The February Dress. A dress inspired by the love and romance that February brings. A month full of flowers, hearts, love notes, and kisses. I knew early on that February would be a ball gown. It had to be big and grand and beautiful, but it also needed to be whimsical. My choice in fabric created that look. The color, drape, and the embellishments in The February Dress had to be perfect. Something breathtakingly elaborate, but also delicate and not overdone. This blush floral embellished fabric was the clear winner. This fabric is symbolic of how every woman should feel in February (Valentine’s Day date or not!). It is feminine, unique with scalloped lace and beading that harmoniously create one of the most beautiful fabrics that I have ever worked with.
This dress took nine yards of fabric and sixteen hours to create. The most fabric I’ve ever used on a dress was five yards, so the creation of this dress was really pushing my capabilities. I was originally going to do a flutter sleeve that mimicked the silhouette of the skirt, but the more I looked at the fabric on my mannequin without any fabric backing it, I knew I needed to do long sleeves to really show off the embroidery against the skin.
I kept the scalloped trim along the edges of the sleeves to match the hem of my skirt. I cut off all of the 3D floral embellishments on the sleeves to give it a cleaner look. I wanted the sleeves to be long, but not feel too heavy. I opted for a simple scoop neck and had the embroidered fabric come just a touch higher than the solid fabric underneath. I placed the embroidered bodice fabric at an angle, and the embroidered skirt fabric with the flowers running straight down, which I think is a really pretty juxtaposition. To get the look that I wanted for the full skirt, the embellished fabric needed to be gathered a lot.
The fabric underneath is a bit more of a baby pink (which kept the dress from looking too peach), but if the embroidered fabric laid flat against it, the skirt wouldn’t be the true shade of blush that I was aiming for. So I gathered about seven yards of the fabric to create the skirt. You will see in my Behind The Dress video coming next week…it was quite an ordeal! I also had to remove all the beading along the top of the fabric so that I could sew it without breaking too many needles.
For the hemline I chose a shorter hem in the front to give it a youthful silhouette. A full length gown with long sleeves would have read a bit older than I was wanting, and I love the little window the skirt has for the Badgley Mischka shoes (which, by the way, are the most beautiful shoes I’ve ever worn). I kept the jewelry simple with only these Baublebar drop statement hoops in the exact same blush shade as the dress.
I decided to keep the location for this shoot clean and elegant. I opted for a studio so that the focus would be on the fabric and the dress, not so much the surroundings. The January Dress was all about the location…The February Dress is all about the fabric. We created a cascading flower wall that enhanced the flowers on the dress without overshadowing them, and played a lot with natural light against the damask molded wall.
Here is the full time-lapse video of how I created The February Dress..
The inspiration board for The February Dress:The February Dress inspiration sketch done by Jill Paz Illustration
I hope you love this dress as much as I loved dreaming and creating it. It was a dress I feel like I’ve been dying to create for my entire life. If I could be any dress, I would be The February Dress.
Get this look with similar dresses below:
Don’t miss any of my dresses from The Monthly Dress Series. You can follow along on instagram at #themonthlydressseries, or click on any of the dresses below to view the full post and time-lapse videos for those.
Thank you again for all of your excitement surrounding this series! I absolutly love reading through your comments! They help fuel my excitement and creativity. Was The February Dress what you were envisioning? Let me know what you think in the comments below, I would love to hear!
If you don’t know how to sew but are interested in learning, make sure you check out my online sewing courses for beginner and intermediate sewers.
A cute statement tee is a fun and easy way to dress up for Valentine’s Day. This kisses tee has lots of pretty shades of pink in it, so adding a bright pink blazer really plays up the colors well. There are so many cute tops out there that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day, and there’s still plenty of time to grab one before next week! Check out some of the cutest ones I’ve found below.
Also, I’m so excited to reveal The February Dress TOMORROW!!! It will be live on the blog first thing at 6am EST. I love every single dress I create, but this one is my dream dress. If I could be any dress…this is the dress I would be. I can’t wait to show you!!
If you’re looking to step outside of the typical red and pink color combination for Valentine’s Day this year, mixing deep jewel tones is the perfect way to go. These navy trousers combined with the deep maroon tones in this heart top are an unexpected color combo, but the look is still feminine and easily works for any Valentine’s Day plans you may have. This heart top would also be cute tucked into a skirt for a more dressed up look, and it’s versatile enough to wear with jeans more casually as well.
You can’t go wrong with a little red dress for Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re going out with the girls or doing a date night with your spouse, a bold red dress is the perfect stand out piece. I love this one for under $50, and this one for under $30.
Lace makes any look more feminine and romantic, making it the perfect addition to a Valentine’s Day outfit. If adding a lace top to a lace skirt feels too dressed up, a pretty lace top with jeans and some blush heels or flats would be cute too.
