An Accidental Evening Gown

So, I had plans to make a long sleeved maxi dress for fall. I envisioned cute scarves and boots and the whole Pinterest-pumpkin-spice-latte feel, kind of like this (even though I hate pumpkin flavored everything). I had grand ideas that this would become a fall wardrobe staple.

Previously, I mentioned that I tried out the Fashion Fabrics Club, and ordered a bunch of this green rib knit (which I also used for my first Brasov top). I love the color and texture, even if my machines don’t. (Seriously, this fabric is miserable to sew).

I have a deep love for the Patterns for Pirates Sunshine dress, and practically live all summer in the few I have. One with sleeves seemed like the absolute perfect fall dress. To add the sleeves, I altered the bodice using my favorite tee pattern, the Agnes tee, laid the pieces on top of the Sunshine bodice, and drew a new armscye. Then I just used the Agnes sleeves. So easy. One thing I will say about the sunshine dress though, is that you have to redraft the crossover bodice a little to wear it sleeveless (as drafted). One bodice shoulder is wider than the other for no apparent reason. But it’s an easy fix. I just matched my two sides and cut off the difference for sleeveless versions.


Generally, on my Sunshines, I shape the skirt a little, rather than leave it a straight rectangle. I find it’s more flattering and results in less gathers/bulk at the waist. Since my machines hated this fabric, I thought I’d remove the gathers entirely. This was a good idea in theory, but probably added significantly to the unintentional fanciness. But I kept trucking away on this dress, so excited. And then, when I put it on after I finished, I literally laughed out loud. I mean, the dress is GORGEOUS, but wardrobe staple it is not. It’s almost absurdly elegant for a $4 per yard rib knit.

Since this fabric is so ridiculously stretchy, the crossover neckband pulls the side seam a little bit. You can see it clearly in this photo, but I don’t really notice it when I’m wearing it.

I thought about shortening the sleeves and skirt, to make it more every day wearable, but I sort of love that I have this crazy wonderful winter evening gown. I have no earthly idea what I’d ever wear it to, but oh man, am I going to find somewhere. The top with sleeves is great though, and now I want some long sleeve tops like this. And maybe a long sleeve dress with some gathers and a shorter skirt, that I can wear with tights in the winter.

Okay, now tell me, have you ever started a garment and had it turn out unexpectedly fancy or surprisingly casual?

3 Replies to “An Accidental Evening Gown”

  1. Wow, gorgeous! Hey, if you’d wear it shorter with no problem why can’t you wear it long just as easy? It’s the same fabric. Just imagine it with boots and a blazer or a snuggly chunky sweater on top. You should make another in stretch velvet!

    1. I’ve definitely been thinking of ways to wear this! I think I’m going to try it with a button down tied at the waist for a more cropped look. I think a more casual top might make this more appropriate for everyday wear. And wow one in stretch velvet would be BEAUTIFUL.

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