Sewing Project: Cocktail Dress

Every year the office I work at has a Gala and we get a chance to dress up and be fancy for an evening. Honestly, it is so hard to find a dress that is both elegant and modest. Last year I went looking for one and couldn’t find one and the same for this year. So,  this year for Gala I decided I would make my own dress! I went for a more of a cocktail dress look and got inspiration from a dress I saw a few years ago. When I went shopping at Joann’s for fabric, I found this scuba knit material that was just a beautiful floral that I centered the dress around and found similar material to complement the floral. I bought 1 yard of the floral fabric, ½ yard of the black and ¼ yard of the white.

I have always started with doing a sketch of my dress so I can take the vision from my mind to paper and see how it would look.

Sketch

These things usually transform as I go making the pattern, cutting fabric, or even while I sew. I drafted my pattern using clothing that I already own and tracing it onto paper making adjustments to get the results I wanted. The design of this dress requires a lot of different pieces to be cut out, it can get a little confusing at times. I would recommend putting tape on the fabric as a little mark to keep pieces straight. I didn’t and got very confused when all my pieces were cut out. Also, I ran out of space on the white fabric so I had to split my skirt into 2 patterns but the original plan was to cut it in one piece.

Step by step

  1. Cut fabric, you’ll need: 1 bodice front center (Floral ), 1 bodice front 2 (white), 1 bodice front 3 (black), 1 bodice back (Floral), 1 bodice back 2 (white), 1 bodice back 3 (black), 2 skirt centers (Floral), 2 skirt 2 (white), 2 skirt 3 (black), 2 sleeves (black). Optional: 4 pocket pieces (black)

cutout

  1. Sew all the bodice front pieces together. I found the best way to start was with the floral center and pin the white layer in place and then sew. Make sure that the inner edge of the white is the one being sewn to the outer edge of the floral. Then move on to adding the black layer by pinning the inner edge of the black to the outer edge of the white.
  2. When you reach the corners try to keep it as square as you can so that it comes out as more of a corner than a curve.
  1. Repeat for the bodice back pieces.
  2. The same concept of the bodice applies to the skirt. Pin the layers together and sew inner edges to outer edges making sure to square the corners.

bottom.jpg

  1. Attach bodice front with a skirt and same for bodice back.
  2. Right sides together sew the back and front of the dress together to get the full dress.
    1. Optional: I created pockets in the dress, I just cut out 4 pieces to make the pocket and sewed 2 and 2 together attached the outer edge of the pockets where I wanted them on the dress. I ran out of time before the event to add the pockets so they got added later. I just seam ripped where I wanted to pockets to land and just sewed them in place.  
  3. Sew the sleeves to the dress
  4. Hem all raw edges. I did a zigzag stitch first and then folded the zigzag under and sewed that in place.

Front:Back

ALL DONE! It got a little complicated with the multiple layers but in the end, I absolutely loved the way it turned out. I was in a rush to get it done in time for the event so I failed to take as many steps by step pictures, hopefully, the way I explained makes sense! If not, just ask, I’ll try to help out!

4 thoughts on “Sewing Project: Cocktail Dress

  1. Shut up!! You made that dress! You looked gorgeous and I loved the dress. I had no clue that your are so talented. Please toot your horn more!!

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  2. So beautiful .i think I will buy it for myself, yesterday, I found some dress with high quality and favorable on the website. but I don’t know which one to choose ,can you give me some advice .

    Like

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