Hot! The ‘Blue Valentine’ Outfit | Veronica Darling


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Fabric: Floral lawn, $4 and blue lining, $.50c for the dress, and thrifted heavy ribbed knit fabric, $2 for the shrug
Pattern: Simplicity 3546 and Karin's The Perfect Shrug, free from Burda Style
Year: 1951 & 2011 for the shrug
Notions: Vintage zipper, my friend's grandma's stash
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: November 2011
Wear again? Maybe for the dress, but yes totally for the shrug!

Total Cost: ~$6.50

For this Do Over week, it's was a little overwhelming looking at Mena's archive page and seeing all our garments from this year! OMG there are so many outfits! It took me a little while to choose what to do! I settled on my 'Dinner Date Dress' from our Seeing Red week in February, as I really like the pattern but didn't think the red dress turned out the best. I've worn it maybe 2 times this year, as it makes me feel very wide and stumpy. If you're under 5 foot 2, you know what I'm talking about!

It could also be that this pattern looks AMAZING on the cover, and sewn up, may not be realistic. So I decided to find out one more time!


And it does LOOK amazing, but it feels a little weird when I put it on. Might be the side zipper? Might be the wider shoulder straps? Or it might be that it's a perfect fit, and that feels weird!

Myimage from red dress also had some weird feelings and I thought it had to do with the curved neckline facing as it didn't sit flat and the neckline's 'V' or 'key' section stuck out and flopped around. This time I thought lining the entire bodice and making the 'V' less deep would solve this, and it's way better along the neckline now. Also this softer and lighter fabric is probably a better choice than the thicker red stuff I made the original dress from.

With my Dinner Date Dress, just before I cut the skirt, I decided to change tact and make the pencil skirt a gathered one (I was planning to wear it bike riding!). And this is probably why I don't wear it now! The red fabric was a thicker synthetic and as I had forgotten to resize the bodice, the skirt's waistline was lower on my hips and the gathered fabric felt bulky and probably contributed to me feeling oversized.

So this time I resized the bodice properly, and it fits amazingly well. I followed the skirt (resizing it twice, because it would have been on the floor!) as exactly as I could, but shortened the pleat (which is gorgeous and quite simple to put in!) and added some lining.


This dress does work well, and is as cute as the cover suggests. Reading the pattern's suggested fabric types would have made things easier the first time (but I was determined to use that red material!) as it's all about the cotton and linen. And following the instructions instead of adding a gathered (and bulky) skirt also makes the dress a success! I actually adore this fabric, so I'm pleased to see it made up in an era appropriate dress.

As for my shrug: I wanted to add a bolero, but didn't really have the right fabric to match the blue flowers in my stash. This black ribbed stretch knit looked good, but it wasn't enough for the Simplicity Bolero… and then I remembered: KARIN'S PERFECT SHRUG! I was going to test out her pattern to see if it makes sense (back in June!), but time flew and now it's late November, but you can get it for free on Burda Style and it's totally the perfect shrug! I made it without printing the pattern up (it's pretty much an upside down T) and it took 10 minutes. It's even perfect for leftover knit fabric pieces (you need less than a metre, I reckon!) so I'm going to destash a lot of my knits with new summer shrugs! Thanks Karin!


 And there's my 'supermodel' elbows out – rib cage collapsed – pose! 



Veronica Darling

Veronica Darling has been sewing well for about 4 years, blogging for 5 years and smiling for over 33 years. In 2011, she joined Mena's Sew Weekly in sewing through the year, and in 2012 will keep challenges slightly smaller in scale.


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  1. This is such a lovely outfit! I love how you have refined the dress, and such a pretty neckline. Oh and the shrug, I feel the urge to make one right now! I hope you wear the dress again, it’s very flattering on you!

  2. Delightful! I love this and it fits you beautifully!

  3. Wow! That’s so pretty! A perfect fit too. I’m going to have to look into that Shrug pattern. It looks great with the dress.

  4. I think that this is my favourite of all your projects this year! Yum.

  5. I cannot for the life of me understand why you think the red dress isn’t flattering. The blue one is also amazing. Accept it: you ROCK.

  6. I agree with Roxanne…you ROCK. x Huzby

  7. Fantastic!! I love, love this version of the dress. The blue floral print looks so pretty and so pretty on you. Well done!!
    PS: I really do love the original red dress, too. :)

  8. I loved the richness of the red dress but think that this blue version is much better. The shape of the skirt works so beautifully – and it makes you look taller :-D
    The shrug is a beaut too and I’ve already downloaded the instructions.

  9. Both the red and blue floral dresses are fabulous! But I do agree that this version makes you look hourglass even more! The fit is fantastic and what a cute shrug!

  10. Wow. This is the best and most flattering thing you’ve made – and the best pics of you I’ve seen. The topmost one is like something out of a magazine. And the hairstyle really really suits you. Even better than the marilyn look in the red dress. Don’t forget this style when you want to look your bestest!

  11. I love both versions of this dress so much! This ensemble of dress, shrug and shoes is PERFECT!

  12. Yep! You rock both versions, I LOVE your supermodel pose too he he.

  13. My flipping word that dress looks incredible on you – what an amazing fit, SO flattering! Anyway, you look incredible. Oops, double up on the “incredible”. Oh well, totally worth it. I love the styling and the photos as always xx