Hey Folks- Megan here! I don’t know about you but I always make last minute New Years Eve plans and then I ALWAYS feel the need to sew something new. Do I need something new? No. But do I want it? Yes of course!! There’s nothing like a fun event to inspire some last minute sewing. I wanted to show you some quick but fun dresses that I’ve made in hopes of inspiring a little last minute sewing of your own.
For me, the best way to complete a quick project is to start with the stash. For those of us that require a lot of pattern alterations like grading up or bust adjustments, cutting a new pattern is can be tedious and time consuming. I normally pick a knit pattern or a simple woven design without closures that I have already sewn before and know won’t need any major alterations. It’s always a bummer to spend all day sewing something and have it end up not fitting correctly or be unwearable! Once I’ve shopped the (extensive) pattern stash, its time to move on to the fabric stash. A robust stash is the secret to last minute sewing success (or at least that’s what I tell myself). A fun print or textured fabric is a sure way to take a more casual pattern and make it fancy! I always find this is a great time to use up those fabrics that I bought and loved but couldn’t figure out how to incorporate in my day to day wardrobe. NYE is the perfect occasion to get a little crazy.
The first example I want to share is one I’m sure many of you already have in your stash, the Turner Dress from Cashmerette. It’s a fun knit design and I find that the lined bodice is quicker to sew than bands or bindings. The v-neckline and longer length make it easy to feel more dressed up than some other knit pattern options, so I didn’t even make any design modifications to the pattern, which is unusual for me. It’s a simple design, so let the fabric do the talking. Make it in a bold print scuba and you won’t even have to hem it!
I made this for my Christmas party last year, but I’ve also worn it to a wedding so it has already gotten more wear than I was expecting when I finished the project. This Turner Dress is made in a scuba knit from Joann Fabrics.
My second dress is a Papercut Pattern’s Sway Dress, but any woven pattern without closures and that can be made in a fancier fabric will work well for a quick holiday sewing project. In my opinion, the secret to dressing up a basic design is to go big with your fabric choice. Papercut doesn’t have a great size range (though I do find their drafting to run about a size big, at least in the larger sizes), so I wanted to suggest a few other options. I love the Style Arc Adeline that Meg made, it looks great in a bold print and stands up well to a structured fabric. I’ve personally made the Style Arc Olivia dress in a number of rayon fabrics, and I’m sure it would work equally well in lightweight silk print. The Webster Dress from Cashmerette would also be a great option. For any of these patterns, I would suggest omitting the pockets or any other design features like straps or seams without shaping if you are running short on time.
I made this dress for a New Years eve outing 2 years ago, and it too has gotten multiple wears, once again proving that last minute sewing isn’t always the worst idea ever. It’s made in a really fun handwoven cotton from Thailand. The fabric is so interesting that it works well with the simple dress design and I always get a lot of compliments on it, which I know is just due to the amazing fabric. I skipped the pockets on this one, but I did add some little cap sleeves from the Made by Rae Washi Dress.
This last dress I actually made as a bridesmaid dress for a wedding, so it required a bit more planning when it came to fabric purchasing, but was really quick to sew. Would you believe this is the Colette Moneta pattern with just a few simple pattern hacks? I’m sure this is a pattern that many of us have in our stash because it was one of the first plus size knit patterns on the market. All I did was draft a v-neck on the back (you could easily trace from another pattern) and substitute the gathered skirt for a circle skit. I think the circle skirts reads a bit more “fancy” while a gathered skirt is more casual. I used a stretch lace that I lined with a nude stretch lining, though I think this would also look great in a stretch velvet.
So, there is my inspiration for last minute sewing, is anyone else as addicted to quick projects as I am? I would ask if you have any last minute sewing plans but I guess that defeats the purpose… no planning, simply sewing as the inspiration strikes! However, I will admit I have some stretch velvet in the stash that may just turn into a New Years Eve sewing project…