Well howdy chums,
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!!
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!!
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!**
DEADLINE EXTENDED Sunday 20th August MIDNIGHT (GMT)
THE COCKTAIL HOUR BLOGGER TOUR:
1. Winnie Longhurst
2. Kate Underdown
The Fold Line
3. Portia Lawrie
4. Rachel Walker
The Fold Line
5. Wendy Gardiner
6. Abigail Dyson
The Crafty Pin Up
7. Lucy Regan
8. Fiona Parker
Diary of a Chainstitcher
9. Nina Chang
10. Jen Sanders
11. Charlotte Powell
English Girl at Home
12. Elisalex de Castro Peake
By Hand London
13. Kerry Patterson
14. Gabby Young
15. Abigail Norton
16. Karen Ball
Did You Make That?
17. Rachel Wain
Rach Against The Sewing Machine
18. Elle Harris
19. Rachel Pinheiro
House of Pinheiro
20. Amy Thomas
21. Jane Marland
22. Jennifer Walker
Ginger Thread Girl
23. Marie Koupparis
A Stitching Odyssey
24. Elena Rosa Brown
25. Laura Clarke
Sew for Victory
26. Janene Spencer
I hope I have inspired some of you to #sipandsew
Can’t wait to see all your makes!
Sew much love and squirrels,