The Cocktail Hour Sew-Along - V8943 - 1950s Inspired Prom Dress!

by - 4/14/2017

The Cocktail Hour Sew-Along - V8943 - 1950s Inspired Prom Dress!

I'm really excited to share my make on The Cocktail Hour Blogger Tour! A super fun (and glamorous) sew along hosted by McCalls raising money for The Eve Appeal through the sale of each Vogue pattern selected for the sew along. Stay tuned until the end of this post for my video of the dress in action AND the delicious cocktail recipe!

"You can join in with sewists from all over the country to help raise funds and awareness for The Eve Appeal charity by sewing one of the dressmaking patterns from the Cocktail Hour collection. Monies raised from the sale of each pattern will go towards helping The Eve Appeal achieve better detection and prevention of women’s cancers."

The Fold Line have put it far better than I can, read HERE.

"As the year progresses you can see what everyone else is making by searching for #sipandsew (hehe!) on Instagram and Twitter and of course share your makes too. Post a photo with the hastag #sipandsew and copy in @McCallpatternUK on Twitter or @McCallpatternUK on Instagram.  Find out more details from McCall’s about Cocktail Hour here."


A fancy dress AND a cocktail recipe? Count me in!
I'm not going to lie, I had a pretty hard time choosing from the patterns! I have a wedding coming up in June and I had an idea in mind for the type of dress I'd like to make for this occasion. I don't get much of a chance to sew occasion dresses, so I hoped to combine the two!

I decided on the V8943 dress pattern.
Here's a peek at the pattern:

This pattern appealed to me because of the lace overlay, bodice shape and full skirt. I knew I could use this pattern with tulle fabric instead of lace to create the vintage 1950s effect I wanted. The pattern is made up of two separate garments, the sheer overlay and a slip. I opted not to make the slip, and instead focus on the dress.

board on Pinterest!

Feeling straight out of Mad Men!
So I decided, if I was making a posh dress, I was going all out. You certainly won't miss me coming your way in this bright red! I searched high and low and found a delicate polka dot tulle on eBay and paired it with THIS stretch satin fabric. I think the combination works perfectly, and the stretch in the satin allowed me to make a super fitted bodice, whilst remaining comfy and soft across my bust. If it were made in a non-stretch fabric, a full bust adjustment would of been needed.

Even though my dress looks quite dramatically different from the pattern, the alterations are actually really simple. The only difference on the tulle layer is that I removed the hip seam. I thought this would look unflattering on me so to keep with the retro vibe, I altered the skirt to a full circle skirt.

I also haven't finished the edges on the tulle and have neatly cut it instead. The fabric doesn't fray and I think it provides a delicate looking finish. I finished the inside seams with my overlocker. However, sewing an invisible zip into tulle is not for the faint-hearted and I will be re-doing mine in time for The Dressmakers Ball.

The dress underneath is made from the same skirt and a bodice pattern with exactly the same darts. Leaving a neat finish when the layers are worn together. Whilst I didn't follow the pattern's instructions too closely, I love the design and am really pleased the V8943 pattern enabled me to live my Grease party dress dreams!

As I said, I hope to wear this dress to The Dressmakers Ball and I will be making a couple of alterations to this dress for the event. I'll be redoing my tulle zip with a longer zip as the tulle dress was a little tricky to get into for this shoot! I'll also be shortening the tulle sleeves to just above my elbow as to not stretch the tulle on my elbows when bent. And lastly, I will be shortening the satin dress slightly, as it falls a touch longer than the tulle which is not what I wanted. I also hope to make a little satin bow belt to finish the look. Then I'll be very happy indeed!

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Vogue 8943 Dress & Slip

Fabric: Polka Dot Tulle & Red Stretch Satin

Notions: 2 x invisible zips & hook and eye for the tulle.

Sewing time: I made this dress in bursts over a week

Modifications: See above!

Fit: Great! Fabric choice with stretch meant I didn't need to do an FBA. Phew!

Difficulty: It had some challenges, due to my alterations. Great for confident sewists.

Watch out for: Too much to mention! Mainly working with tulle.

Make again?: Whilst I love the dress, I don't think I need another in my wardrobe! Or at least maybe a subtler version perhaps...

Why yes I am holding a delicious looking cocktail in this photo shoot! And 'yes' you can make it yourself! Check out my video below to see my dress in action and how to make this super tasty cocktail!

Be sure to let me know if you try the cocktail!


Overall I had  a great time making this dress. It's been lovely to participate in a sew along with a meaning (and a cocktail!) and I really hope I've inspired someone to try the V8943 pattern to create a vintage inspired dress of dreams! It's so fun to wear and whilst it had it's challenges, it was worth it.

Will you be taking part in The Cocktail Hour? You totally should do! Sewing a fancy dress, raising money for a great cause AND a tasty cocktail recipe? Hell yes. Shop from THIS selection of Vogue patterns to take part. Don't forget to use the hashtag #sipandsew and tag @McCallpatternUK!

Thanks for reading, pinups!

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  1. What a wonderfully flamboyant dress! It's gorgeous. I love the effect that the tulle has.

  2. This dress has come out splendidly! The tulle overlay is super fancy! I love it! Ooh, and I must try it that cocktail!!

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  4. I love this idea and you look gorgeous in your cocktail dress. I'm inspired now to go and buy a pattern and join in. I love your cocktail recipe too!!

  5. Love your dress beautiful colour, cant wait to make mine and the cocktail looks delicious