Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Black, gold and beaded cocktail/ball dress

This is not a new dress (although I have finished my new evening dress and will show it here soon!)  This is an old dress I made about  three years ago, out of lovely matte stiff silk taffeta for the overskirt, very fine black tulle for the underskirt; and the bodice is gold satin with a beautiful beaded, embroidered and sequinned black tulle fabric overlay.  There is black satin ribbon sewed as a decorative detail under the bodice and tied in a little bow, and I also added thin black satin ribbon shoulder straps.  The beaded fabric was very expensive, about $80/metre from memory, so I only bought about 40cm, just enough for the width of the bodice!  There were still some scraps, and the beaded tulle was decorated a little sparse IMO, so I cut out quite a few of the beaded/embroidered motifs from the leftovers and hand-sewed them onto the bodice after it was finished to fill in the gaps and make for a super-luxurious, fully sparkly bodice!    The pattern I used was Burda 8046.  I haven't checked if this pattern is still available, but I'll review it anyway...

Dress; Burda 8046, black silk taffeta, black tulle, gold satin, black beaded/embroidered and sequinned tulle
Sandals; Sachi, bought at some little boutique in Melbourne
Bag; gift from Craig, very early in our marriage

Pattern Description
Close-fitting strapless or halter neck dress with under-bust seam, and bolero jacket.  I made the strapless version of the dress
Pattern sizing
European 32-44 (US 6-18); I initially cut size 38 (12) but ended up adjusting the bodice to be quite a lot narrower.
Did it look like the drawing/photograph on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
yes, except that I added very thin ribbon shoulder straps to hold it up...!
Were the instruction easy to follow?
very easy
What did you particularly like or dislike about this pattern?
The pattern is fine.  It is very easy to sew up.  I chose it because the shape of the dress fitted the vision I had in my head for this particular dress.  I would have preferred a boned bodice with an internal foundation and waist stay and in retrospect should have constructed the bodice to allow for this...  However I am perfectly happy with the outcome
Fabric used:
Fine black tulle for the underskirt, black silk taffeta for the overskirt.  Gold satin for the bodice and a beaded/embroidered and sequinned black tulle for a bodice overlay.  6mm black satin ribbon sewed on as a decorative division between the bodice and the skirt.  3mm black satin ribbon shoulder straps
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added thin satin ribbon shoulder straps after fearing that bodice wasn't going to stay up by itself....  They weren't strictly necessary but I wouldn't have felt comfortable without them...
Would you sew it again?  Would you recommend it to others?
I would definitely recommend this as a very easy strapless dress pattern.  Sews up very quickly.  With added straps, it is perfect.  Without straps... not so much
I expect the halter neck version of this pattern is the perfect "very easy ball-gown" pattern, perfectly suited to a beginner project.  The strapless version is easy, but as the design is not fitted very firmly at the waist I can imagine one would be constantly hoinking it up without added shoulder straps...  although maybe a larger-busted woman wouldn't have the same problem.  I do love my dress however and have worn it to at least four or five formal functions with great success.


  1. The dress is simply gorgeous and it looks amazing on you!

  2. Lovely dress Carolyn! The beading is fabulous. Thank you so much for the links to the cross-stitch charts, it is greatly appreciated.

  3. I am so glad you commented on my blog! If not, I may have never found yours!! I love your blog!! It is just great!!!
    Gorgeous dress too!:)

  4. So the dress is beautiful, but I think the picture of you in the dress is even more beautiful! What a lovely shot!

  5. Gorgeous, dress and model. Can't wait to see your new one, too.