Red carpet season is fast-approaching, and with a few being rolled out already I’ve already been feeling inspired to step up my dress game! This year’s golden globes saw stunning sequins and bold silhouettes, but I absolutely fell in love with Jessica Biel’s Elie Saab gown at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards.
The daring plunge paired with the full skirt looked absolutely gorgeous, and as soon as I saw it, a cocktail version started forming in my head.
To make it a little more casual, I cut my design a little above the knee, added pockets as well as a cute brooch to close the front a little bit, and a few inches of lace under the arm.
Fabrics & materials used:
- 4 yards Black/White Abstract Brocade/Jacquard
- 10 yards 4″ Stiff Transparent Horsehair
- 1 yard Black Lightweight Stretch Cotton Sateen
- 1/4 yard Black Abstract Geometric Lace
- 2 Black Organza Flowers with Beads and Embroidery
- 1 Spider Rhinestone Brooch
- 1 Bone 9″ Invisible Zipper
- Size 3 Black Sew On Snaps
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The bodice goes together in about two and a half steps. Begin by pinning two panels with their right sides together. Sew along three sides, leaving the bottom open like you see below.
Clip your corners, turn the panel right-side out and press – you’ve just sewn one half of your bodice! You’ll need two of these panels, sewn into a 2.5″ skirt waistband. The flat edge attaches outward toward your arms while the curved side folds to form the lapels.
The skirt itself is two full circle skirts cut along one radius and sewn together to make a single layer. If you’re familiar with how to make a circle skirt, I followed the same steps, but cut the waist measurement in half since I’d essentially be combining two skirts (so I made my calculations as if I was making this for a 15″ waist instead of a 30″).
If you’d like to avoid the math altogether, I made a free template that you can download for the skirt!
The bottom of the skirt is lined entirely with 4″ stiff horsehair to keep the hem full and bouncy!
The pockets are simple ones that hide in the seam. If you’ve never added them to a garment, you can find and easy tutorial here!
I inserted my invisible zipper behind one of the pockets, added the waistband to the skirt and added three sew on snaps over the zipper.
Next is where things can potentially get a little tricky – finishing up the bodice straps! Technically, none of the sewing is too difficult, but you’ll definitely need to fit your model or dress form at this point to make sure the straps will lay perfectly.
Take your straps, fold the lapels to your desired width, and then have them meet in the center back, like the photo above. Here I sewed on two large hook and eyes .
Fold the remainder of the straps back toward the front of your dress, and then should fit perfectly into the waistband behind the base of your bodice. Stitch into place.
The last to parts are optional, but incredibly cute additions! To minimize risk, I sewed in some lace side panels – and little hand-stitching worked perfectly. I also added two appliques over the pockets to emulate all the flowers on Jessica Biel’s original dress.
The result is an incredibly adorable new cocktail dress that’ll be absolutely perfect for summer parties! Are you going to be giving this project a try? I’d love to see which fabrics you use!