Hot! Hearts Away Dress

Fabric: 2.5 yards of Cotton Gingham & 1.5 yards of Red Cotton Lawn
Pattern: Simplicity 1655 for the Bolero and Simplicity 3016 for the Dress & Cummerbund
Year: 1950’s
Notions: 1 regular zipper and cord for piping
Time to Complete: 15 hrs (I’m slow and I did lots of hand-stitching)
First Worn:
February 2012
Wear Again:
Yup, this summer dress will be worn next week while I’m vacationing in Florida!
Total Price: $25-ish

So far, I think I spent the most time planning out my Valentine’s Day dress than any other theme this year which is surprising.  It’s surprising to me since I have never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day.  No matter if I was single hangin’ with the gals or with if I was attached with a boyfriend, the holiday always seemed to be just an excuse to spend money.  (Very Bah, Humbug of me, no?!)

But this year, while I was planning for the Sew Weekly theme of Red, I began to get excited to participate in the holiday.  Seriously, for the first time ever I’m excited to be all lovey with my husband, eat some sweets and exchange a little token of affection!  I think I’m just going to blame it on the dress.  :)

I had lots of fun and lots of help from fellow bloggers in order to create my Valentine’s Day dress.  The first thing I knew I wanted to do for the Red-Valentine’s theme was to try my hand at a heart cut-out.  Since I’ve never done a cut-out dress before, I took to the web and used a combination of tutorials, one from the amazing Vivat Veritas and the other from the fun & quirky gal at Cation DesignsMs. Cation Designs actually created her tutorial (aka the Superman Dress) as part of the Do-Over Challenge from Sew Weekly this past November, to boot.

Secondly, I had a really hard time deciding what color scheme to use for my dress.  I received lots of love and help as fellow bloggers pulled together to vote on my dress’ color scheme along with helping me decide if I should make a matching bolero/jacket or not.  This is when another amazing blogger pal, Annabellebumps, came to my rescue with the bolero pattern from Simplicity 1655.  She traced the pattern and shipped it snail mail to me in just enough time to make it up for part of my Red Challenge!

And lastly, my own supportive husband woke up hours earlier than normal to stand outside in 10 degree (ferinheight) weather in order to take these pictures to share my dress with you all.  This was done pre-work and sans complains from the man.  I feel so lucky!

All in all, I found that this one little dress enabled me to really feel the love from all of my fellow bloggers and just in time for Valentine’s Day.  It wasn’t about the sweets and it wasn’t about the gifts.  For me, it was how kind and supportive everyone in our online community really is and I love being apart of it!

Happy Valentine’s Day/Week everyone!



By day Liz Holder works as a research analyst where she plays with data and charts, but by night she becomes a create-a-holic. She loves creating and learning new things which is why her favorite craft is sewing, which she’s been doing in full force after taking her first sewing class a year and a half ago. There is an endless array of skills, tricks, and techniques for her to research on any given project and at the end she's ecstatic o have created a unique garment that she can then celebrate by sharing it with the blogosphere after which she wears it to work where she crunches more numbers and starts the cycle all over again.


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  1. I’ve been DYING with anticipation to see this dress (I follow your blog). This is so ridiculously cute! I love the heart cut-out…

  2. The heart cut out is super cute!

  3. How cute! The cutout is so sweet :D

  4. That’s a lovely dress, and a lovely story! :-)

    • Thanks Kat! So many bloggers helped with this dress creation that I thought they should get their ‘due’ vs. me and my strugles with the construction and whatnot.

  5. Eek I love it! It looks so cute on you and the heart cut out with the binding and matching bolero is wonderful!

    • I may have planned that…. :) But for the exact color combination, I can’t take the credit. I had a vote on my blog and my fine readers choose it for me. I was going to go with white, but I’m glad they chose the gingham instead. It pulls things together much better than the white would have.

  6. beautiful work on the cutout heart. Pink and red look fabulous together and you look altogether cute.

  7. omg this is adorable! i think you belonged on the “top 5”!

  8. A really adorable and unique 50’s dress. I really like it. I think I’ll check out your blog and see just how you did it.

  9. That is such a cute back cut out! i love it!

  10. Totally. Adorable. That cutout really makes this the best Valentine’s dress ever. Even better, you look fantastic in it. All that work definitely paid off!

  11. Oh I love this! I want one!!!

  12. This is super cute. Feeling that love is in the air. The bolero is really beautiful.

  13. I heart your heart cut out. I wanted so bad to do something heart related for this week’s challenge (an appliqué or embroidery maybe), but didn’t have the time. It made my day see that you went where I couldn’t and it’s better than I could’ve ever imagined or pulled off.

  14. OMG PUT YOUR COAT ON RIGHT NOW. The dress is gorgeous, and I adore your cut out! Your fabrics worked out so well, as did that fantastic bolero. I hope you get to wear it often in Florida! But in the meantime, put your coat on before you get sick, young lady … you do not want a cold in Florida :)

    • It was super cold! My feet and hands went numb! Every 5-10 minutes I ran to my coat to warm up before taking more photos. *brrrrr*

      I just got over being sick… and luckily I didn’t get sick again from the shoot. :)

  15. Your heart blows me away! Beautiful work, and I love how it all came together, especially the sweet bolero.

  16. Omg this is perfection! I’m seriously in awe of your dedication to the whole thing. Fantastic job!!

  17. Thanks so much SullyLiz. :) I still love that you made your own cardigan! :)

  18. Very charming Liz, piping hot heart. Love it! You look darling.

  19. I am so loving the heart cut out. Adorable!