Better Late Than Never! The Dressmakers Ball - Simplicity 8545

by - 5/02/2019

Hi pinups! Could I possibly be the most inconsistent, unreliable sewing blogger there is? Most likely! Yes this post is very late coming... but I knew I wanted to do it and another opportunity to share this make was just what I needed to brighten up this dull May day. After all it's not often I get chance to make a fancy dress and have a suitable occasion to wear it...

In March Crafty Sew & So hosted The Dressmakers Ball in Leicester, my university city no less! I went to the first ball, held a couple of years ago and jumped at the chance to go to their second event. My first time around, I was a bit of a mess. My dress fell apart at the last minute and I had to pull something else together. The whole thing was just super stressful and I was so nervous all evening and spent most of the time with a migraine and looking very anti social! This time around I was determined to have a wonderful time and feel fabulous.

I knew right away the kind of dress I wanted to make and it just so happened a few months before hand the lovely people at Textile Express had sent me 2m of THIS truly stunning embroidered tulle fabric. Now I had the occasion to use it! The Simplicity 8545 pattern features a practically identical fabric on the cover and I knew these two would be a great team to create the sheer overlay, mid length dress I wanted.

Here's a peek at the pattern:

I made option D, a simple dress design and I used a black satin binding on the cuffs and neck line and left the hem of the dress raw. I cut my skirt panels as long and as wide as the fabric allowed. So I think my skirt is a little longer and more gathered than Simplicity's version. I chose to buy a black slip to wear underneath.

As my previous ball dress was a mess, I wanted to keep things as simple as possible and let the fabric do the talking. For a little extra special, sparkly touch I hand sewed teeny tiny beads and sequins on some of the embroidery around the bodice. I'm so happy I did this and luckily not too many fell off!

I was rubbish in the photo department, although I shared quite a lot throughout the evening on my Instagram Stories, but I couldn't resist a little solo photo session in the toilets. It'd be rude not to when the mirror is this big!

I had such a wonderful evening surrounded by lovely, creative dressmakers and it was a joy to meet everyone and oggle all the dresses! I was honoured to be on the judging panel on the evening for the catwalk too. It was so fun, but I'm not going to lie, by that point in the evening I was 80% prosecco and I whooped and cheered probably too enthusiastically for every dress and my very important notes *ahem* turned into scribbles of 'YES PINK DRESS' etc etc.
My evening was made by Marie and Amy aka A Stitching Odyssey and Almond Rock. Marie was so kind letting me stay in her beautiful home and I couldn't of done it without these two. I was so nervous to meet people at the ball and honestly I've never felt so welcomed and comfortable.

So many lovely ladies came up to me and I was overwhelmed by the love! Mushy I know, but putting yourself online is scary (especially YouTube) and I tend to think everyone hates me and finds me annoying so to have people come up to you to say they love a piece of the content or have bought from my shop means the world to me.

What a night! Being such a socially awkward person, I'd been so nervous about the ball; what I'd look like, what people would think of me, the list goes on. But I really did have a wonderful evening. There were so many people I didn't get to say hello to and the night flew by! Thank you to the Crafty Sew & So team for creating such a great event (the band was AMAZING). Roll on the next one.

To see more snaps from the ball and for more information visit Crafty Sew & So HERE. Did you go too?

Thanks for reading, pinups!
Abi xo

P.S. I apologise profusely to Marie, who dealt with my disgustingly hungover self the following morning with such kindness, and to poor Amy who had to witness me. Safe to say, at any future event, a midnight double rum & coke is not the one.

Disclaimer: contains affilate links. 

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  1. Hi Abi. I love this dress so much, looks amazing on you. Were you able to make the dress with 2 metres of the fabric?