Simon and I have been on a Mad Men binge lately, and I think all the gorgeous fashions are seeping into my style… hence the Brigitte Bardot backcombed hair and the knee boots to go with my newest make! The Forget-Me-Not Patterns Valerie dress definitely has a little Swinging Sixties feel to it, with its kicky A-line skirt; it is still quite romantic silhouette for Valentine’s Day, only a bit sassier 😉 This dress is proving perfect for the transition from winter to spring wardrobes — I am wearing it today with warm tights, boots, and a thermal top layered underneath, but I know as soon as the weather gets warmer, I will be wearing this dress with sandals.
I was so thrilled when the lovely people at Forget-Me-Not Patterns reached out and sent me a PDF copy of their Valerie Dress pattern for free. The Valerie Dress has got a fitted, unlined bodice with a jewel neckline, which is combined with the aforementioned 60s style A-line skirt. The darted raglan sleeves to keep the dress looking looking modern, and there are four different sleeve options, including long, cuffed sleeves, billowy three-quarter-length sleeves, a simple short sleeve, or an added flounce to the short sleeve option (which I of course opted for). You can make the Valerie dress in drapey, non-stretch woven fabrics, like viscose challis, wool crepe, cotton lawn and light-weight linen. One element I was pleasantly surprised by was the inclusion of three different bust sizes available (cup sizing in small, medium and full) to help you get a good fit in the bodice. Judging by the finished garment measurement, I chose a size 36 and the full cup sizing.
One detail I adore is the slanted pockets; I usually go for standard side-seam pockets when making full skirts, yet slanted pockets like these are so elegant on a more fitted design. (Note to self: draft some slanted pockets on some upcoming projects!)
I had no issue with any part of the construction of this dress, because the Forget-Me-Not Patterns instructions are incredibly detailed and offer plenty of tips on any tricky sections. I did find it particularly helpful that the instructions remind you of the seam allowance for each section you sew. I would definitely recommend this pattern to a confident beginner wanting to hone their skills.
The only adjustment I made was to interface the neckline facing using my standard trick and to sew it in place at 5/8″, as well as hemming the dress a little shorter. Next time I make this dress, I think I will shorten the bust darts a little, as they are sitting too close to the apex right now.
The fabric pairing for this dress was a very lucky coincidence. I had bought a 2.2m remnant of this Lady McElroy cotton lawn in a Christmas sale on a bit of a whim. I usually only buy fabrics when I have a clear idea on what to make with them, and I was half-toying with the idea of making a Tilly and the Buttons Indigo dress, but wasn’t fully convinced. Luckily I had left this fabric in my stash for a few weeks and hadn’t committed to cutting anything out, so I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw that the Valerie dress required 2.1m! Pattern matching became a bit challenging as a result, so I chose to match along the centre back seam only.
Thanks again to Forget-Me-Not Patterns for gifting me a copy of the Valerie Dress! I have a feeling that this dress is versatile enough to serve me well both on my upcoming business trips and on date nights with Simon. I am already planning my next version, with colour-blocking in two different colours of gingham for spring!
Don’t forget to check out the Valerie dress on Instagram for more inspiration!
Forget-Me-Not Patterns Valerie
Size 28 – 52
Full Bust: 27½″- 54½″