Wardrobe Planning with Ann: Wedding Guest Dress

Ann and her husband were invited to a beautiful late summer wedding here in Houston, Tx.   The event was a semi-formal affair for a colleague of Ann’s husband.  Because Ann’s sewing time is limited right now, she needed a cocktail dress in a color that would transition into fall and the holidays.

Mood Board

Weddings are a joyous time, and I love making mood boards for them.  I sent Ann twenty styles to select from, and she narrowed it down to eight.  She decided it would be fun to let her Instagram followers vote for their favorite silhouette.  The winner was A!  (minus the fabric corsage)


Ponte knit was saving the day again!  Time was not on our side with Ann’s hectic schedule.  I suggested either Teal Blue or Merlot Ponte Knit, and Ann chose Merlot.  I love this color for Ann’s complexion.


Pattern Draft

Ann started the drafting process with two patterns, Butterick 5277 for the bodice and Simplicity 1654 for the skirt.

However, she was missing pieces of Simplicity 1654, so she used her Red Lace basic skirt pattern Butterick 5746.  She went live on Instagram, showing step-by-step how she drafted the pattern.  You can watch the video here.

Muslin Fitting
Ann tested her pattern draft by making a muslin, even though time was short.  In the long run, it saves a lot of heartache with the fashion fabric.

She traced all seamlines with tracing paper…

…and used couture pinning for the first try-on.

Changes to the bodice: Wider neckline, shoulder adjustment, and shorter sleeve

With new design changes, the muslin is sewn, and a few minor tweaks are needed.

I prefer a waistline seam for Ann because it defines her waist.  But in the final muslin, I suggested Ann eliminate the waistline seam so she wouldn’t need a zipper.  This saved time and the Ponte knit had enough stretch to go over her head.  Also, the wide neckline and flounce hem gives the illusion of a waistline.


Fusible stay tape was added to the seam allowances.

The sleeves were self-lined for the perfect color match.  The body of the dress was lined with tricot.

Horsehair braid was needed to give the hem a “kick.”

I felt the dress needed more interest, so I suggested topstitched seams.

Final Look
Ann purchased a great pair of shoes for even more interest.

Turquoise earrings and bracelet complete the look.

It was a fabulous evening!

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

Next up….finishing the PJs…


  1. Patricia
    October 14, 2022 / 4:49 am

    Ann, is beautiful as always!! I love the fabric and the dress.

    • Roz
      October 15, 2022 / 7:28 am

      Thanks so much, Pat!!!

  2. October 14, 2022 / 6:09 am

    I love reading these blog posts about the planning, sewing, and final review of a beautiful garment.
    Ann looks fabulous in this dress. Love the shoes!

    • Roz
      October 15, 2022 / 7:30 am

      Happy you like these posts, Audrey! And I love the shoes, too!

  3. Dara
    October 14, 2022 / 10:46 am

    Such a Beautiful Dress! You did an AWESOME JOB!

    • Roz
      October 15, 2022 / 7:31 am

      Ann does beautiful work, Dara! Thanks for commenting!

  4. Ann
    October 21, 2022 / 6:10 am

    Thank you everyone! This was a fun project because the creative community was involved. It was quite an adventure – from missing pattern pieces to going “live” and of course, making sure it gets done in time. But thanks to Roz, the fabric and color was perfect 🤩

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