Frocktails 2023

It’s Frocktails time!  What an exciting time! Frocktails brings together local makers to celebrate their makes and enjoy a cocktail together. The event was hosted at The Bank on Collins and cocktail of the night was “Daylight Bobbin-ry” which was made with Jamaican Rum, Frangelico, Crème de Cassis, Dom Bénédictine, Cranberry juice and nutmeg. 

Is Frocktails the event where you can walk up and pat someone else’s fabric?  Yes, yes it is!  So why not wear texture?  We certainly leant into this with our fabric choices this year. 

From the left – Erin Butterick 6351 Crushed pleat The Fabric Lab, Lauren McCall’s 8213 tinsel fabric The Fabric Lab, Katelyn in By Hand London Flora tulle Spotlight, Eliza Know Me 2016 Spotlight, Robyn Vogue 1723 The Fabric Store

McCall’s 8213 in Purple Tinsel from Fabric Lab

Well it was love a first sight. Purple, sparkle, tassel, love. With the fabric purchased the next step was to decide how to best showcase this fabric. We looked to McCall’s 8213 for the bodice band and ties then gathered a tube of the amazing tinsel fabric onto the band.

 Butterick 6351 in a crushed pleat from Fabric Lab

Fabric Lab has an amazing selection of special occasion fabrics including amazing pleats! Erin found this sensational shot green in a crushed pleat. She stitched it up in Butterick 6351 with the elastic back waist and open draped section in the back bodice.

Vogue 1723 in georgette from The Fabric Store

Mum has created a stunning long-length version of Vogue 1723 in a stunning georgette from The Fabric Store that was lined in pongee lining to compliment the weight of the outer layer. Do you spot Dad there in his Stakes Day vest? That’s right, what a week, Frocktails was on the evening of Stakes Day, 8 events in 7 days!

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Butterick 6351, McCalls 8213, By Hand London Flora, Know Me ME2016 and Vogue 1723
Fabric: Fabrics from Fabric Lab, Spotlight and The Fabric Store.
Millinery: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Looking for more Frocktails inspiration? Check out our 2022 Frocktails outfits here.

Melbourne Frocktails

In July we headed to Melbourne Frocktails!  We have seen this wonderful event for several years but this is the first time we got tickets.  Melbourne Frockails is an annual cocktail party for people who enjoy sewing their own garments so the stakes are high for the dress code.  Obviously, me-made is a must!  

The brief was “Sew your finest outfit, and come to chit-chat to sewing peeps from near and far, over cocktails and canapes.” Th event was hosted at The Bank on Collins Street in the heart of Melbourne. Eliza joined us for the event creating a stunning version of By Hand London’s Anna dress in dark green velvet.

Lauren’s Frocktails Dress

We started this dress in 2019 for an event but didn’t get it finished in time – so it got its first outing for this event. I wanted to create something whimsical with a maroon striped lace I had found a Darn Cheap Fabrics and the vision became creating a “maroon fairy”. I was particularly inspired by Needle and Thread dresses with the light lace in gathered ruffles. I had been collecting some images on our Pinterest Board to bring together the concept.

The Pinterest Board

Once I had picked some elements to focus on I started with the bodice of New Look 6494. I liked the rounded bodice detail and sleeves. To test the design lines I took the line drawing from the pattern, which you can just see a faint line of in the sketch and overlaid the additional ruffles.

I wanted to create a soft neckline so I opened up the neckline line and added some gathering into the pattern piece then I used these stand collar pattern piece back to front and added a ruffle at the top edge.

The skirt was formed with three gathered tiers onto a poplin backing (thank you gathering foot, you lifesaver). I wanted to make sure the backing material was not too heavy and take away from the light characteristics of the lace.

The bodice was constructed with the lace basted on a matching poplin which was then treated as one fabric and bagged out with an interfaced support that included boning.

The finished dress

Erin’s Frocktails Dress

Having created many amazing formal dresses for events across the last few years Erin pulled out a favourite that she originally made for the Women in Law Awards when she was nominated for Law Student of the Year. The pattern is Vogue 9343 and we altered the bust to allow for an overlap of the bodice pieces. It is constructed in a printed taffeta weight fabric that was sourced from Darn Cheap Fabrics.


Photographer: James Christie
Headpieces: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery
Erin and Lauren’s Dress: Fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics 
Lauren’s Bodice Pattern: New Look 6494
Erin’s Dress Pattern: Vogue 9343
Eliza’s Dress Pattern: By Hand London Anna
Eliza’s Fabric: Spotlight