Frocktails 2019!

It’s been over a month, but I’ve finally got around to getting some photos of my outfit for Wellington Frocktails! I had a great night at The Library bar, drinking delicious cocktails and meeting more lovely local sewing folks, but I definitely had a bit of a torturous lead up to the night, with my carefully made plans getting scrapped and reworked a few times before I was happy with the end result…

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As you can see, I went for subtle and understated! I had wanted to make a gold sequinned skirt for a while, and Frocktails seemed like a perfect excuse. Initially I was going to make an Evie Bias Skirt, but I ran into a problem immediately…the netting the sequins are sewn onto technically doesn’t have a grain or a bias, so which direction should I cut it out?? I held the length up against me in several directions, to see which direction had the best drape, and then cut it out along that line. I sewed it up, and added the elastic waistband, but I really wasn’t happy with the way it was sitting. The A-line shape of the skirt which looks so beautiful in a fluid fabric just looked wrong with the sequins, with the side seams collapsing under the weight of the sequins in a sad, wrinkly mess.

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I ended up trimming pretty much all of the shape out of the skirt, ending up with a basic column shape with a small amount of shaping over the hips to the waist, which is still finished with scalloped elastic the way the Evie instructions suggest. To sew the sequins I used a long stitch length and a heavy duty denim needle, and just mowed over the top of any sequins which got in my way! I catch stitched the seams open and rolled the hem by hand, which took about 15 times longer than the rest of the skirt construction combines, but which definitely made the seams look better than bust finger pressing them open.

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I considered lining the skirt, but decided in the end to just wear it with a slip. Those sequins are scratchy, I definitely wouldn’t suggest wearing them against your skin! Luckily my top is made in a beautiful soft viscose twill, which felt lovely and also stopped any rogue sequins which might have been annoying around my waist. The fabric is actually left over from my swishy Flint Trousers from two years ago, I had about 1.2m left after some creative cutting out!

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The pattern is the Zadie Jumpsuit bodice, with some serious slashing and spreading of the sleeves for some volume and drama! To convert the Zadie bodice into a top I sized down three sizes from my jumpsuit, and then removed the pleats from the back piece. I also added 3 inches onto the hem, though next time I would add a bit more to endure it would stay tucked in! I slashed the sleeve pattern piece from the hem to the stitching line of the sleeve cap into 5 sections, and then spread them apart to add 20cm of width at the hem. I then gathered them back onto a bias cuff piece. Catherine at Thread Snips has a much better tutorial for doing this than my janky explanation above!

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Even though I had a number of changes to my initial plan, I’m really happy with my final outfit! The top was lovely to wear, and the sleeves were a really fun departure from my usual style, while the sequins obviously gave maximum impact for a very basic garment! I’m a bit sad I didn’t get the swishy, swingy sequinned skirt I had hoped for, but it still turned out pretty well. I might need to look for some smaller sequins on a silk backing rather than this nylon netting…Though given how far I’ve managed to spread loose sequins throughout the house, it might be a while before I can stand to sew with them again!  I definitely want to play with some more voluminous sleeves for summer, I just need to get over my dislike of gathering first…

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3 thoughts on “Frocktails 2019!

  1. Ugh samesies (in that I love the effect of gathering but don’t love doing it, not samesies like I’m dressed like a powerful Hollywood director crossed with a vintage Hollywood glamour plate, that’s just you!).

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