The Cocktail Hour

Cocktail Hour // Vogue 1537 + GIVEAWAY!

When the lovely Rachel from The Fold Line got in touch asking if I’d like to take part in this year’s blogger tour raising money for The Eve Appeal — a charity raising awareness of, and funding research into, the five gynaecological cancers — I almost bit her hand off! Y’know, through the medium of e-mail. Whilst I might not be a vintage fiend, I followed last year’s The Big Vintage Sewalong intently; it featured so many wonderful makes and was for such a great cause.

This year’s series is called The Cocktail Hour, hosted by McCall’s; and for each of the 20 Cocktail Hour Vogue patterns sold, The Eve Appeal receives a direct donation. Oh and it even has its own cocktail! Raspberries and vodka, what’s not to love?! It’s delicious, you’ll see. 😉

The Cocktail Hour
Don’t be silly, there’s always time for a cocktail darling!

When it came to which pattern to make, I really was spoilt for choice. Knowing that my summer was going to be busy, I thought I’d opt for something that would hopefully be simple but could carry a statement fabric. Vogue 1537 seemed like a great option; decision made! It’s not normally a silhouette I would go for: a shift dress. Typically, I choose something that can handle my derriere and highlight my waist but I was up for the challenge. And for my body shape, challenge it was.

The Cocktail Hour

I was sensible and made a toile, which immediately identified what I’ve known (and ignored) for some time: I probably really need a swayback adjustment, and perhaps a bunch of other adjustments. But I managed to improve the fit with a few tweaks, including letting the side seams out at the hips, bringing them in at the waist and pinching some lengthen out of that back V. I also needed to pinch some excess out of the neckline but that’s a fairly standard adjustment for me. There’s still some excess fabric in the tummy area that makes this fairly flat area look a little bigger.

The Cocktail Hour

I also ended up having to re-position and lengthen the straps at the back, mainly to cover any potential bra-wearing, but also to stop some pulling that was occurring.

The Cocktail HourThe Cocktail Hour

I was a little unsure about the location and angle of the bust darts but actually, I’m pretty happy with them.

The Cocktail Hour

Topstitching wasn’t the easiest in this fabric so I didn’t topstitch all areas I normally would (like the back V) but given that the facing is in the same fabric, I don’t think it’s too much of an eyesore. That bottom strap could do with being a little bit longer, which is a shame because I shortened it originally based on the toile. Must remember: fit is always fabric-dependent not matter how much effort you put into your toile!

The Cocktail Hour

In terms of fabric, I really wanted some brocade or jacquard, and searched high and low for the perfect choice before stumbling upon this silk brocade on ebay. It was a little pricey so I was sensible and ordered a sample. When it arrived, it was a little bluer than I expected but it was the type of fabric I was looking for so went for it. It needed a little support/backing so I chose to underline it in something from Fabricland called ‘organdi’ in gold; made from 100% polyester, I suppose it must be a budget organza? Anyway, whatever it was, it worked a treat. For the lining, I chose a gold faux silk habutae.

The Cocktail Hour

Full admission: until I’d sewn the last few stitches, I really wasn’t sure I liked this dress. But once I tried the finished version on, full adoration ensued. I managed to ignore the fact that having a facing in the same fabric meant it was a little ‘scratchy’. After I’d taken some photos, I was off for dinner with friends and whilst this was too fancy for that occasion, I really didn’t want to take it off! The cocktail on the other hand, well, that was easy to continue enjoying… until it was all gone…

The Cocktail Hour

As the year progresses you can see what everyone else is making by searching for #sipandsew (hehe!) on Instagram and Twitter, and of course share your makes too: simply post a photo with the hashtag #sipandsew and copy in @McCallpatternUK on Twitter or @McCallpatternUK on Instagram.


McCall’s is kindly giving away one copy of Vogue 1537. To enter, please add a comment below, telling me what your favourite cocktail is. The deadline for entry is 12:00pm (midday, BST) on Saturday 17 June. Please ensure there is some way for me to get in contact with you in case you win.

Blogger Tour

1. Winnie Longhurst
Scruffy Badger
3rd March

2. Kate Underdown
The Fold Line
10th March

3. Portia Lawrie
17th March

4. Rachel Walker
The Fold Line
24th March

5. Wendy Gardiner
31st March

6. Abigail Dyson
The Crafty Pin Up
14th April

7. Lucy Regan
Sew Essential
28th April

8. Fiona Parker
Diary of a Chainstitcher
12th May

9. Nina Chang
26th May

10. Jen Sanders
9th June

11. Charlotte Powell
English Girl at Home
23rd June

12. Elisalex de Castro Peake
By Hand London
7th July

13. Kerry Patterson
Kestrel Makes
21st July

14. Gabby Young
4th August

15. Abigail Norton
Sew Abigail
18th August

16. Karen Ball
Did You Make That?
1st September

17. Rachel Wain
Rach Against The Sewing Machine
15th September

18. Elle Harris
Sew Positivity
29th September

19. Rachel Pinheiro
House of Pinheiro
6th October

20. Amy Thomas
Almond Rock
13th October

21. Jane Marland
Handmade Jane
20th October

22. Jennifer Walker
Ginger Thread Girl
27th October

23. Marie Koupparis
A Stitching Odyssey
3rd November

24. Elena Rosa Brown
Randomly Happy
10th November

25. Laura Clarke
Sew for Victory
17th November

26. Janene Spencer
24th November


22 thoughts on “Cocktail Hour // Vogue 1537 + GIVEAWAY!

  1. The fabric is a beautiful match for the pattern and looks lovely on you. My favourite cocktail, without a doubt is Sea Breeze vodka cranberry juice & grapefruit juice perfect for a hot summers day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s gorgeous fabric. I can empathise with the ‘do I , don’t I love it’ ; been there many times! 🙄 Looks fab though.
    Favourite cocktail… like ( an out of character 😘) Porn Star.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! This dress is incredible! I absolutely love it, and it’s so great to hear the pattern adjustments you made as I have quite similar fit changes. I also tend to shy away from the shift on my body, but now I’m inspired to give it a try!
    My favorite cocktail (if it counts?) is Sangria! We made a great batch last week with a sparkling rose, peach schnapps, soda water and sparkling peach and apple juice. Delish!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi. Just found your blog and have really been enjoying all your previous posts. This is a gorgeous frock – just love the fabric! As for cocktails, has to be a classic Cosmo every time!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your dress looks great! I love the fabric, it looks like the perfect wedding guest dress! My favourite cocktail is gin and juice, 1 oz gin/2 oz orange juice/to taste ginger ale.
    Instagram: @scarletrstiches

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The fabric is beautiful and really shows off the simple style of a shift. Favourite cocktail is a peach Bellini, peach syrup topped with prosecco. 🍸☀️😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Absolutely love this Jen, you always pick the most amazing fabrics and have such great style. Glad you wore it out for dinner with your friends, i’m a massive advocate of dressing up, life is too short not to wear a fabulous dress like that!

    Liked by 1 person

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