Have you ever made or purchased an outfit for an event, and immediately had second thoughts? Not that you didn’t love it, but you weren’t 100% sure it was the right look. That is how I felt about this dress.
Let me be clear, I love this dress, but as soon as I started to sew formal dresses, I wanted to sew more. I was finding inspiration everywhere and wanted to sew another formal dress.
I think my second-guessing was because this event was a destination wedding. Meaning, once I packed my suitcase and took it to the airport, there was no turning back. That was it. I wasn’t able to look at my closet or fiddle around with my sewing machine any longer and change my look at the last minute. It was done.
So as I neatly packed my dress, my husband’s and son’s suit, and I also tucked my red formal dress from the previous month into my suitcase. Why? Was I going to wear it? Probably not, but at least I had one more option if I changed my mind.
All of those feelings came to a screeching halt when … when the airline lost our luggage. We had checked our bag with our in-laws, and the airline lost our luggage.
There we were, driving from Las Vegas to Palm Springs, and all I could think about was how much I wanted to wear the dress I had created for this event. But there was nothing I could do about it. Isn’t that funny? Just a week before, I was second-guessing this dress, and now all I wanted to do was wear it the following day. I think that “needed” to happen for me to realize how much I loved the dress.
There was nothing we could do. My in-laws were patiently waiting for our luggage to arrive at the airport. As they waited, I tried to brainstorm ideas on where we could all get outfits for the next day’s formal event. (I even joked about finding somewhere to sew a new dress – haha!) But after about 5 minutes after we got off the phone, I let the whole situation go. There was nothing I could do, and I was sitting in the car driving with my family through some of the most beautiful landscapes I’d ever seen. In the long run, it didn’t matter – we’d find something to wear!
I’m sure you can guess by the photos, our luggage arrived safe and sound a few hours later – thank God!
As I’m thinking back on this story as I’m writing this text, I’m reminded of how easy it is to get caught up in any moment of worry. It’s easy to fret and stress, but it’s so much more freeing to let go and not worry about the things you cannot control. During that drive, I’m glad I let go of the situation before I knew if we were going to get our luggage back. In the end, I’m thankful I didn’t stress more than I needed to for a situation that was (relatively) quickly resolved.
Now that I’m done rambling – let’s talk about this dress!
Fabric for My Black-Tie Dress
- Watercolor Floral Twill Stiff Satin Pink/Red/Navy Fabric from Fabric.com (No longer available)
I’ve always loved large poppies, and after a few weeks of looking online for inspiration for formal dresses and also for fabric options, I landed on this print. I love this print. It was bold, beautiful, and classy. Since it was online, I didn’t fully know if I’d love it once it arrived, but I decided to take the plunge and order 7 yards. Yes, 7 yards!
I got it in the mail a few days later, opened it up, and was taken back by the print. Now that it was here, what pattern was I going to make with it? I had a few options picked out, but I hadn’t narrowed it down to one yet.
Pattern Review: McCalls M7895 (View B)
After much thought, I decided to make the McCalls pattern m7895. The off the shoulder, gather bodice was simple, elegant, yet so unique. I also thought that the pleats in the bodice would help break up some of the floral print, giving the dress some additional dimension and texture.
Overall, I enjoyed putting this dress together, but if you’re looking for a quick sew on a formal gown – this isn’t it. Not that it took hours and hours more than the red McCalls 7683, but there were more fitting and detail work that needed to be done. For example, the interior bodice is hand sewn to the outer bodice and zipper. This encloses the bodice area, giving it a professional finish, but hand sewing takes time.
The other part of the process that took time, but I enjoyed was hemming. This was the first time that I used horsehair hem to help stabilize the hem, and I liked learning how to complete this step. I was also curious to see if I really did need 7 yards of the stabilizer to hem the skirt ー and to my surprise, I did!
Would I Recommend this Pattern: McCalls M7895
Yes, I know I’m biased, but I love how this dress turned out! It was one of a kind (and affordable to make). I would also recommend this pattern because of the different views. The variations would allow you to enjoy making the dress pattern again and again (if you needed to), and you could make a different dress each time.
Now the only question I have is – when can I wear this dress again? On Instagram, someone recommended that I wear it out grocery shopping … is that too much? Haha! If I go on another cruise again, I think I will be packing this dress!