Day and Night Dress Details: The Cocktail Dress!

day night 1

On Thursday I talked about my coffee date dress from the Day and Night Dress Challenge, and now I’m back to share my take on a “cocktail” dress! Spoilers… it’s a knit dress. Surprise!

For this dress, I really wanted to make a classic, feminine basic black dress. I haven’t had a black dress in my wardrobe for 8 years or more, so I wanted this one to be wearable all year round in as many contexts as possible!

Maria Denmark Day Night Drape Dress

The Day and Night Dress Challenge was sponsored by Stylish Fabrics, and they offered bloggers/vloggers free fabric for one of our makes. I’ve browsed Stylish Fabrics for YEARS, but never ordered, so I jumped at the chance! I chose this “Black Modal Poly Sandwash Jersey Cupro Knit Fabric” (Doesn’t that just roll off the tongue?) I was hoping that the sandwashed effect would give the dress a luxe feel, and I think it worked!

front back

Pattern-wise, it’s a mashup of the MariaDenmark Day-to-Night Drape top (because the name was just so appropriate, and the pattern is lovely!) and the Cashmerette Turner skirt.

I made a few changes for the drapey top. First, the fabric is slightly sheer, so I self-lined the bodice. That made it really easy to do a clean finish on the neckline and armscye! The neckline and underarm was too low when I first tried it on, so I took it up an inch at the shoulder seam. Now everything is sitting better.

Maria Denmark Day Night Drape Dress

I originally wanted to do a pleated tulip-shaped wrap skirt on the bottom, like this , but as time ticked on all I could picture was messing up my fabric with a new-to-me design! I overthought design options for DAYS – and then just cut into the fabric with TNT patterns so I’d stop avoiding the project! The Turner skirt is a nice 1/2 circle-ish shape which drapes nicely in this fabric. I lined the skirt part with ITY to prevent transparency and make everything drape smoothly.

Maria Denmark Day Night Drape Dress

As I almost always do with knit dresses, I reinforced the waist seam with elastic. It didn’t come out quite tight enough though, so I made a tie belt to keep the waist nipped in!

Maria Denmark Day Night Drape Dress

Obviously a sleeveless dress isn’t ideal for the middle of winter, so I experimented with layering it up. Here I’m wearing it with a striped jacket I made last year, and my trusty ivory cowl and hat knit by my sister. Realistically, I think this dress will be even better in summer with some gold sandals!

In retrospect, it seems odd that I stressed myself out overthinking this dress for so long, when in the end I threw together some TNTs with a perfectly good result. Perhaps the moral is that I enjoy experimenting when the stakes are low, but when I’m sewing to a deadline or using fabric that was sent to me, I prefer to stay safe!

What’s the last project you overthought? And how do you make yourself sew the dang thing, when the myriad of options are slowing you down?


23 thoughts on “Day and Night Dress Details: The Cocktail Dress!

    1. That’s a great suggestion! I like the idea of a mesh shirt more than a lace one – less frou frou, because this is already more fem than I am used to!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Cathy! I’m always so flattered when people have been reading for a while and finally comment! I had so much fun recording that Love To Sew podcast!

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  1. OMG THAT TOP IS MY FAVOURITE RTW TOP EVER. Pattern bought, definitely going to make a couple!!! I had a green one that had a top like that with rouching up the sides, as a tunic. OMG I am so excited about that pattern XD

    I love your dress with the striped jacket – so elegant!

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    1. I ad some favourite tops that were this design too! I remember one was white, and one was millenial pink before millenial pink was a thing. I always loved wearing them!

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  2. Such a lovely make, Gillian! And I know exactly what you mean about getting super stressed when you are working with fabric or patterns that you need to review. It looks really cold where you are, brr! Hope you get some spring soon!

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    1. Did you get stressed sewing your new triangle geometric dress? I haven’t managed to comment on your blog yet, but no surprise here, I LOVED the print! If it’s not you though, I’m glad you passed it on!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not stressed per se, it was a really easy make. Let’s call it an experiment :). My colleague is so happy with it, so it all ended well. 🙂

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    1. Black IS so hard to photograph! I find my camera doesn’t focus well on solid colours – one more reason to sew all the prints! 😉

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