Tuesday, June 04, 2019

My Evening Dress - Another Deer & Doe Myosotis

My dress has a backstory.  I found out about the Cotillon months ago and decided I was going to make me a billowy ballgown. I didn't want a tight and sexy dress.  I wanted a more classical comfortable look.

My plan was to make a black & white Lenox dress. The dress would have a white silk duppioni or shantung top, fancy glass buttons down the front to the waistline and from the waistline down the dress wouldn't button. Because the bottom of the dress would be a huge circle with a big crinoline under it. The shirt would have three-quarter length sleeves with cuffs and those same fancy buttons would be on the cuffs.

As you can see, that's not what I wore. I couldn't find a pure white silk duppioni or shantung in the garment district that didn't cost an arm and a leg. I found the black silk duppioni at Metro Textiles but the white...no where. Ivory, sure.  White embroidered, no problem.  Pure bridal white...not unless it was $40 a yard...more than I wanted to spend since I'd put all of my money in my granddaughters dresses. I found a white silk shantung on fabric.com and I hesitated. I was worried it wouldn't show up in time or the weight would be wrong.

My daughter and the granddaughters - 
the blog posts with their dresses is up next

Then I decided to put this all out of my mind because I NEEDED to concentrate on the construction of the girls dresses.  When I finally came to (after heading into work two of my days off) I was up against a time crunch. I went through my older evening wear and none of it either fit the way it use to or wasn't what I wanted to wear.

I started to lose it then. I even thought of heading to Macy's in NYC, because the plus size division has a 1/2 floor of evening wear, and buy something. I remembered Renee (MissCeliesPants) saying she no longer made her evening dresses and I sooooo get it. 

I'm now three days away from the event. The girls dresses have been delivered and I no longer have any excuses. I have to come up with something to wear. I thought about what drew me to the Lenox dress and what feeling I wanted to convey in my dress. 

That's when I started to wish I could wear my velvet Myosotis but it was too heavy for the weather, too autumn looking, blah blah blah. Though the dress embodied the comfortable look I wanted so I went searching for something in the fabric collection that would work.

I've been hoarding this fabric for at least a decade. It wasn't what I thought it would be when I ordered it but I loved it and KNEW it would make a special dress.

A quick trip to the garment district Friday afternoon (after I spent the morning at work) and I had piping and buttons from Joyce Trimmings. Then it was just getting myself together to sew it.

Supply List ~
Brocade & Sheer fabric from deep stash
Blackish gray silk charmeuse also from deep stash
3 - 1" black sparkly buttons from Joyce Trimmings
4 yds of black & silver metallic piping from Joyce Trimmings

Construction ~
There is nothing new in the construction of this dress. I made it exactly the same way as I did the velvet version except I added a collar.

Some construction photos:

I added a collar with piping and piping to the front of the top 

Deciding whether to add piping to the sleeves or not

Added piping to the bodice bottom before sewing the skirt on

Close up of black & silver piping and black enamel & CZ buttons

I'm always on the fence about adding pockets but from previous versions
I did know that I wanted them just a little deeper

The bodice front and back was lined with the grayish black silk charmeuse. I cut the pockets from the silk too. The hem on the dress is 3.5" deep and as you can see it was still grazing the floor. I walked with a portion of it in my hand the entire night or I tripped over it.

My daughter and I at the Cotillion holding my skirt - LOL!

Since I was short on time I didn't line the dress ~ hoping and praying that the crinoline I'd ordered from Amazon would be delivered in time! I don't know what I would have done if it hadn't arrived! Hahahahahahaha!

A few pictures of the dress ~

The only back shot we took but there's a lot of fabric in this dress
and you can see how sheer the fabric was at the hemline

Me and my sweet Samantha

Also a few pictures of my niece at the Cotillion ~

And the curtsy which takes months to learn to do properly

Finally ~ 
I loved my finished dress. I loved that it was comfortable and easy to wear. I loved that it was me...classic with a side of drama. I'm wearing extra hair because I sewed until 12:30am on Sunday morning. We needed to be at the Event at 3pm on Sunday so I had no time to go and get my hair done. However, I think the curly mane works really well with the dress.

