My first black tie party

19 h 25

DH tuxedo from Classy in Montreal
My top Eva dress patterns - Kimono blouse
Skirt - Vogue 2607 (out of print)

Am I wrong or a black tie party is always good news for a passionate sewist. My husband and I were invited to a "birthday" party. I am putting the word birthday between brackets, since it turned out to be some other kind of party... 

My friend Josée was turning 50 and the invitation precised that it was a black tie party. Great, I had never been to a black tie party. Black tie or not, I am always an advocate of simplicity. What I had in mind was a black and white outfit. I surfed the net in search of inspiration. Many key words were used to gather pictures and create a mood board. Two pictures inspired me.

First inspiring look

Who does not like Monica Belluci ? Here on Cannes' red carpet with ex-husband Vincent Cassel. This picture is from 2006. She is wearing a magnificent silk chiffon skirt with large sequins with a special knotted white shirt. I did not find on the net who is the designer. The skirt has an exquisite flamenco flair and the Cartier alligator necklace is the "pièce de résistance" as we say it in French. Or if you prefer the necklace is the focal point of this evening outfit.

Bohemian bourgeois, why not

The second picture that inspired me is a little more Bobo type of looking.

If I remember correctly this is Jenna Lyons Been the designer form JC Crew... at her best here with this ballroom skirt worn with a mannish tailored white shirt. I love the styling on this picture.

From there, I selected a pattern from Eva Dress for the top. This pattern is attached at the waist by a long tie knotted on the left and tiny snaps link the left front to the right side seem. The back pieces are 6 inches longer than the front so that you can stick the back in your skirt and avoid back skin showing when you bend. Very clever design. 

Eva Dress' pattern are most of the time available in only one or two sizes. I chose the smallest size which turned out to be very big on me. 

Eva Dress kimono blouse - muslin #1 too big

Eva Dress kimono blouse - muslin #1 too big

Eva Dress kimono blouse - muslin #1 too big
Those pictures were taken with my phone. I apologize for the poor quality. Nevertheless, you can appreciate the surplus of fabric in the front and in the back. The kimono sleeves made the task easy to grade down the pattern. I took off 2 cm in front right and front left by drawing a vertical line from shoulder to lower hem passing by the apex of my breast. I made a similar correction in the back on both sides. I used the book Fit for Real People as a reference. I also added a bit of length in the front, 1.5 cm to be precised. I was afraid to have my belly exposed.

I ended up taking off 4 cm in the front and 4 cm in the back (in width). I also raised the armscye of 1.5 cm and made the sleeve narrower. It looked much better afterwards.

Eva Dress kimono blouse - muslin #2 perfect size

Eva Dress kimono blouse - muslin #2 sorry not front view
The final result pleased me enough to wear it ;-) 

Eva Dress kimono blouse in ivory duchess satin
It was the first time that I sewed duchess satin. Ho my, it was not as easy as I expected. The fabric is light-medium weight. It has lots of body and it is on the stiff side. No fluidity here. The weaving is very, very dense and fine. Even silk needles had a hard time going through the fabric. I used a very fine silk thread to sew - Gutterman 120. The one I use for bra making. 

Duchess silk satin needs to be ironed without steam or else the fabric looses it's shine and body. Seams lines will mark if you make mistakes. In brief, not an easy partner to work with.

Do I recommend this pattern ? Yes and no. The collar would require a good pattern drafter to be corrected. The little notch linking the back the collar does not fit perfectly so it makes the facing fall strangely. I mean, no one would ever notice, unless you sew. But as I am a keener it bothered me. This is why I wore the collar up. My friend the Sewing Lawyer also noticed it as she commented on my FB muslin #1 post. I did not know how to correct it. So I left it like that

The tie and the hem required 2.1 meter of invisible hand stitching. I strongly suggest that technique if you use silk. It make your garment so chic.

Compare to the top, the skirt was a piece of cake. No darts. Pure simple effective lines that were perfect for my silhouette. I love that ! 

Vogue 2067 OOP

close-up of the superb Italian silk satin from Couture Elle

As you can see the skirt is as easy as 1,2,3. For a beginner this skirt is an excellent choice. The pattern fitted without any modifications, or almost. I cut a size 8 and simply had to make the waist a tiny bit smaller. The Italian silk satin used here is medium weight, very supple and with drape. Jean Grayeb form Couture Elle said that it surplus fabric form Prada... ho la la. It was pure pleasure to use that silk. Hemming required to gather the excess of fabric like on a circular skirt. Lots of tiny hand stitches here again. precisely 2.2 meters of hand hemming. 

Voilà !

Vogue 2607 OOP for the skirt and Eva Dress kimono blouse for the top.

Gloves from Dent in London, UK, Ivory satin with buttons

The gloves are from Dents in London, UK. Ordered by mail. They have a super service and reasonable prices. 

I invested efforts into this outfit. I wanted it to be perfect. For many reasons I suspected that the party would end-up to be a surprise wedding. And so it was. What a great idea!

Next post will be on a men's jacket. One huge exception for me. 

Patterns - Fabric - Notions - Accessories
PatternsEva Dress Kimono Blouse in size A bust 32" to 36" - Skirt pattern from Vogue 2067 OOP (out of print)
Fabric: Satin Duchess in ivory for the top and medium weight silk satin in black for the skirt both form Couture Elle on St-Hubert Street in Montreal.
Notions: YKK zippers and Gutterman thread from Club Tissus
Gloves: Dent in London, UK

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4 commentaires

  1. I love your outfit. Simple and so elegant. Hope you had a fabulous time at the wedding. Abbey Sews

  2. J'adore, Anne-Marie! Vraiment chouette le résultat, ça te va à ravir! xx

    1. Merci Virginie. J'espère que tu vas bien. Ça fait des lunes qu'on s'est vu. Viens-tu à Montréal bientôt ?


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