My Cocktail Hour Dress + Vogue 1484 GIVEAWAY (Extended!)

Well howdy chums,

I’m sorry I have been neglecting this blog again as I’ve been so busy making vlogs and music but I’m back with a whopper – my McCalls Cocktail Hour blogger tour reveal!!

I was so excited to be asked back to join this year’s McCalls blogger tour to raise money and awareness for The Eve Appeal who are doing amazing things helping women with gynaecological cancers.  This year is all about Cocktail Dresses and for each of the 20 Cocktail Hour Vogue patterns sold, The Eve Appeal receives a direct donation. They even have their own cocktail recipe to go with it! As I am allergic to alcohol and can’t drink I have joined in the spirit with a fruit cocktail instead!!

Here is my version of Vogue 1484 designed by none other than the brilliant Zandra Rhodes (hair inspiration!!)

So yes it’s a bit out there – its got freaking squirrels on it for crying out loud, but I’m not one to play by halves! This pattern had me at hello but took me the longest time ever to decide on fabrics… you are meant to have 4 different ones but I stopped at 3 as I wanted a crazy squirrel pink collar too!

So yes the fabrics – I first of wanted lace to be the yoke and got this amazing velvet flocked stretch lace but then realised that A) It is for woven fabric and stretch wouldn’t work and B) It didn’t go with anything else! I looked for Brocades for a while but didn’t find any that jumped out at me. I was kind of giving up when I stepped into Cloth House Warehouse’s Sale and saw squirrels… on hot pink cotton twill. That was it. I actually hadn’t even considered this pattern yet I just knew I had to have the fabric! It wasn’t until later on that I realised I had managed to buy the PERFECT fabric for this dress – without even realising!!

I knew the main dress had to be black now as it was the perfect compliment to the hot pink so I went off to find some suitable black fabric. I found a ‘striped’ heavy silk twill in the hidden rolls at the back of Cloth House. This stuff is the most expensive fabric I have ever bought at £24 a metre but I had to have it as it’s stripes look like trees… squirrels like trees… it was a match made in critter heaven!

This is not an easy pattern and I fully ‘Gabbyed’ my way through a few parts! Firstly I decided not to line it… maybe this was laziness  lack of time but I told myself that these fabrics were heavy enough without lining. I also didn’t toile it (see above for reasons) and it came up pretty huge. I went for a size 12 according to my measurements and still took the side seams in by 3cm each side. Also the yoke was really long so I used a whopping 5cm seam allowance on the shoulders and adjusted the sleeves by making them more gathered (they are now a little tight of course!) Annnndddd worst of all is that collar which is in no way going to fit around my neck! Maybe I have a thick neck, maybe it should have said 1cm seam allowance for the collar pieces or maybe I did something horribly wrong – I don’t know but instead of them meeting in the middle – they have taken a rather 90s turn. I do like it actually but how I finished off the middle bit is pretty criminal… but in my defence, organza frays… a lot… so just don’t look too closely!!

The organza is from FC fabrics – it’s a lovely quality and perfect for this pattern but is a freaking nightmare. It HATED the overlocker so I stopped trying to finish the seams with it. Pinking shears made no difference either and it just frays like crazy trying to escape the stitches. So much so, it keeps tearing away from the binding on the sleeve hems. I have to keep reattaching them… any ideas here?!

I do love this dress. It was a labour of love and I am really happy with the outcome. The pointed hem is really fun and I adore the other details especially the french seamed shoulders and sleeve seams that show through the sheer organza. Also it’s got bright pink panels with squirrels on it – what’s not to like?!

As my husband has yet again done a sterling job of the photos in his parents back garden I thought I would share a load more here and then I’ll tell you about the giveaway and how you can get involved!!


Yes, you can join in!! Firstly you can get inspired by what everyone else is making by searching for #sipandsew on Instagram and Twitter. 

Buy one of the 20 Cocktail Hour Vogue patterns  (remember for each one sold, The Eve Appeal receives a direct donation!)

Make it and make yourself a cocktail or in my case mocktail!!

Oh and don’t forget to share your makes too: simply post a photo with the hashtag #sipandsew and copy in @McCallpatternUK on Twitter or @McCallpatternUK on Instagram.


McCall’s is kindly giving away one copy of VOGUE 1484 to one of my lovely readers so you can make one up too!!

To enter, please add a comment below telling me what fabrics you would make this dress in!

**Please include an email address so I can contact you!**


Good luck!


1. Winnie Longhurst
Scruffy Badger
3rd March

2. Kate Underdown
The Fold Line
10th March

3. Portia Lawrie
17th March

4. Rachel Walker
The Fold Line
24th March

5. Wendy Gardiner
31st March

6. Abigail Dyson
The Crafty Pin Up
14th April

7. Lucy Regan
Sew Essential
28th April

8. Fiona Parker
Diary of a Chainstitcher
12th May

9. Nina Chang
26th May

10. Jen Sanders
9th June

11. Charlotte Powell
English Girl at Home
23rd June

12. Elisalex de Castro Peake
By Hand London
7th July

13. Kerry Patterson
Kestrel Makes
21st July

14. Gabby Young
4th August

15. Abigail Norton
Sew Abigail
18th August

16. Karen Ball
Did You Make That?
1st September

17. Rachel Wain
Rach Against The Sewing Machine
15th September

18. Elle Harris
Sew Positivity
29th September

19. Rachel Pinheiro
House of Pinheiro
6th October

20. Amy Thomas
Almond Rock
13th October

21. Jane Marland
Handmade Jane
20th October

22. Jennifer Walker
Ginger Thread Girl
27th October

23. Marie Koupparis
A Stitching Odyssey
3rd November

24. Elena Rosa Brown
Randomly Happy
10th November

25. Laura Clarke
Sew for Victory
17th November

26. Janene Spencer
24th November

I hope I have inspired some of you to #sipandsew

Can’t wait to see all your makes!

Sew much love and squirrels,

Hello I’m Gabby! When I’m not singing with my band 'Gabby Young' I’m mainly sewing, dreaming about fabrics, patterns or knitting and vlogging or blogging about it all! Come join me! Xox Gabby
  1. I love this dress! Those squirrels rock! I’ve got a stash of the Chillingsworth skeleton & raven fabrics to break into so this pattern would be perfect! 😍💀
    And of course a goth dress is for life, not just for Halloween 🎃👻

  2. I love your squirrel dress, Gabby! I’d love to win the pattern for this and I think I’d either make a Ravenclaw dress to wear to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in November. Keep squirreling! Rachel x

    1. Rachel you are the winner!! You had me at Ravenclaw! 😉 Please email me your address – and I’ll get Butterick to send out your free pattern! WELL DONE! Xox

  3. OMG! Hot pink squirrels! (Well, ok, black squirrels on a hot pink background, but that doesn’t sound as punchy!) I absolutely love your dress! I would probably make the dress using bright, bold fabrics, with black as a contrast. However, I too, love quirkyness, such as blood splatter and horror movie fabrics, or even one made of tiki fabrics – the options are endless really! 😉

  4. Love your fabric choice especially the squirrels! Fantastic hair too😃

  5. Your dress is lovely. I could see it on stage. I would like to make it in lace and duchess satin. Not sure of the colour yet.

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