Hi there! How are you gearing up for Christmas? Are you all sorted or are you more of a last minute kind of person?

I’m usually somewhere in the middle, but today’s make may be useful to those of the last minute persuasion; this very glamorous party frock took me less than two hours to make up and is super comfy; wins all around!

I chose to use some rather fabulous stretch Velvet Fabric. This golden stuff is very soft to the touch and has a jacquard design imprinted into the fabric. I was very pleased when it arrived as, whilst it’s soft and velvety on the outside, the reverse is smooth and shiny, almost like a scuba finish. Since I was making this into a dress, this finish makes lining or wearing a slip totally unnecessary; always a bonus!

The Sewing Pattern I chose is styled on the envelope in a very casual fashion, and I think it would work really well in a stable ponte knit for casual wear. However, I thought it would also work as a kind of body con dress so ploughed ahead with the Deer and Doe “Givre”.

The pattern has a sleeved dress, a sleeveless dress and a top version, which I like; it makes it so much more useful. In its original form, both the bodice and the sleeve have a seam across, allowing for some colour blocking. I was going to make it as designed, but then wasn’t sure that it would look right with the elaborate fabric. I really wanted the pattern on the fabric to be the star, so I decided to eliminate that seam.

Doing this was really straightforward. It was simply a matter of overlapping the top and bottom pieces of both the bodice and the sleeve by the seam allowance to form a single pattern piece. This meant that instead of two pieces each for the front and the back and two pieces for each sleeve, I only had one to deal with: even faster sewing!

My measurements put me in between size 40 and 42. Ordinarily, I’d grade between the two, but I didn’t want the dress to be really snug, so I cut the larger size and I think it was the right decision for me.

Construction was really simple; I did most of it on my overlocker, using black thread, and just finished the hem, sleeves and neckband on my sewing machine. There, I used my walking foot and a ballpoint twin needle. The twin needle worked really well; for the very first time, I got my machine to make this finish work, having had the tiny screw on the side of my bobbin case pointed out to me. Moving this just a fraction of a turn made a world of difference and I love the finish it gives.

I wore this for a friend’s 40th party (excuse the badly lit photos!) and felt brilliant in it; thanks Minerva!

Becca x