Project #3 – Silk Cocktail Dress


I have a special occasion in one week, a party that will require a formal cocktail length dress. Which (yay!) means that I need to make another dress. I’ve made only one other dress out of silk before, but I like the squeaky sound that my sewing needle makes when it sews silk dupioni.

I’d been waiting for Vogue patterns to go one sale forever because they are freakin’ expensive even with the usual discount. $15? Hell no. I’d even flip through the online catalog at work and get all antsy because I wanted my pattern now. When they went on sale on the 1st of January I marched down to the fabric store on a mission for Vogue 8494…aaand they only had one copy in the cabinet, not in my size, of course. I pouted for a little bit and then I remembered that some evil customers will squirrel away the best ones in another drawer until the sale starts. I flipped through a few of the cabinets and I magically found just what I was looking for, and in my size, too. Yoink!

I put this dress together in about four hours, mostly while watching Jaws. After I sewed the outside dress together I took it into the kitchen to show my husband and in the dim light I realized that my iridescent, purple-gray fabric took on the exact color and shininess as a trash bag. Which sucks because: 1) This is actually really nice fabric in the daylight. 2) It will be nighttime and dim (but not dim enough) at the party. And 3) it would have been way cooler if I had decided to use actual trash bags for the dress ’cause everyone would have been like “Trash bags?! No way!” and I would have been like “Yes way!!!1″ Plus, trash bags, unlike this fabric, cost about 10 cents a yard. Rats.

Anyway, I’m not sure I’m in love with the silhouette. The dress in the pattern picture has a skirt that’s a little more full. I’m going to iron the hell out of this dress to see if I can get the bottom half looking a little less like a paper-mâché tube. I still have six days to replace this with something better, but I’m probably over-thinking this cocktail party outfit. If I have two Salty Dogs as soon as I arrive, I will probably stop caring so much.


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