Is this dress possibly "formal"? Part 2

 (Photo courtesy of Someone Else)

I tried to adjust the scan of my silk swatch to capture the arresting color, rather like a storm cloud.  I’m not automatically drawn to this color, but for some reason as soon as I put it on my skin looks like porcelain and my eyes glow.

I have some luminous (not metallic) silver dupioni I would use as accent.  Maybe the lower layer of tabs would be silver, the upper tab blue, then a silver self-covered button.  Or perhaps a cluster of three tiny silver self-covered buttons. 

 (CathyDailey on Etsy)
 (MarynotMartha on Etsy)

Or tiny semi-precious buttons, like wearable jewelry.  I like the sailboat for its artisan quality, also for the continuation of the Storm At Sea theme.  I like the lightning bolt ones for the same reason.  The double circles are just lovely, I’m working hard not to buy them right now for the sake of buying them.

Possibly a silver belt, though it is more likely I’d leave it beltless or do a neato-beltie-wrap-meets-a-tiny-corset-and-has-a-love-baby thing I made up.  Possibly line the pockets with silver.  I like the idea of silver-lined pockets on so many levels that I will probably do it no matter what it actually looks like.

Perhaps create a deep V-back, or some other back interest.  Maybe I’ll use the same shape of the tabs and craft the back neckline to follow the same angles.   I would lengthen the skirt as much as my fabric would allow, inspired by that dress.  I like the long, tapered skirt for formal wear, so gorgeous.

So with all those things in mind, do you think Advance 8523 would work as a formal dress?  Or if not formal, then “very very classy cocktail”?

Note on the borlero: exceptionally well-drafted, I won’t make it for this dress but I could make it for another project some time.


  1. Love the fabric, love the fancy back idea, think it would be great as a formal dress as long as it was long like *that* dress. The buttons do seem a little too casual and playful.Would you have the slub of the fabric going horizontally or vertically across the pattern?

  2. I think it's the sleeves that keep it in cocktail territory for me – I was just looking at some red carpet photos and there are lots of pretty sheath-type dresses – but they don't have sleeves. Personally, I think your idea sounds stunning, and you should make it whether it's technically formal or not — it would pass at any event other than actual red carpet or super-formal long dress events.

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