week my goal was to do the same and as a result, I rescued this Simplicity pattern from the give away pile (seriously you guys – what are you thinking with these pattern covers!?!)

The fabric was a simple cotton shirting that was easy to work with, but a bit more sheer that originally thought. It was easy to remedy this with a black slip (note to young ladies out there: your mother was right; there apparently is an occasion to use a slip!)

Ryan bringing it After the dress was complete, me and the hubby (seen here doing some amazing dance move! Best. Husband. Ever.) set out to Houston’s Hermann Park for a photo shoot with the lovely Erin. It is AWESOME to have friends that are amazing photographers as well as super amazing friends. 

This is now going to be my go to Valentine’s Day dress! What do you like to wear for a night out with your sweetie? Tell us in the comments!




Sarah Gabbart


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  1. love it! – nothing more to say.

  2. You guys are so adorable! Love it! Love the pics, the photo shoot theme, the dress – all of it! It makes me smile. :-)

  3. Adorable dress- well done! I smiled when I first saw it in the drafts on TypePad. :) Way to go all out!!

  4. Beautiful dress and a beautiful couple. So cute! What a pattern cover.. and does it say inspired by project runway.. that’s hilarious!!!! Who could possibly have approved that!?

  5. The dress is GORGEOUS Sarah and the photos simply adorable!

  6. You look fantastic – and a perfect dress for Valentine’s Day!

  7. That dress is so lovely – Its amazing how different the reality is from the drawing, and for the better! It can be hard to get past the fugly exteriors of pattern envelopes…
    I think that’s what puts me off modern patterns – the clothes never seem to fit that nice and they all look too big and frumpy on the models.
    In comparison, vintage patterns (60’s and earlier) they all look so glamorous leading to the opposite problem of making a frumpy dress look amazing.

  8. LOVE the dress! And I ADORE the photos!!!! How lovely!

  9. Oh darling Sarah! You are to DIE for here! Nice work Husbie on the poses and the phots! You guys rock!
    Well done on your garment too babes, it really does look WAY better than the pattern! How gorgeous!

  10. The dress is totally FAB ! and so are you two x x x

  11. Out of all your creations so far, this is my favorite, way to go! You guys are very photogenic, and I love your husband’s mustache socks!

  12. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dress! It’s my favourite creation of yours, so far. Well done!

  13. Ditto Amber above, I was admiring your dress (which is lovely by the way, good job there!) and then my eye was drawn to the yellow socks and I was like, “WOAH! Those are some bitchin’ socks!”
    2 thumbs up to your husband!

  14. I love the dress especially the cut out in the back. I love the pictures too, you and your husband are so cute.

  15. Thank you so much everybody!! It’s my favorite to far too!
    I love those mustache socks – we didn’t even realize he was wearing them until my friend Erin said “Wait! Are those MUSTACHES on your socks?!” LOL
    Also, let it be known that he is the best husband ever – not only did he put up with all this, but he cooked dinner on Valentines Day! I asked if he was going for sainthood or what!?

  16. I am so glad someone else uses the term “bitchin'” because I said it recently and was mocked! MOCKED! YESSS!

  17. Thanks Sarah!! Cool name by the way… ;o)

  18. Thank you Amber! He’s super cute, thus brings my stock up – I might make him an extra in all my photos from now on! LOL

  19. Thanks Veronica! OMG those patterns – what is going on with the fabric choices/cover art?!?

  20. YES! The 1960s ones look so “Joan” and then look kinda look dowdy when they’re finished – then the 1990s patterns (see Veronica’s one) looks super ugly and then BAM – so gorgeous!

  21. Thanks Adey! I’m thinking of you with my upcoming project – it’s a pattern you have made a ton and your takes on it have inspired me so much!

  22. RIGHT?! Thought I can imagine Tim Gunn would not approve of the weirdness of these covers!

  23. Thanks lady!! Ryan’s dancing is what I think brought it over the top – he was *bringing it* so hard that day between the props, the socks and the mad dance moves!

  24. Thanks Kat! It was fun to do and how often do you get to make you Valentine bring your flowers? It was awesome to be all demanding “Red roses Ryan. Bring them at noon to the museum.” LOL

  25. THE most perfect, beautifully handsome couple in the UNIVERSE!! Love the dress….love the socks… the people!! Smooches to you both, Aunt Lisa

  26. This is adorable! I love the fabric, the pattern, and the photoshoot! What a fantastic dress for Valentine’s day.
    And ugh, pattern covers. Tangentially related, my favorite new thrift store hobby is finding patterns with photos on their cover and telling Husband why they’d look better if the models *didn’t* have a 20″ waist and no curves. This is a body-image revelation for me! I don’t bat an eye at the illustrated covers, which show people that’re just as unrealistically proportioned– I guess I expect fashion drawings to be exaggerated in a way that I don’t for photos.

  27. YAY!! I got him those for christmas I think. Did I? I think I did. Ugh I don’t remember.
    Can I wear dress? Yes.

  28. methinks my son-in-law is such a ham! Gotta love him for his willingness to put himself out there. He’s a keeper!
    But…where was Tex?
    Love the dress!

  29. This is an awesome hobby!! I may have to start because WHOA – some of the ones in thrift stores/antique stores are scary!

  30. Who mocked you for saying “bitchin”?
    I punch them in the face now.

  31. Sarah, you and Ryan are quite possibly my favorite people to take pictures of.
    Also: I just noticed that Sam Houston is pointing *right at you guys, which is pretty awesome. Oh wait, I mean – don’t you love how I intentionally shot you guys so SH is pointing at you?

  32. Slips are the best! There is always a time for them (pretty much anytime you have a dress on or fell like kicking it around the house- so much classier than pjs!)

  33. I think my jaw hit the keyboard when I saw this dress! :) Love how you took the rather ho-hum pattern and made it glamorous and perfect for a night out! ;)
    ♥ Casey

  34. First, I love the pictures – you look like you were having a great time! The dress is stunning – red looks fantastic on you. I love the style – so well done!

  35. I love the dress and pattern. Beautifully crafted, darling! <3

  36. Thanks Aunt Lisa!! Love you!

  37. YESS! You would be so pretty in it – I’ll make you one! And yes – those are from you to Ryan for Christmas!

  38. Dude – you are the best! Thank you for always doing this – you are so talented!

  39. That’s a great idea! I might have to get a few bummin’ around slips, which would elevate the laziness to “lounging!”

  40. Thanks Meg! I might have to make a few more of these!

  41. Thank you so much! Also, best name ever – Combat Cookie? How did you come up with that?!