Monday, March 2, 2015

Valentines Dress

In the costume shop I work in, rather than having a holiday party in December we have a Halloween and Valentines party. Being a costume shop of course costume/dressing up is a must. So this year I didn't have time to make a full out costume so I landed on making this pink mini dress. I used, you guessed it, another Gertie pattern. This dress was a version of the wiggle dress.

I made quite a few alterations to this pattern. First thing I did was to make the neckline into a scoop neck rather than a bateau neckline. I also matched the scoop in the back, rather than leaving it in a "V" shape. Then I shortened the sleeve considerably. The original pattern has a 3/4 length sleeve. The dress has a sleeve gusset in it and I think in the future making of this dress I would like to experiment with not using a gusset. I used a stretch fabric so I did away with the zipper in the back, I have to really wiggle into it but it works. I also shortened it so much that there was really no vent anymore.

The other detail I added to this dress was another sewing tattoo themed screen print with hand embroidery. It also has a little nod to Valentines Day with the use of the heart in the design. On the screen printed measuring tape I wrote in embroidery "Till Death Do Us Part", because that is the only way I'll be parting from my sheers.

I have to admit that something happened in the making of this dress. Can you see it? I had something happen to me that has not happened since the first time I used a serger. I cut a hole in my fabric. AHHHHH! I CUT A HOLE IN MY FABRIC! I just sat there looking at it, thinking, "What the heck did I do?" Rookie mistake, not paying enough attention, and serging early in the morning.

When mistakes like mine happen I always tell my students that if you can't fix it feature it. There is nothing more obvious than a poor patch job. I patched the tear and then troubled over what to do. I ended up screen printing a small button over it and had a mix of silver and black threads trailing from it and tying it back to the main motif. I actually really like it.

I had a lot of fun with this print and embroidery. It was a fun process. It started with drawing out my design. Then I used freezer paper to accomplish the different layers of the print. I started with the silver scissors, then the black heart and then finally the yellow measuring tape. 

It's important to test out your print before going onto the real fabric. So I did a sample to make sure that my templates worked. 

I did my screen print before putting the garment completely together because it made it easier to lay the piece flat to print on.

Then of course there was my tear. Oh dear. It's bad. The two little dots you see on my fabric are going to be the eyes of my button. It looks like fabric monster! 

Next I laid out the parameters of the buttons. Then I took my sponge brush and printed over the top of those two little dots and removed them after the fact with a pin. 

I am thrilled with how it came out. I love it and I feel like it really makes the dress quite special. I think that this printbroidery is becoming my staple and my statement. I am wonderfully pleased with the end result.


  1. I wanted to make this dress since I got the book but I didn't have the courage yet to attempt it. I really love your version, and the tattoo is amazing. It makes this dress unique. I'm sorry about the tear but it's noticeable with the dress decoration. You always inspire me to make more of Gertie's designs.

    1. I've made this dress three times now. twice for myself and once for my wife. Hers I made with a fuller skirt pleated into the waist. I really like this dress. I feel sexy wearing it but at the same time not trashy.