Friday, 20 October 2017

It's Cocktail Hour!

Today I'm sharing the dress I made as part of the Vogue Patterns Cocktail Hour Sewalong.


The sewalong was launched in March by McCall's to raise money for The Eve Appeal - a charity that funds research into gynaecological cancers. 26 sewing bloggers have been taking part in the blog tour since then, sewing up their choice of 20 specially selected Vogue evening wear patterns. Money raised from the sale of each pattern will go to the Eve Appeal, so anybody who buys one will be directly supporting the charity. You can check out what everybody else has been making by using the hashtag #sipandsew on Instagram and Twitter.

When it came to choosing my pattern, I was looking for a simple design that wouldn't require much brain power to sew. Vogue 1536 seemed to fit the bill perfectly - an elegant princess-seamed cocktail dress by American designers Tom and Linda Platt.
The pattern also comes with a strange Mel and Kim-style cropped bolero jacket, which you'll be pleased to hear I disregarded. I was only ever interested in the dress.

She's spoiling for a fight...
With such a simple design I knew that fabric choice would be key and spent a looong time making my mind up. I finally decided on an Italian wool crepe from Til the Sun goes Down for the main dress and a shantung satin from ClothSpot for the lining.



The navy colourway I used is no longer in stock unfortunately, but here's the link to another blue. The lining fabric is also sold out - sorry! The crepe by itself is quite lightweight but takes on a completely different feel with the lining added. The shantung satin adds structure and weight to the dress and it feels very luxurious to wear - exactly what you want from a cocktail dress. The wool crepe is expensive (£32 a metre) but reasonably wide, and with a bit of clever pattern placement I was able to get away with using just one metre for my dress. You'll be relieved to hear that I did actually make a muslin before cutting into such posh fabric!


I'd read in a few reviews that the dress ran large, so cut a size 12 which was one size smaller than my measurements. I used the petite shortening lines at the waist only (you can also shorten for petite sizes at the hips) as the finished length is already quite short. The only other adjustment I made was a 5/8" tuck across the back piece as the V back gaped slightly on the muslin.


There wasn't anything untoward about the pattern and the construction was relatively straight forward. The only thing that leapt out at me was the lack of instruction to stay stitch the V front and back necklines. Yes, it's an obvious step, but I really think it should have been included - these areas are both cut on the bias and the last thing you want is a stretched out neckline. I also ditched the instructions when it came to adding the lining as there was far too much hand sewing for my liking. I attached the entire lining by machine, apart from the area around the back split which I hand stitched. I also hand stitched the dress hem.

For such a simple dress I did have to spend an enormous amount of time with a steam iron and a clapper pressing the curved princess seams flat. Luckily for me, the wool crepe was a dream to manipulate and I'm really happy with how well the seams pressed. I think they're worth the extra effort.

I have to say, this is a gorgeous dress: simple, classy and a great fit. It isn't super fitted, but the subtle shaping of the princess seams really shows off your curves, which I like. It's very me and I'm glad I kept it simple when it came to choosing the pattern. Cheers!

Two seconds after this photo was taken I spilt the entire cocktail down my arm...

The pattern and a fabric allowance were kindly provided by McCall's. All views my own. 









28 comments:

  1. What a beautiful choice - looks deceptively simple but extremely elegant 😀

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  2. Very elegant and a great colour on you. Love the V front and back.

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    1. Thanks! The V front and back are lovely features. x

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  3. What a nice and elegant dress you made. It suits you perfect!

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  4. Great neckline, and beautifully sewn.

    Cheers to you!

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    1. Thank you, I like the neckline too! x

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  5. Cant believe you passed up on the Mel n Kim bolero! 🤣 Love the cut of that dress and gulp I'd have been terrified cutting into that fabric too but anyway you look bloody gorgeous - cocktails at the ready! X

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    1. Thanks love! Passing up the Mel and Kim bolero may well be a decision I'll come to regret! x

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  6. Well at least you didn't spill the cocktail down the dress! The dress is beautiful, you look a million dollars in it.

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    1. It's a MIRACLE it didn't go all over the dress! And thank you! x

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  7. fabulous fit and you look so chic in the blue. Love it!

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    1. Thank you Beth, I love that shade of blue! x

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  8. It’s gorgeous! Such a lovely elegant make.

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  9. What a beautiful dress! The fabric sounds divine to work on and the colour suits you to a tee. Fabulous!

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  10. Echoing what everyone else has said, classically simple yet beautiful. Both the colour and fit look fabulous on you!

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  11. Looks delightful. Beautifully made. Enjoy the dress and the evenings out when wearing it :)

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  12. It may sound funny, and I hope you don't take it the wrong way...BUT you do the most amazing fitting of armholes on the net! The fitting on the rest of you is great, but damn! you can nail a sleeveless armhole - perfect ease - no gape or 'bulges'. I've never commented before and have 'lurked' for years. Please give some tips sometime, it makes such a difference. Just sleek and chic!

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    1. What a compliment, and not taken in the wrong way in the slightest, thank you! I don't think I even do much to armholes to make them fit well, I must just be lucky. A full lining or an all-in-one facing does always give a smooth, clean shape to the armhole so maybe that helps? Thanks again, that made my day! x

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