Ahh, the illusive cocktail dress. When you’re curvy finding a stylish cocktail dress that’s both sexy and sophisticated can be a challenge. Add extra height in there and you’re outta luck.
When one of my dearest friend’s wedding invite came in the mail I knew I’d have to make my dress and figured having a definitive deadline would be a good motivator.
Fast forward to 6 days before the wedding. Still no dress, no fabric for a dress, no backup plan. I headed to my favorite local shop, Gaffney’s Fabrics in Philadelphia, looking for a stretch metallic/ sequin fabric. No luck. But I did stumble upon a beautiful stretch velvet in navy. Having never sewed with anything like this I was intimidated but went for it!
Using a few hours each weeknight I pulled together the most gorgeous velvet wrap dress. I have to say, this is easily my most favorite outfit I’ve ever worn to a wedding (minus my own). Scroll through for DIY instructions and styling details.
I used Cashmerette’s Appleton Wrap dress pattern . Cashmerette patterns are specially designed for curves so this is perfect if you are a size 12 or larger. This is a true wrap dress (opposed to a fixed wrap dress) that is held together with a tie closure below the bust. This is an awesome beginner pattern because as a knit and with an adjustable tie, you can fudge the sizing a bit and the dress will still work!
I added 5” in length (as I do to nearly all patterns) and went sleeveless so I omitted the sleeves and added a small, invisible hem to the arm holes.
Fabric used was a stretch velvet with a knit backing, similar fabric here: Stretch Velvet Knit . I paid $7.99 a yard which felt about right for the quality of the fabric. I purchased 4 yards (the pattern calls for less than 3). I’m using the remaining yardage to make a sexy velvet camisole for the holidays.
I also used my trusty Brother 1034D Serger to do 90% of the sewing. The remainder I did with my sewing machine and by hand.
I styled this dress with…
Loren Hope Earrings here: Loren Hope Crystal Earrings $78
ILISHOP Clutch here: ILISHOP Envelope Clutch $30
Bracelet: A chunky, gold cuff bracelet with large stones that I bought at the QVC outlet eons ago!
All in all a pretty glamorous outfit for less than $200. And yes, I spent more on the earrings than I did on the dress, I figured I needed a special reward for all my hard handiwork 🙂
I hope you like this look!
Happy sewing and styling!
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