I don’t know about you, but any opportunity I have to dress up, I take it! And if I have advance notice, I will surely make myself a dress. I made this evening gown for a posh North Indian wedding a few weeks ago. When RSVP’ing, I asked what the dress was as it wasn’t printed on the invitation, and was informed that many of the women would be wearing saris. I considered buying or making a sari, but I wasn’t sure how much wear I would get out of such an outfit, so instead, I made a gown that is kind of reminiscent of a sari and yet is one that I could wear to another event.
Formal wear is actually my forte and I have been sewing gowns for many years now — much longer than I’ve been sewing my every day casual wear. I’ve made three wedding gowns (including my own) and countless evening gowns and cocktail dresses. So yes, I’ve sewn a lot of taffetas, tulles, duchess satins, charmeuses, chiffons, georgettes and organzas. I considered using chiffon for this dress, but instead went with this beautiful silk voile that is just sheer enough to show the diamond jacquard lining underneath. The gold lining adds a metallic sheen to the voile and gives some varied looks to this dress depending on the lighting. I added gold metallic crocheted trim at the waist and made an evening bag to match.
Pattern name: Butterick 5987
Sizing: This pattern goes up to a Butterick size 24.
What size did you make? I graded this up to about a 26/28.
What are your measurements and body shape? My measurements are: 48-41-52 and I have a pear-ish shape. I used this method for grading up.
What adjustments did you make, and how long did they take? I followed the pattern instructions and didn’t make any adjustments other than some hand sewing on the shoulder gathers, which was pretty quick. I did lengthen the skirt an inch. It looks a bit shorter on me in the first photo, but I changed from heels to flats later on and didn’t want the dress too long.
What did you like? I love how this dress give modest coverage while still being a bit revealing. The shoulder strap is comfortable and I did not find myself fiddling with the bodice all night. This gown feels like wearing silk pajamas and is so very comfortable. I danced and danced in it and didn’t have to worry about anything falling down or falling out. I really like the Grecian vibe and would love to have a white chiffon version.
What will you change next time? I doubt I would change anything if I were to make this again. I do think it would be a wonderful flowy more casual dress if it was shortened to cocktail length.
What advice do you have for curvy sewists? This is an easy and simple pattern that would be great for beginners as it has an introduction to underlining, draping, and gathering. If you aren’t sure about working with a sheer fabric like chiffon or georgette, you could make this with organza or voile which are a easier to sew with. The fabric for this dress does not have to be sheer either — Nessa made a beautiful version out of rayon challis. You could go that route or maybe choose a cotton lawn or batiste. Pretty much anything with a drape would look fantastic.
Curvy rating (1 – 5) ? 4, only because the size range is not broad.
For more photos and info on this gown, please check out my blog post.