DIY Event Attire Cocktail Dress 1950's night

I was recently invited to attend an amazing event put on by the lovely people at Cricut.  It was a 3 day event and there would be several other bloggers and amazing industry professionals attending! Like any sewist would do, I immediately started a list of the new clothes I needed to make & bring.

Then they threw us a curve ball. About a week before the event, they informed us that there would be a Cocktail Reception the first evening, and a 1950’s themed Sock Hop the second evening! How fun is that!?

As a stay-at-home-mom-of-3 living in the suburbs of Utah County, I don’t often get invited to cocktail parties and quickly realized I had nothing to wear! My wardrobe was also lacking 1950’s themed attire, and I knew I had some more sewing to do.

I scoured Pinterest for outfit inspiration, and decided on the Made for Mermaids Mama Joy PDF Pattern for my cocktail look.  Made by Melli Pattern Review Made for Mermaids Mama Joy PDF Pattern

Then I remembered that my darling friend Kim had recently shared a free tutorial for the perfect Circle Skirtand I knew it would be perfect for a 1950’s look. I chose the Patterns for Pirates Sweet Tee to wear with my circle skirt.

Made by Melli Free Circle Skirt Tutorial by Sweet Red Poppy

Being a self-proclaimed fabric hoarder, one would think that I’d easily have the fabrics on hand that I would need. But alas, that was not the case!  Luckily, I knew that Stylish Fabric would have exactly what I needed!

  • For my circle skirt I used  this solid Scuba knit in black.
  • For my Sweet Tee, I used this perfectly vintage-esque Matte Jersey Knit. It is very lightweight and drapes beautifully!
  • I had the hardest time choosing fabric for my Mama Joy, but I ended up going with this fun Quilt Knit Jacquard in Aqua. It is a stable knit with 4 way stretch, and I love the structure it gave to the pleated skirt.

Stylish Fabric kindly & quickly sent out my fabric, and I was able to get everything sewn up before the event.

Made by Melli Made for Mermaids Mama Joy PDF Pattern Review

Made by Melli 1950's DIY Outfit Free Circle Skirt P4P Sweet Tee

I absolutely love how both outfits turned out! Being a “rectangular apple” shape, it’s often hard to find a dress that is flattering & comfortable.

Mama Joy was so perfect – I love the silhouette that the dress created, and of course.. pockets! Every great cocktail dress must have pockets!

Made by Melli Made for Mermaids Mama Joy PDF Pattern Review

Mama Joy sewed up very quickly, even with those amazing pleats! I have only done pleats a handful of times, but the instructions and pattern markings make it very easy to accomplish. I chose the pull-over style for the sake of time, but there is also a zipper-back option included. The fit was spot on based on my measurements.

Made by Melli Made for Mermaids Mama Joy PDF Pattern Review

I received SO many kind compliments on both the pattern AND the amazing fabric when I wore it to the cocktail reception. I couldn’t be happier with how this turned out – I felt amazing and confident wearing this dress!

Made by Melli 1950's DIY Outfit Free Circle Skirt P4P Sweet Tee

My 1950’s themed outfit also came together quite well ? Kim’s circle skirt tutorial so was very easy to follow and came out perfectly! The black scuba knit gave the skirt just the right amount of fullness, and looked great even with the bottom un-hemmed.

Made by Melli 1950's DIY Outfit Free Circle Skirt P4P Sweet Tee

…and check out that twirl! Definitely the best part of circle skirts! ? I decided to leave off any type of Poodle applique, because I want to be able to wear this comfy skirt all the time!

Made by Melli 1950's DIY Outfit Free Circle Skirt P4P Sweet Tee

I chose the Sweet Tee because  of how quickly it sews up! Time is money, am I right? The Sweet Tee is a dolman sleeve, which means there isn’t a set-in sleeve (separate pieces) to sew in. Because of my aforementioned rectangular apple shape, I graded out at the waist of the Sweet Tee, so it had less of an hourglass shape to it. It fits perfectly and I love how it drapes. I have already worn this shirt with jeans as well, and I love that look just as much. The fabric really makes all the difference!

Made by Melli 1950's DIY Outfit Free Circle Skirt P4P Sweet Tee

I had the best time at both events and felt so great in both of my me-made outfits. The real beauty of handmade clothing is the ability to alter the patterns to fit your body perfectly, and the ability to sew them up in handpicked fabrics that you love!


What occasions or events have you sewn for recently? What are you favorite materials to use? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Don’t forget to check out Kim’s circle skirt tutorial, this skirt belongs in every woman’s closet!

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Hi there! I’m Melissa – a.k.a. Made by Melli. I am a sewing, fabric hoarding, graphic designing, pattern testing stay-at-home wifey & mama to 3. In between church activities/duties, chauffeuring to pre-school and dance class, feeding children, kissing ouchies, (minimal) cooking/cleaning, and occasionally sleeping, you will likely find me at my sewing machine. I love sewing for my kids and recently ventured into the world of sewing for adults! This school year, I challenged myself to make my oldest, Maci, a new mama-made outfit for every day of Pre-K. She only goes 2 days a week, and I figured it would be great motivation to put my fabric and pattern stash to good use! So far, with the exception of 3 school days she has missed because she was sick and 1 day that I slacked, she has worn a different handmade outfit every school day! You can check out her outfits on my Instagram. In addition to making Maci’s Pre-K wardrobe, I often test PDF Patterns designed by independent pattern designers. It is such a fun process that I sincerely LOVE being a part of! One of the huge benefits to PDF patterns is the thorough testing process they go through to ensure proper fit, make sure the instructions are clear and easy to follow, ensure that the pattern pieces go together correctly, etc. I will be regularly posting about the pattern tests I participate in and will be reviewing those patterns as well as other patterns I’ve acquired over the few years that I’ve been sewing with PDFs. Thank you for stopping by and don’t be a stranger! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest to keep up with all of the happenings at Made by Melli! ?

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