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Ruby Red Velvet Dress

For the 4th FabricMart Fabrics Fabricista Challenge, we are supposed to make the Perfect Red Dress, and create a story for when we would wear it.  So, here is my dress and my story.

Fast forward to February 14, 2015.

/Scene/:  The winds are howling outside. The windows are laced with snow.

My husband lights a fire and I light the candles. 

It's Valentine's Day.   I pour a glass of wine while he checks the oven.  Dinner is almost ready. 

I put on my ruby velvet dress and my strand of pearls.  He puts on his velour tracksuit from the 70's.
No need to go out to dinner. It's a perfect Valentine's Day right here.

/End Scene/

Hope you head on over to the Fabricista Challenge page on the FabricMart Blog and vote for your favorite red dress!  Voting is Wednesday and Thursday, and the winner is announced on Friday.

If you're still reading, here is the rest of the story:

Living in Illinois, where it will get to be zero degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, one of my pet peeves is stores selling sleeveless, mini dresses for the winter season.  Come on, people!  It's freezing outside, and even inside, it is not that warm, so get real! Most of us just wear red sweaters- I swear- it's our Illinois holiday uniform.  You go to a party anytime between December and March, and you wear a red sweater.  Unless you are really feeling sexy, and then you wear a black sweater.  But still- its a SWEATER, not a SLEEVELESS mini-dress.

So, for this challenge, I wanted to make a winter dress, and found a ruby red rayon velvet in my stash.  I have loved velvet since I was a little girl and had a doll named Velvet- Crissy's blonde younger cousin.   You remember- the ones whose hair could grow?  You pushed their belly buttons, and then pulled the hair out of holes in the top of their heads.  No, I'm not making this up; I cross my heart.  This was high tech in 1970.  Velvet had a purple velvet dress- SLEEVELESS!  Even then they were pushing these sleeveless dresses down our throats.
Velvet and Crissy dolls
But, I LOVED that doll.  My best friend, Edie, had Crissy and we played for hours with them.   I even made my mother sew me a purple velvet matching dress. 

My pattern was Vogue 2926.  I liked the neckline on this one, and because of the long sleeves, I thought it would be a great winter dress.  After thinking about it and the velvet together though, I decided to skip the godets.  The fewer seams seemed like a good idea, considering my fussy friend, Ms. Velvet.  I decided to have a little fun with the hem and curve it to match the curve that went above the godets in the pattern.  I used a stretch lace for the sleeves.

I would not go into this velvet sewing project without an arsenal of weapons.

First- a thick terry towel.  Whaaaat?  Are you going to the gym, or sewing?  What's that got to do with sewing?  Well, you cannot iron velvet without the pile flattening out.  Pile is that kitten like plushness that you want to pet.  Flatten it out, and you lose that "pet"ability.

What you can do, however, is place a thick terry towel on your ironing board, steam above the velvet, and then lightly fingerpress the velvet as it lies on the towel.  Even this is risky.  Too much pressure even with your fingertips, and you'll see the seam allowance flatten the pile below it.  It has to be juuussst right.  Practice on some scraps before attempting it on the real garment.

Second- Spray adhesive.  You're thinking.  "So you won't iron this stuff, but you'll spray glue all over it?"  Yup, that's right. Well, technically not all over it.  Cover everything with newspaper, BUT the seams that you want to work on.  So, they get the glue, and then you can stick them together instead of pinning, before you sew the seam.  Works beautifully.

Third- Wonder Tape.  You mean the sticky double sided tape?  Yes, that's the one.  I wouldn't even think of hemming or inserting a zipper into this fabric without it.   

I loved doing this challenge!  It's fun to think of all the possible scenarios that you could be wearing a red dress in, and what form that red dress might take.  I feel a little like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz that I decided that there's "no place like home" to wear my perfect ruby red dress.



  1. That is a beautiful dress! Thank you for the tips on sewing velvet and the smiles!

  2. Ooh so fancy. Lace and Velvet? I have only done that once, for a Rapunzel costume for my daughter. ;-) Must try it for me sometime.

    You are going to have a wonderful Valentine's Day! I bet hubby is excited to see you wearing that one that day!!!

    1. This is my first try at a velvet dress too! I just decided it's now or never. Hubby would be happy if I wore a burlap sack, as long as there is pot roast in the oven!

  3. wow, your dress is the loveliest version of tht Vogue pattern It has been aging in my collection but your version is making me move it up in the queue this year. Lovely story, wonderful dress. And yes, who are those people wearing sleeveless in the winter?!

    1. Thanks, Jane. I couldn't find any pictures of it online when I was researching it. As with all of Sandra Betzina's patterns, it is fantastically well done. I highly recommend it!

  4. Pretty Ann! I haven't noticed this pattern and I love your story! Too funny!

    1. Thanks, Sue! It's been a few years since it was in the catalog.

  5. Beautifully done Ann! Really love the richness of that color!

  6. Fantastic effort. Can I ask where you actually learnt to tailor like this? My wife has been following a monthly magazine publication,but is not getting very far.

    1. Thank you, Magician! I have been sewing for a very long time, and mostly was taught by my Mom. There are some fantastic resources on the internet. I would recommend It's a huge sewing community that supports and shares knowledge. There are also some awesome video classes available there, and at If she can find a teacher locally, that would be the best, because then the teacher can help her with fitting directly, which can be extremely tricky.

  7. Hello

    I am interested in the velvet dress
    I could buy it from them.
    I pay what they want.
    I offer 100 to 150 euros.
    or what they want.
    please write to me

    1. Hi Oliver,
      Thank you for your interest in my dress. I would be interested in selling it. Please e-mail me at with your shipping address for a quote on price.

  8. You have a real ability for writing unique content. I like how you think and the way you represent your views in this article. I agree with your way of thinking. Thank you for sharing.
    J.B. Magician Toronto


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