Hot! The “Just Because It’s Red Doesn’t Mean I Have To Enjoy Valentine’s Day” Dress

I am NOT a fan of Valentine’s Day.  And this year, in particular, it was impossible to avoid.  Each and every store window was filled with red hearts.  And every television show had their own special Valentine’s Day episode (perhaps this is always the case, but I have never been so aware of it).  While out shopping for dinner on the 14th, I noticed that the flower counter in Whole Foods was surrounded.  A man wearing scrubs was wandering around with a dozen roses in his hands and a dazed look on his face.  Why, why, why!?!

Well, I suppose that is enough hating on my least favorite Hallmark Holiday.  But be assured that I do make a point NOT to wear red on February 14th.  Silly, but it makes me feel better.

The fabric was a fantastic find at a warehouse sale a few years ago.  I was not sure what I was going to do with it, but I knew that 3 yards of the 57” wide fabric would certainly be perfect for a dress.

Not too long after, I came upon this pattern over at The Vintage Pattern Lending Library.  I set the fabric aside, knowing that I would save it for the pattern (whenever I got around to purchasing it!).  And here was the perfect opportunity!

I had a bit of a scare when I finally washed and ironed the fabric.  I noticed that there were two sections on the yardage that did not take the dye very well and would be un-usable.  With 3 yards plus two or three inches, I knew it was going to be a tight squeeze to fit all the pieces within my limited yardage.  Yes, I could easily have saved fabric by making up the three-quarter sleeve, or even the short sleeve view (there are three separate sleeve options included, even though the pattern illustrations show two!), but I am stubborn, and wanted my red satin dress to look as elegant as possible.

I LOVE the sleeves and am quite relieved that a creative cutting layout worked!

And now I have a lovely new red dress – perfect for any day excepting February 14th!

• The Facts

⁃ Fabric:  Red Rayon Satin from Bella Notte Linens warehouse sale; cotton remnants used for interfacing

⁃ Pattern:  Vintage Pattern Lending Library #7725, Ladies Peplum Suit Dress

⁃ Year:  1949

⁃ Notions:  Hug Snug Seam Binding; Zipper; Maxant Buckle Kit; Dritz covered button kit; cotton quilting batting for shoulder pads

⁃ Time to complete:  One week.

⁃ First worn:  February 15, 2012

⁃ Wear again?  Absolutely!

⁃ Total price:   ~ 45.00


Laura Mae

Laura Mae adores sewing and knitting, mostly vintage or vintage-inspired patterns. She hopes to inspire others to create lovely and lasting garments that speak of a past era and yet remain timeless and elegant.


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  1. I just got a membership to the VPLL! This pattern is on my radar; I was very interested to see how it works up! Quite fabulously it seems! I really love this shade of red on you.

  2. It’s a beautiful dress and such a gorgeous colour

  3. Wow, that is the best looking backside I’ve seen in ages! Looks different to the pattern doesen’t it – better! Looks totally fab on you. I am not that into Valentines, here it just means roses cost $100 – sickening – go any other week and you could fill two houses with the flowers you could buy for that!

  4. You always look so elegant – and this is no exception. I’m with you on the whole valentine’s – is it over yet? :)

  5. I love this dress, the buttons, the collar and love love love the details on the back of the dress. Beautifully done.

  6. Wow! This dress is so lovely! You look so sophisticated. :)

    I have similar feelings about St. Patrick’s Day. I do not wear green. At least now that I’m a grown up, people have stopped pinching me because of it.

  7. I completely love those sleeves and the ruffles on the derrière!

  8. Lovely dress! The back detail ia great. Good choice sticking with the long sleeves too. I completely agree – I despise Valentine’s Day! I never wear red (or pink) for it either.

  9. The skirt is stunning, and bravo for managing to get all of your pieces out of the fabric! I love that you went with long sleeves – very elegant indeed.

  10. It’s just wonderful, especially the back detail–dresses are usually so boring in the back!

  11. such beautiful detailing on this dress – what a great job you’ve done with it.

  12. I adore the back of this dress and the sleeves. Brilliant work!

  13. This looks absolutely gorgeous on you. I love the bum-ruching; I wouldn’t normally, but it really works on this look.

  14. Ruffled behind? so good. well done.