The first was a formal black tie dinner and I didn't want to wear the full length ballgown I made last year (see post here). I did however have a lot of that same brocade fabric left. Originally I was thinking of making a full skirted ballgown, plus there was a separate piece on the bolt they gave me - I probably still have enough for a jacket or pencil skirt, but I'm kind of done with this fabric for now!
Brocade is not one of the recommended fabrics (seersucker, linen, challis, broadcloth) for this dress, but I thought it would work and chose view A, the short sleeved, full skirted version.
I left off the pockets and also lowered the neckline a bit. I just did this by folding the edge over on my dressform and ended up creating a small v at the back neckline too, just to get it to sit nicely. The original neckline is finished with bias tape, but I decided to create a facing piece to match my new neckline which I then interfaced to give it a bit more structure in my brocade fabric.
I sewed the side seams last as is my preference so I can fine tune the fit in the bodice. The hems were all finished invisibly by hand which was faster than I expected as the texture of the brocade hides everything.
Despite the small risk taken with completely ignoring the fabric recommendations, I'm really happy with my cocktail dress. It was comfortable to wear and great for dancing - sorry no photographic evidence!
Just a week later I had another, smaller dinner to go to which was Oscars themed and I decided it was time for a new LBD cocktail dress in my wardrobe. We had visitors that week too so with limited time I just pulled out this pattern again and made View D, the short sleeved, pencil skirted version.
I used a black silk dupion which I underlined with black silk organza and basically made in the exact same way as the first version. I always use this underlining method when sewing with dupion, it gives it a bit more body and means that no stitching is visible on the outside as all the hems can be hand stitched to the underlining.
Surely now I have a dress for just about any formal occasion!? I love both of these dresses and I think this is a great pattern, although you may want to check if the neckline is also too high for you.
Maybe one of these days I will get around to making a version in one of the recommended fabrics!