Holidays are always a fun time to play up your look and be bold. Why not add a pair of unique and flirty heels to your Valentine’s Day look this year? These maroon sandals are really similar to mine, and they would be cute with a similar pink ruffle top and jeans.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I got this top finished just in time for today and I am so happy with how it turned out! Isn’t this lip print fun? I picked it up at Mood Fabrics in LA a while back and knew I wanted to do something for Valentine’s Day with it. This lightweight poly blend fabric is the perfect drape for a tie neck blouse. I miiight have sewed the tie incorrectly at 2am, but a little date with my seam ripper fixed it right up. (I probably shouldn’t be sewing in the wee hours of the morning anymore..)
The tutorial for this top is coming soon, but I found some really cute options that are similar! I linked to them below..
Pink is always a favorite color for Valentine’s Day, but blush will be sticking around long after the holiday passes. Shades of pink have been popping up all over the place lately, and I’m loving this color trend. Blush is the perfect Spring neutral to keep an eye out for. If you’re looking for a color to start incorporating into your daily wardrobe, don’t overlook a blush sweater, pumps, or even a blush bag. It’s a versatile color choice that is subtle, yet sophisticated and classic.
I love finding bold ways to wear the colors I love, and blush is no exception. I’ve been wearing a lot of different shades of pink lately, from dressed up looks to casual sweatshirts and sneakers. See some of my favorite ways to wear this color below.
Now is a great time to start pulling out your whites for Spring. It may seem a little early, but Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to put together a look in white, with some pops of pink or red. I tied in these heeled sandals for an easy touch of pink. If you’re planning on going with a white look this Valentine’s Day, it keeps it simple when you add one or two details that are pink or red, and keeps the look stylish without screaming Valentine’s Day!
Don’t be afraid to mix textures and patterns when styling whites together. Personally, I think that’s what really makes an outfit stand out. I loved the lace detail in my white midi skirt, and I wanted that to be what stood out in this look. So I paired it with a simple white blouse so that it didn’t distract or take away from the lace detail.
Valentine’s Day has always been so much fun to spend with Garrett, but it has really been fun getting the kids involved. Each year I have the kids write and decorate Valentines for all of their Aunts and Grandmas. I don’t have any sisters, but Garrett has six! I love his sisters so much, like they are my own! Many of them have been like second moms to the boys (I’ve had at least one of his sisters in the room with us when I delivered each of the boys). They all love my boys and offer to babysit, give them birthday gifts, and pamper them all year, so I make a big effort to send them each a fun little package in the mail showing them how much we love them every Valentine’s Day.
Because I’ve been focusing on the special women in our lives during Valentine’s Day for the past few years, this year I want to branch out even more. While the boys like to decorate their own Valentines, I picked up a few pretty Valentine’s Day cards from Papyrus to send to a handful of women in my life as well. In order to run Elle Apparel, I rely heavily on a team of very talented and amazing women. My assistant, photographers, manager, and babysitter are all women that I would be lost without! Papyrus always delivers classy beautiful cards, and with 173 Valentine’s Day cards in their collection, I was able to get a unique card for each of them that fits their personality perfectly! I love making Valentine’s day more than just a romantic holiday. I want to make sure that I recognize some of my most cherished relationships with a handwritten note and a beautiful card. It’s a little outside the box for Valentine’s Day, but that’s why I like it! It will come as a surprise and hopefully show these women how much their hard work and relationships mean to me!
Ruffles are the perfect detail for dressing up a casual Valentine’s Day look. They are feminine, flirty, and effortlessly dress up your look. I loved the pink in this ruffled top so much, and I was so excited to pair it with these maroon sandals for an added pop of color that was still in the pink family.
If you’re planning a casual Valentine’s Day in, or doing a night out with your husband or girlfriends, pairing your favorite ruffled top with some jeans is an easy and safe choice for dressing up without being over the top fancy. You can add details in your shoes and accessories to dress your look up a little more. I pulled together 5 of my favorite ruffled tops that won’t break the bank below. Don’t be afraid to go classic in a bold red or black ruffled top; just make sure you’ve got the accessories to match!
With Valentine’s Day only a month away, I wanted to put together some of my favorite Valentine’s worthy tutorials to get you inspired for the holiday. While some of the looks below are from when I was pregnant (I just happened to be pregnant over Valentine’s Day a few years ago), all of the tutorials will work if you are not pregnant too! So don’t worry if you see one you love but don’t have a bump to dress up, anyone can use these tutorials.
I linked to similar items in all the posts when items were sold out, so most of the items are non-maternity anyways. But if you are pregnant, I always found that buying maternity isn’t a must for everything; you can always size up in dresses and tops to make them fit your growing bump.
In the links under each look, you’ll find a direct link to the tutorial post for that outfit, but I also put all the links in one spot at the bottom of this post.
I hope this helps inspire some Valentine’s Day looks, and hopefully gets some of you in the mood for some sewing! I love to hear how your projects are coming along, so comment below if you’re going to give one of these tutorials a try!
In high school, I thought pink and red could never be paired together. But with the right shades of pink and red, I absolutely love it. The deep burgundy and soft blush are just the right shades to compliment each other. This is a little more sophisticated take on wearing all red or all pink for Valentine’s Day.
You can see the full video tutorial for how I created this braid on my Youtube channel here!