Frocktails NI 2020 Part 1

Can you imagine my excitement when Northern Ireland’s first ever Frocktails was announced. One of the great things about being part of the #northernirelandsews community is that we are cut off from a lot of other sewists in our little island so we make even more effort to get to know each other and get together.

When talk first started about having our own Frocktails the excitement started to rise, and now with an amazing team of ladies on the organising committee the big even is scheduled for 4th April!!

As most of you know, Frocktails is the perfect excuse to make an over the top dress and have an occasion to wear it. But trying to decided on what that dress would look like was causing a bit of trouble. I had so many ideas and have been back and forth so many times.

I had 2 colour palettes in mind- either classic black and white (including a DIOR Bar Jacket, more on that to follow!) or navy and lilac. I also knew I wanted big sleeves (what a surprise?!). Given the time frame I had I ruled out the Bar Jacket, but I do have this planned for sometime this year. Maybe my birthday at the start of the summer. So I settled on navy but the more I thought about it I wasn’t so sure about the lilac. I was going to make some sort of jacket but this would have clashed with my big sleeves so (for now) I am skipping the jacket.

Now for the important parts, fabric and design. When I need a special fabric the first place I usually look is Sister Mintaka. I just love her range of fabrics and she always has just what I am looking for. I have been wanting to try the Tencel Cupro Bark for a while now and figured this was the perfect special occasion to get it. I got a sample of the navy and black and decided on the navy. The shimmer off this fabric is amazing!

For the design, I started some Pinterest boards and looked through my existing boards. At the time I started researching the couture shows were on in Paris so I was watching them and waiting for inspiration to strike. It took some time but eventually I had it narrowed down to certain design elements I like.


As you can see the sleeves are definitely taking centre stage. A puff sleeve is becoming pretty standard when I am making a dress now so I decided to go for something a little different. I ordered some feathers but they aren’t quite right either. So I settled on the top left image as my base for inspiration.

Final design

Although this design looks complicated I was feeling confident that I would be able to recreate it. You will have to stay tuned for part 2 to see how I got on.

Sharlene xx