Sewing a Vintage Valentine’s Day Greeting Card Dress

It’s about to be my first Valentine’s Day as a married lady so I’ve been scouring the internet for a super cute true vintage card for my new hubby. As it goes with most web surfing, I ended up somewhere in the deep aesthetically pleasing pits of Pinterest where I stumbled upon a vintage greeting card that featured the cutest Valentine’s dress I’d seen in quite a while. I fell in love with it almost instantly and then thought, “why can’t I just make it for myself?”. So that’s what this post is all about today. I don’t know if anyone else has copied a dress from a vintage greeting card before, but here we are armed with loads of fabric and two full days to do it all in. Let’s get sewing!

The first issue with this project is that there is only the one image of the dress and it doesn’t show me what the dress looks like from the front so there will be a bit of artistic license taken with this project. Just incase you were wanting to make this dress for yourself (or at least some sort of variation), I will be using the Butterick 6453 Gertie pattern for the bodice as in my opinion, the dress has spaghetti straps and hopefully princess seams. The skirt will be made up of panels and layers trying to keep it as close to the image as possible. Now, let’s go fabric shopping! I got most of my fabric from Homecraft Textiles and the lace trims from Spotlight as I just wasn’t finding what I wanted. I couldn’t find any white lace time with a coloured edge so we will be sticking to just plain white for this project until I get an industrial machine and can fix it up in the future.

**Please note: this project was executed before the second lockdown and all safety measures were followed as per governmental guidelines**

What I used:
Butterick 6453 Gertie Bodice Pattern
2.5 metres of aqua blue cotton fabric
2 metres of white cotton fabric
1 metre of red cotton fabric
10 metres of red velvet trim
3 metres of white lace ruffle trim
2.5 metres of thin red decorative ribbon
55cm blue zip
Interfacing
Red, blue and white thread
Scissors and clippers
Water Soluble Marker
Sewing Machine

Day 1:
I started with creating the bodice of the dress using the Butterick Gertie pattern B6453 which is super simple and easy. It had been a while since I had done princess seams so it took me some time to align everything just right. I couldn’t find white lace trim which had a red edge so I experimented a few times but nothing I did was what I wanted so I just left the trim blank. I attached the lace ruffles to the top edge of the bodice and left room for my shoulders to pop out as per the original image.

I then cut out my skirt panel which was approximately 17 inches thick and two and a half metres wide (yeah sometimes I measure things in different metrics but its just how my brain works with different lengths). I also cut out my white panel which was 6 inches thick and also 2.5 metres wide (to match the skirt).

The next thing I did was create a heart shaped template on my computer and I printed and cut it out. I then set about pinning the template to my red fabric and cutting out about 18 hearts. I wanted more than I thought I would need just incase I changed my mind or used the spares for something else. I then ironed each heart, ironed on some interfacing to each heart, trimmed the excess and ironed each one again. This took some time but I was super happy with the final result.

Day 2:
I sewed my white panel to my blue skirt panel and used my overlocker to clean up the edges. Carefully measuring out the distance between each heart, I pinned hearts along the centre of the white panel around 10cm apart. I then sewed along the edge of each heart until they were all attached.


I then attached the thick white lace gathered trim to the bottom of the white panel.

I then pinned and sewed my red and white lace ribbon around 12.5 inches from the top of the blue skirt panel (or approx 3.5 inches from the bottom of the blue skirt panel). I made sure to sew along the top and bottom of the ribbon very carefully.

Next I pinned and sewed the red velvet ribbon at the top and bottom of the white panel making sure to cover the join to the blue skirt panel and where the lace was attached. I sewed along the top and bottom of the ribbon to ensure it was secure and looked clean.

I then gathered my skirt using the dental floss method and pinned it to my bodice. Once I was happy with the gathers, I attached my skirt to my bodice and used an overlocker to clean up the edges.

To finish her off I added in a zip and gave her a really good press. Along the back seam where all the panels met in the skirt, I had enough space for another heart so I added one to continue the pattern and not leave an odd white gap.

For the bow on the side, I cut about a metre of white cotton fabric the same width as the white panel (6inches) and eyeballed how big I would like my bow to be. I trimmed off the excess and sewed that piece into a loop so when pinched in the middle it became the bow. I used pinking sheers to trim the edges and gave the seam a good iron. I then sewed the red velvet ribbon on both the inside and outside top and bottom edges sewing both the top and bottom of the ribbon. I also sewed two red heart appliqués to the curves of the bow.

I made the bow tails out of more white panel fabric and decided how long to make the tail when I held it up to the bow. I then used an overlocker to seal the edges before hemming the ends and attaching more red velvet ribbon to the inner and outer part of the top and bottom edges.

I them cut a smaller rectangle to bind the bow together which was sealed using the overlocker and more red velvet ribbon. The velvet ribbon was only attached to the front as no one would see the underside.

Once the bow was complete, I hand sewed it onto the right hand side of the skirt along the white panel. The bow is quite bulky so I might decide in future to unpick it but for now it stays.

And she was done!

Miss MonMon wearing a dress inspired by a vintage Valentine’s Day Card.
Miss MonMon wearing a dress inspired by a vintage Valentine’s Day Card.
Miss MonMon wearing a dress inspired by a vintage Valentine’s Day Card.
Miss MonMon wearing a dress inspired by a vintage Valentine’s Day Card.

I’m really surprised how much fun I had making this dress. I am by no means a professional seamstress and have taught myself everything I know so I’m pretty proud of this dress. I love how close it is to the original image but also the overall cuteness. It did take a bit of thinking and decision making on how to assemble the dress but to also make it look as clean as possible. I’m so glad that a simple scroll through Pinterest created such a fun project and I would really like to continue this idea through other holidays. If you’d like to see me try other holiday inspired greeting card dresses, please let me know and I’m always happy to receive inspiration through my Instagram messages.

If I could change anything on this dress it would be to find a better lace trim which matched the original a little closer than the one I found. I thought of this project on a whim and knew that with all the delays with shipping, any ribbon I purchase online will not arrive in time for me to craft and complete before Valentines day. At one stage I was going to purchase a heart patterned ribbon for the white and red ribbon layer but thought perhaps it’s a bit too ‘hearts in your face’ so I opted for the ribbon with a simpler design. If you are happy with more hearts, this would also be a fun red/white ribbon alternative.

If I could change anything on this dress it would be to find a better lace trim which matched the original a little closer than the one I found. I thought of this project on a whim and knew that with all the delays with shipping, any ribbon I purchase online will not arrive in time for me to craft and complete before Valentines day. At one stage I was going to purchase a heart patterned ribbon for the white and red ribbon layer but thought perhaps it’s a bit too ‘hearts in your face’ so I opted for the ribbon with a simpler design. If you are happy with more hearts, this would also be a fun red/white ribbon alternative.

Miss MonMon wearing a dress inspired by a vintage Valentine’s Day Card.

I know that in the original image, the white panel with hearts has a wave pattern going through the middle of the hearts which I left out. I decided not to add this layer as I felt it would start looking a bit too crafty but of course, if you feel the dress needs it, feel free to add it. This dress can also be simplified into a skirt with a similar design if a dress is daunting. I’d love to make something similar using pink instead of blue and pink and red is my favourite colour combination.

thankyou_edited-1

Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.

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