Amanda vs the Wedding Frock

When a dear friend of mine invited me to her gorgeous rustic themed wedding I was beyond stoked. I love a good wedding- happy people, lovely moments, delicious noms. It’s pretty much the best thing ever. And for the first time ever I wasn’t freaked out by the whole what to wear scenario. For I am sewasaurus hear me roar! And see me rock it out in the most offensively crazy print to wear to a wedding ever!

 Floofy Skirt

My original frock idea for this wedding was a whole retro, full skirted barn dress look but do you think for the life of me I could find a sweet floral that wasn’t set to hideously fugtastic? I scoured eBay for vintage sheets, went to op shops and even spent a full hour in Spotlight looking at every single bolt of fabric they had to no avail. This lady needed a drink…

 V8849 Martini

Salvation came in a moment of desperation when I saw the most hideously offensive print in fuschia, bright orange and black chillaxing in he cotton linen section. Subtle? Nope. Floral? Nada. Red hot eye melting mess? Check! It was love at first look but I had no idea what to do with it. I literally grabbed the bolt, sat on the floor and started googling rad party frocks. As you do. When you have no shame. Like. A. Boss.

Bodice Back
(yup, I totally didn’t zip this up properly!)

Then it came to me- the queen of cocktails dresses is of course Neeno! She owns the circle skirt/fitted bodice cocktail dress look and I knew that this was what this fabric had to become. Small problem: at the register I discovered there was only 2 metres left. Cue the melodrama. Luckily Instagram was to the rescue and less then an hour later the totally epic Jenny had popped by her local Spotto and grabbed me three metres. Lady, you are a champion and please accept my basket of unicorns, kittens and puppies!*

*actual basket of joy is imaginary.

 Martini Time

Construction wise this was a pretty easy make – I used the bodice from the Tiki dress and smoothed the cups out a little but otherwise everything was hunky dory. For the skirt I had to take the waist in an inch to match the bodice but I had identified this extra room issue in this with my teal skirt. All in all it took about five hours from cutting to leaving it to hang for the hem to drop. Heck yes!


What I loved about this pattern:

  • Seriously? I’ve made this bodice three times now. What is there not to love?
  • How easy the skirt and bodice pieces came together. It was ridic easy. Which was great due to the whole lack of time thingy.
  • Lapped zippers. My sewing teacher is anti lapped zippers but they always feel super secure on frocks for me.

 V8849 Back

What I would change for next time:

  • I do want to play with the shaping of the boning some more. IT’s quite a smooth line at the moment. Maybe that requires spiral steel?
  • Horsehair braid that hem. MOAR FLOOFINESS!
  • I’ve got nothing. This baby has been tweaked within an inch of its life.

 Cha Cha

Vogue 8849 Hack

Pattern: Vogue 8849 (bodice) and self-drafted circle skirt

Fabric: Three metres of cotton linen

Notions: Thread and boning in stash, zip

See also: Sew Me Love, Tiki Dress, Bustier and Circle Skirt

Circle Skirt

What can I say? I love this pattern so hard and it seems to be my go to for fancy frock events. Holy monkey hats. I think I have my second tried and true pattern? Do I dare dream this? I mean, the Iris shorts have been it for all these years. Brain wave: V8849 bustier with the sailor shorts version of the Iris? This could be the best thing ever. Let’s drink to that!

 Yada yada yada

PS This is a post written by Past Amanda. I wonder what exciting things have happened now that it is the future. Will I have a bag bursting with Clover products and kimono fabrics? Ohhh, I hope so!



  1. Omg yes sailor shorts and bustier! This dress is awesome. I love the way the print looks with the circle skirt pulled up…it’s like dizzying and beautiful all at the same time.

  2. Imaginary basket o’ joy happily accepted! In the same way that books are better than movies ’cause they require imagination, imaginary baskets be better than actual ones 🙂

    Now, re. dress: I have to say, you got vision! I was holding this fabric in my hands & was somewhat baffled at your choice BUT it looks damn fine indeed! SO much fun & if that doesn’t spell party frock then I don’t know what does! Superstar!!

  3. Awesome!! I’m currently working on a dress for a wedding, but picked a fabric that is dark and moody. You know, the right attitude for a wedding. :-/ Hope Tokyo is blowing your mind!!

  4. Oh hun I am so flattered being crown the Queen of fitted bodice and circle skirt cocktails dresses, *takes bow!!!* I am sooo ashamed that I have been neglecting my sewing and blocking, living vicariously though all you guys…. too busy smashing Tinder hahah took your advice 😉
    Your dress looks incredible, haha offensive hahhaha not at all but I LOVE that description, from now on will call everything awesome offensive xo

  5. Nice work Past Amanda! Because I know you’re totally rockin it up in Japan right now. And just how awesome is the blogosphere? That Neeno and Jenny came to the rescue is just awesomeness. Loving the wedding guest dress 🙂 It’s gorgeous!

  6. OMG fine lady you would have outshone the bride – GO YOU! You are the queen of awesome bodice/circle skirt dresses!! Perfect in every way!!

  7. I wouldn’t have had any idea what to do with that fabric, but you found the perfect use for it. It looks great Past Amanda, hope you’re enjoying your trip!!

    P.S. Sewing friends are the best, aren’t they? 🙂

  8. Oh past Amanda you are all kinds of awesomeness for sharing this with us while present Amanda is off teaching an entire nation that “raptor hands go with everything”. I’m secretly waiting for future Amanda to arrive so she can share her tales of journeying through foreign lands in order to bring us photos of Kimonos, fabrics and trims!
    Also this dress rocks!

  9. Love this dress! The fabric is fab, the bodice fits you and flatters you like a dream and I bet that circle skirt is so much fun to wear!!!

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