An Unconventional Cocktail Outfit

An Unconventional Cocktail Outfit

Something a bit different for you this week and it’s not strictly sewing. Hang on don’t go! 🙂 Let me explain about my unconventional cocktail outfit first….

So, I don’t know if you’re a regular watcher of Project Runway but if you are then you’ll definitely have heard of the unconventional challenge that appears in each series. Well, on Instagram at the beginning of January a challenge was set by @tabithasewer  @sewingbloggers and @lynnwardrobesews.

 The challenge was to make a garment or garments out of unconventional materials. The rules were that you could use a muslin base and just one closure, but apart from that, any type of media was fair game. I was immediately tempted to join in, but then almost didn’t when I struggled to come up with an idea…but in the nick of time inspiration struck.

I think it’s safe to say that my inspiration was partly inspired by Christmas because, well, foil! Yes, wrapping Turkey and the leftovers in foil inspired me haha!

So all of the materials used in my outfit are:

  • Muslin
  • Foil
  • Cardboard
  • Black plastic
  • Duct tape
  • Staples
  • My closure which was poppers on a strip taken from a duvet
  • PVA glue
  • Black tinsel

I’ve seen very long rectangle sequins on clothes before and after a bit of a search online I found this image that was exactly the kind of look I was after. So I got to work.

Inspiration photo for my 'Unconventional Cocktail Outfit'

I roughly made up my muslin base using McCalls 7540 (used here)and once I got the fit ok I cut up loads of small cardboard rectangles, batch glued them onto foil, then rough cut around them and folded the foil edges under.

Here’s a little montage of my process:

Montage of process for 'An Unconventional Cocktail Outfit'

Dabs of PVA glue attached the sequins to the muslin base and it took a verrrrry loooooong time. Once I reached the neckline with the ‘sequins’ I came to a grinding halt for ideas, but then a mooch round the garage unearthed a large piece of thick black plastic. I used it around the armholes, around the neckline and in rectangles to carry on the shapes theme. It kind of looks a little like leather, maybe?

An Unconventional Cocktail Outfit.
Neckline close-up

To finish the neckline I used black tinsel (again with the Christmas inspo! Hah!) I did give it a haircut though, to tone down the floofey-ness of it and even now I keep finding bits of it all over the carpet a week after it was even finished and I’d vacuumed!

Finally, to make the look complete I whipped up a quick skirt in the black plastic. At first, I used a full circle but when I tried it on it stood out so much that it looked ridiculous, so I chopped some volume out of it and then, to tone the volume down some more, I just stapled pleats into it. For the waistband, I used some double thickness duct tape with another piece of it to just fasten it together. I reckon it looks pretty effective even though I do say so myself.

An Unconventional Cocktail Outfit.
Skirt close-up

I really love how my project turned out and I think I surprised myself with how much fun it was to do. Don’t you think it looks like a fab cocktail dress? 

An Unconventional Cocktail Outfit
An Unconventional Cocktail Outfit
An Unconventional Cocktail Outfit

Oh and by the way, pity my photoshoot hadn’t been videoed… I had such a faff to get in and out of the top and nearly dislocated my shoulder in the process. Then at one point the duct tape holding the waist of my skirt together started to give way and the skirt got lower and lower and lower! Suffering for art eh? Lol!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post with a bit of a difference. However, you’ll be pleased to know that normal service will be resumed next week. So get ready for some animal print 🙂

See you soon…

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  1. Deb
    February 1, 2020 / 1:41 am

    This is soooo crazy fun. 😲😲😃😃

    • diane
      February 1, 2020 / 9:54 am

      I’m so glad you like it! It is fun, isn’t it!Thank you, Deb

  2. Karen
    February 1, 2020 / 1:07 pm

    Just gotta ask: Did you suggest to anyone in your household that it was time for a dinner out in your outfit?! It looks fabulous and fun! You wear it well!

    • diane
      February 1, 2020 / 7:08 pm

      Thank you, Karen! That’s a wonderful thought and as fab as my outfit might be…it’s not hugely comfy, hehe. The top feels restrictive because of all that cardboard and that skirt is a tad clammy around the waist with the duct tape and plastic. Shame, it would’ve (hopefully) turned some heads though!

  3. PatB
    February 1, 2020 / 3:50 pm

    Fabulous, how creative and fun. Great way to break loose and step out of the comfort zone. Congrats

    • diane
      February 1, 2020 / 7:09 pm

      Thank you, Pat! Yes, it was so good to get creative!

  4. Anni
    February 1, 2020 / 4:30 pm

    Wow! That’s amazing!

    • diane
      February 1, 2020 / 7:09 pm

      Aww, thank you, Anni!

  5. Diana Vance
    February 2, 2020 / 12:15 pm

    Love it! And thanks, I’ve been struggling with finding an idea for a diy chandelier for the bedroom and the long foil sequins are just the ticket to coordinate with my other ideas for the project.

    • diane
      February 2, 2020 / 1:26 pm

      Thanks, Diana! Happy to have inspired!

  6. February 2, 2020 / 3:27 pm

    Diane, This is a absolutely fabulous!! What a creative way to use foil and plastic!! if there’s a prize for this challenge you should win it!

    • diane
      February 2, 2020 / 7:17 pm

      Thanks ever so much, Linda! There are some fabulous prizes to be had actually, and if I make it to the top 10 tomorrow please vote for me via @sewingbloggers Stories 🙂

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