On Thursday I talked about my coffee date dress from the Day and Night Dress Challenge, and now I’m back to share my take on a “cocktail” dress! Spoilers… it’s a knit dress. Surprise!
For this dress, I really wanted to make a classic, feminine basic black dress. I haven’t had a black dress in my wardrobe for 8 years or more, so I wanted this one to be wearable all year round in as many contexts as possible!
The Day and Night Dress Challenge was sponsored by Stylish Fabrics, and they offered bloggers/vloggers free fabric for one of our makes. I’ve browsed Stylish Fabrics for YEARS, but never ordered, so I jumped at the chance! I chose this “Black Modal Poly Sandwash Jersey Cupro Knit Fabric” (Doesn’t that just roll off the tongue?) I was hoping that the sandwashed effect would give the dress a luxe feel, and I think it worked!
I made a few changes for the drapey top. First, the fabric is slightly sheer, so I self-lined the bodice. That made it really easy to do a clean finish on the neckline and armscye! The neckline and underarm was too low when I first tried it on, so I took it up an inch at the shoulder seam. Now everything is sitting better.
I originally wanted to do a pleated tulip-shaped wrap skirt on the bottom, like this , but as time ticked on all I could picture was messing up my fabric with a new-to-me design! I overthought design options for DAYS – and then just cut into the fabric with TNT patterns so I’d stop avoiding the project! The Turner skirt is a nice 1/2 circle-ish shape which drapes nicely in this fabric. I lined the skirt part with ITY to prevent transparency and make everything drape smoothly.
As I almost always do with knit dresses, I reinforced the waist seam with elastic. It didn’t come out quite tight enough though, so I made a tie belt to keep the waist nipped in!
Obviously a sleeveless dress isn’t ideal for the middle of winter, so I experimented with layering it up. Here I’m wearing it with a striped jacket I made last year, and my trusty ivory cowl and hat knit by my sister. Realistically, I think this dress will be even better in summer with some gold sandals!
In retrospect, it seems odd that I stressed myself out overthinking this dress for so long, when in the end I threw together some TNTs with a perfectly good result. Perhaps the moral is that I enjoy experimenting when the stakes are low, but when I’m sewing to a deadline or using fabric that was sent to me, I prefer to stay safe!
What’s the last project you overthought? And how do you make yourself sew the dang thing, when the myriad of options are slowing you down?