Like I said earlier the girls dress posts are up next. But y'all I have a backlog of posts. I have three finished garments that I had no time to photograph between the all of the rain and making these dresses...so quite a few new posts will be coming to the blog.

...as always more later!


  1. You always do such beautiful work I love your dress

  2. Beautiful dress! I so enjoy reading about your sewing adventures. It inspires me and encourages me in my own sewing endeavours.

  3. You made those little girls into pink princesses! So wonderful. And your dress makes another generation of princess! And on top of it all, you look sooooo rested after all that sewing! Love the outcomes!

  4. Beautiful dresses!. I am only now returning to sewing and basically am a beginner. Wonder if I'll ever make anything as beautiful. You are an inspiration.

  5. You have a beautiful family! And the dresses you made are amazing!

  6. Very pretty! Your daughter is spectacular, and your granddaughters must have felt like princesses. I hope you had a wonderful evening. Who was the beautiful deb?

  7. I hope you all get other opportunities to wear those dresses, they are so beautiful. What a lot of sewing you've done lately. The little girls looked like they were enjoying the dresses too.

  8. How incredibly elegant, beautiful and special everyone looked. This is going to be a love memory for the grand daughters and the family to look upon. Your design choices are all beautifully presented and sewn Carolyn. Thank you for sharing the process.

  9. I love this dress! I hope you get more wear out of it, because it's lovely! g

    1. Gaylen - I think that was a one and done. I just don't have that many dress up events in my life. And for my next dress up event in 2020 - I want my original ballgown idea but in a soft pinkish floral print. So I'm on the hunt for fabric now.

  10. Someone else used the word elegant in the comments above and that is exactly the look you achieved, just enough detail with the piping - so beautiful. It makes me think of designer Carolina Herrera and her understated and sophisticated ballgowns. And hurrah for the stash that came through with that lovely fabric. You look great.

    1. Beth - thanks for the association. I love the Carolina Herrera line and design aesthetic so I'm very pleased that you connected the two - though in all honesty I hadn't thought about that as I rushed to make something to wear!

  11. I wish wish wish I could see you in person in this dress. Ah heck, all of you in your dresses, but the fabric choices are complicated and stunning.
    I'd admit, the curtsy photo still makes me cry. You are so lovely and loved. What a wonderful evening.

  12. So beautiful, all of you. Your sewing skills amaze me.

  13. I LOVE your dress!!! It is beautiful!
    This grandaughters are adorable!

  14. Your dress turned out perfectly. I love the sparkly buttons and the piping on the front and collar. Your granddaughters dresses are amazing as well. The lace overlay is perfection. You all look like you had a great time at this event.

  15. Thank goodness for your stash of fabric! Crunch time came and you made it work showcasing a beautiful classic Carolyn dress. Well done!!! Karen

    1. Karen - I almost cried when I touched that piece! I KNEW it was the right time to use it and was so thankful it was in my collection.

  16. Stash for the WIN!

    It is beautiful! You all look amazing and it looks like it was a great evening!

  17. You look so good in this dress!! I love the glitzy piping and button details. How good does it feel that you were able to finally use that amazing stash fabric?!

  18. Everyone looks so beautiful!!!! I am glad it all worked out for your dress!

  19. Brava! You really pulled it off Carolyn. The girls look great but you really made a magicak dress. Everything works beautifully together; the piping and buttons are the perfect finishing touch.

  20. I can only imagine the hours you put into ALL the dresses and thank goodness for an aging stash. I had to laugh when you said the fabric was 10 years old...is that all? Lordie, I have some silks 40 years old and still waiting for just the right project to use them...ha ha. Love the fact you did not line the sleeves, the sheer spaces are so nice along with that cool piping and sparkle button. This dress is classic and designer-worthy every day of the week!

  21. Your dress is so lovely and flattering. Great job. I love all of the dresses you made. Your daughter and granddaughters look so pretty and so very happy. It looks like you all had a terrific time.
    Thanks for sharing all of the pics and details. Very inspiring.

  22. If ever there was a reason to have TNT patterns and a beautiful fabric collection this is it! I love your very sophisticated dress and the family photos from this occasion will surely be something to treasure.


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