Retro Style Cocktail Dress
Posted on Sunday the 23rd April 2017 by Tip Top Sewing
This month I decided to sew something more glamorous and evening appropriate. But, obviously, still retro style. In my opinion a nice cocktail dress should be sewn out of a Good Quality Fabric, have an interesting design and something extra you won’t usually add to a day dress. For example, a lace trim. A combination of all those components resulted in this polka dot garment.
I must say that in this case Fabric came first, then the pattern. I have a love-hate relationship with cotton sateen, but I can’t resist when I see a beautiful one. Obviously, that was the case with this gorgeous black and white cotton sateen. I immediately imagined it in a cocktail dress with a V-neck or sweetheart neckline, and a pencil skirt.
I checked all the available V-neck patterns and decided that the sweetheart design will be my choice for this project. Like I mentioned, I have quite a strange relationship with sateen. From one side, it can be easy to achieve a close fitting look with it. From another, it’s just as easy to stretch it out in the wrong place, make a tiny hole with pins or needles, etc.
As soon as I’ve started working on this project I made sure I used only brand new thin pins and a Microtex Machine Needle. Those are extra fine and suitable for a range of materials, including knits. I must say the trick worked and I didn’t destroy the fabric!
The pattern I used is Burda Style Princess Sheath Dress 01/2013 #107. My first choice was Burda Style 4/2013 #116. It’s very similar, but the muslin revealed the problem – the neckline is very, very low. And the more I was trying to bring it up, the worse it was fitting me. So I gave up and decided to use another pattern. The problem with it is that it starts with the size 38, so if your regular BurdaStyle size is 36 and below… Be prepared for alterations. Apart from that, in my opinion the neckline is perfect. It’s not too low, not too high; it’s modest and flirty at the same time. The back part of the bodice is quite an unflattering one, but all you should do is make sure you make the central seam straight since it has a strange curve. I skipped cutting two front bodice details and simply made a folded one. Can’t see the point in cutting two details and then, possibly, trying to match the print. I didn’t use lining, so I had to create facings for both the neckline and arm holes. It requires a lot of quite precise and fearless clipping (especially the neckline), but the result is worth it.
To add something extra I decided to sew a peplum, which is not a part of the original pattern. I used my basic full skirt pattern to make it. I also attached a Black Lace Trim to my hem. I tried to sew it in the way that reveals the lace completely, but decided that it looks much better if you can only see the leafs. I really like the final result and I think that this fabric is perfect for cocktail dresses. Just don’t forget to use good sharp and brand new needles and pins. Thanks Minerva Crafts!