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Christmas Party Dress

Over the last couple of years, I’ve gotten into the habit of making myself a new cocktail dress for the Christmas period. This is basically just a feeble excuse for me to a) make myself a new dress when I know I don’t really need any, and b) make that dress red, as it’s obviously the best colour, and as such, I already have enough red dresses. All my xmas dresses so far have involved tight-fitting, boned, strapless bodices, so I thought this year I should try and make something with a different silhouette, and something a little bit more, erm, forgiving, of the change to my waistline that tends to occur this time of year.

I ended up choosing the Named Clothing Asaka Robe Dress – it’s a wrap dress so has a nice expandable waistline, and it has brilliant flared sleeves which definitely make it stand out from my other festive pieces. For fabric, I went for some beautiful red and gold Woven Cotton Fabric. There was never any chance of choosing a colour other than red. I mean, I was pushing the boat out with the silhouette, so that meant I had an excuse to stick to the same colour, right? Besides, this has gold swirls on it, and in fairness, the gold swirls are brilliant.

The pattern was nice and easy to sew up and I got through the whole process with no periods of agonising confusion and no major unpicking operations, which I consider to be the truest sign of a successful project. I didn’t end up needing to make any alterations to the pattern – the only thing I changed was I doubled the size of the seam allowances (the pattern includes 1cm seam allowances) so that I could French hem it, which is my preferred method for anything unlined, such as this.

As it’s a wrap dress, you’re unlikely to come across any real issues in terms of fit so long as you pick a vaguely appropriate size, so there was no issue there, and I also think the length of the dress and sleeves were just right.

I think my favourite thing about this make has got to be the sleeves. I love a dramatic sleeve, and these certainly don’t disappoint. I really like the slit down the middle, it reminds me of the sleeves you get on capes, and it creates a really full, swishy effect whenever you flail your arms about, which I very much appreciate. I think it’s a really interesting reinterpretation of the kimono sleeve concept and I am definitely going to need more than one of these in my wardrobe!

I also really like the way the inside of the sleeves contrasts with the outside. The red and gold of the ‘right side’ of the fabric kind of appear to blend together into a brocade-y burnt orange colour from a distance, which makes the plain red backing stand out quite a lot, and I think it works really great on something like this.

Overall, I am so pleased with how this turned out and can’t wait to rock it this festive season and beyond!

Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Instagram: @seeminglyimmaterial


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