Wardrobe Planning with Ann: Black Tie Gala

Text from Ann on 8/29:  “Have an emergency situation. I was invited to a gala/black tie event on 9/18…help!
Black Tie events are already stressful enough but the last minute is a new level!  Plus this was a gala for the church.   If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic!

Mood Board
Look for inspiration!  Hop on the internet and check out Pinterest, online stores that sell formal wear, or google black tie dresses and look at celebrity images.  I had inspiration photos ready so I sent Ann several and she chose this look.  It was an outfit she had saved, too!  We were inspired by the ruffle on the sleeve and the mermaid skirt silhouette.  This covered two of Ann’s style aesthetics, modern and victorian.  

The blouse in the inspiration photo was similar to one Ann made several years ago. The bonus is the fit issues were already worked out. (See video for this blouse here)

The pattern for the blouse is McCalls 7723 and the skirt is Vogue 2810.
Tip:  Use a pattern you have already made.  Just by changing the type of fabric, you can achieve a more glamorous look.

I selected a black silk georgette for the blouse and a printed polyester mikado for the skirt.  (See all Fabric/Notion here.)
Printed fabric is unexpected but a great option for black tie.  The black and white print is more subdued but I’m not opposed to color!  Tip: Try a fabric in an unexpected color or print.  You will stand out from the crowd!  Ann did not prewash the fabric.  The finished garment will be dry cleaned.

Ann hand basted the darts before machine sewing for more control.
She used french seams at the shoulder and sides (Tutorial here at timestamp 2:10)
and bias binding at the armholes.

Cuff and buttons (Tutorial here)

Sleeve ruffles and hem have a rolled hem (Tutorial here).

Ann also used french seams on the skirt and lined it with rayon lining in white.

The waistband is white polyester satin (finished width is 1-1/4″)  with a 3/8″ wide black velvet ribbon.  Ann hand stitched the ribbon to the waistband.

There was a lot of late night sewing but Ann finished just in time!

Other Looks
The blouse can be dressed down and worn with other items in Ann’s wardrobe.
Classic Trousers

Color-Block Skirt

Silk Skirt

Red Lace Skirt

Have you ever sewn a last minute black tie outfit?  What tips would you share?

And as Ann always says, “I hope you get inspired to create something EXTRAordinary.” 😉


  1. Ann
    September 24, 2021 / 9:11 am

    Thanks for saving me once again! I greatly appreciate that you have formal fabrics readily available. That made it doable for a quick sew. I really love how the outfit turned out. 😁

  2. patricia brown
    September 24, 2021 / 10:50 am

    Gorgeous!!! Ann, you look stunning as always!

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