A Valentine’s Day dress…

I love February! It’s such a sweet month, and the last day (3 out of 4 years) is my birthday. So I try to make a suitable something every year.

Anticipating this year’s make, I picked up Girl Charlee’s ‘LOVE’ knit jersey during the Thanksgiving sales. It comes in a white/red colorway as well, but I really like this gray/black combo. More subtle, if that’s possible with this print – and it’s very playful.

I’ve worn it twice already this month and received nice comments each time. The dress is my version of the Dixie DIY Ballet Dress, i.e., the top from the pattern and a length of fabric for the skirt. Lazy me, but the width of a most knit fabrics work great for my skirt without any shaping.

The neckline binding is black rayon jersey – I thought it would look strangely speckled if done in the main fabric.

This cotton/poly fabric, which is branded under Girl Charlee’s own name, is light to mid-weight (7.5 – 8 oz.) and is easy to sew and wear. It has a nice amount of width-wise stretch without being ‘spongy’ or clingy.

A couple sewing notes:

I just can’t wear the elastane tape  that is often recommended to support shoulder and waistline seams. For the waistline on a casual garment, I usually sew the seam with a lightning stitch, serge/cut the allowances together, press them up, and topstitch them to the bodice. That waistline is not going anywhere…

Waistline seam, inside view

I like to serge/cut my armhole seams together, and then let the fabric tell me what to do with the seam. On this dress, I pressed the seam in, towards the bodice, and topstitched it. Some fabrics want to go the other way, towards the sleeve.

Armhole seam, inside view

There’s a recurring discussion of the ‘which direction for seams’ question on Pattern Review, and not just for sleeves, but for any seam. I go with the flow unless there’s a compelling design reason to use a particular approach.

Because when the garment is laundered, the seams are going to tend to their natural placement…most of my garments wave goodbye to the iron once I’ve finished sewing them 🙂


Fun project. But now I’m stuck. I’ve had three serious wadders already this year, all with new patterns. And I’ve no idea what I want to do next.

This happens once in a while, so I’m knitting while I wait for that lightning bolt moment. I decided to learn how to knit socks. Those skinny double-point needles have always intimidated me – but I’ve done 7 socks now, none of which are matching, and I’m getting good at it!

Bye for now – Coco

24 thoughts on “A Valentine’s Day dress…

  1. I love that “love”fabric, such fun and the colours too, that look a really comfy make. I too have had a couple of wadders, they rock my confidence sometimes. My son's birthday is on the 29th, so this year he will celebrate it in February.


  2. Thank you, Janet, and of course we're friends! I love blogging friendships – strange how they form and wonderful how they're treasured.


  3. And Happy Birthday to you! The Christine Jonson top is so pretty, I like the 'not too large' cowl and the piecing. Would love to see it – are you going to review it on PR? Those socks…I have 2 that match now! and will blog them soon.


  4. Happy birthday dear friend! It may sound presumptuous but I consider you a friend that I visit every morning with a cup of coffee! Enjoy your day. You deserve it!


  5. Wow Coco! I just LOVE everything about this! I have to check and see if any more of this fabric is available–it is SO STINKING CUTE!!! I am going to adopt your wisdom of letting the seams do what they want! I too have had a few wadders that make me want to cry but I guess not every garment will be a winner! Your dress is a WINNER!!!


  6. Love the LOVE dress and always appreciate your approach to fabric and design and “doing it your way!” My birthday was 2 days ago so Happy Birthday to another February gal. Finally have completed sewing something for myself, but don't have a blog to show it. I entered my first Sew Along and made the Cowl Neck Top from Christine Jonson. Now that it is done, I am very happy with it. It also can be made into a tunic and will try that later. But back to all your wonderful ideas and techniques that work for you–I'm in awe and you inspire me to want to do more. Looking forward to a glimpse of the SOCKS!


  7. Thanks so much. The socks are really kind of fun, mostly because there aren't many stitches in a row. I get impatient when I knit sweaters 🙂


  8. Thank you, Theresa. the McCalls pattern looks like it was made for you – bet you find good fabric for the bits and pieces. I always enjoy your animal prints. The cocoon – my favorite fabric is ponte, which sews like a woven and holds up in the band nicely. Of course I wear mine half the time over my pj's, it's that comfy. Hope it works for you! if it doesn't, you have to blame it on the weather…


  9. I've had a few wadders too this year, but I've also had some really nice makes with TNT patterns and gave McCalls 7093 a spin and liked it. I also ordered the Jalie Cocoon Cardi based on your blog. I'm hoping to find something suitable knit wise, easy to sew as I just can't stand working with knits…..
    Your love dress is certainly love worthy though, Looks fantastic on you Coco!


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