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Having created many amazing formal dresses for events across the last few years Erin pulled out a favourite that she originally made for the Women in Law Awards when she was nominated for Law Student of the Year.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