I am dropping in quickly today to share this absolutely stunning formal dress I made using the Sonata Dress pattern by Love Notions. Halloween is right around the corner and I felt inspired to make something beautiful inspired by the legendary Cleopatra. I am a guest over on the Love Notions Youtube channel today sharing all about this make plus nine more fun outfit ideas that can double as Halloween costumes, then return to your wardrobe as regular garments.
Did you hear that Love Notions currently has a big sale going on? 40% Off sitewide, excluding the newly released Arlington pattern. No code needed! It’s a perfect time to stock up on your cold weather patterns, plus prepare for the new year ahead. This type of sale doesn’t have too often, so I highly suggest you grab some patterns at sale price while you can. The sale ends on Friday October 22nd 2021. Maybe this make and video will inspire your shopping list?
Another big thing that’s in the works right now; Love Notions is giving away a Babylock Sewing Machine or Serger (winner picks) and the ambassadors are hosting giveaways so you can have a chance to win. My giveaway has already started over on my Instagram Page. My giveaway closes at Midnight on Thursday October 21st 2021 and my winner, who will be selected randomly, will receive a Love Notions pattern of their choice plus be entered in the grand prize draw to win that coveted prize.
Now on to my Sonata Dress! Oh my goodness, what a beauty! I haven’t made or worn a formal dress in the last few years, like many of you I’m sure! It was so satisfying to sew up an actual gown and twirl around like a true queen. The Sonata Dress was the perfect pattern for this inspired look, especially with that notched neckline and exposed facing. It reminded me so much of Cleopatra’s neck adornments. One thing that is important to note though, is that this is in no way trying to be an accurate historical representation of Cleopatra, but just an inspired look. Let’s have a little glance at the Sonata pattern.
- Meant for woven fabrics / Stable Knits
- Notched V neckline
- Back elastic casing
- Optional Pockets
- Bust & waist darts
- A-line Skirt
- Exposed Facing
- Interior Facing
- XS – 5X
- Cup Sizes A-D
Fabric, Sizing & Alterations
My bodice is made up in black stretch velvet. The bodice pieces were small enough that I could cut them out from a scrap.. phew! So happy because I couldn’t find black stretch velvet anywhere on island! I made a mock up using another scrap of stretch velvet because I only had that one small piece of the black, and couldn’t afford to cut a wrong size. It’s advised to size down if using a stable knit, so I cut the size medium C cup instead of my usual large. It’s a good thing I made the mock up. With the stretch factor, I found I needed to size down in the cup size as well. Duh Keira! So my final bodice is size medium B cup and the sleeveless version.
The skirt, which I believe is the most dramatic part of this dress, is constructed in a champagne plisse fabric. Again, this is stash fabric. I grabbed 3 yards on sale at my local fabric store a long time ago, not even having a project in mind. I wanted a maxi length for this dress, and that was a super easy alteration to make. I held the skirt pattern piece in front me, marking where it ended, then measured down to the floor from that point. I ended up lengthening the skirt 17″ at the hem. This also automatically widened the hem of the skirt, which added some nice flare and ‘flowiness’ for the plisse fabric. I cut size medium graded to large at the hip.
The skirt is also lined because the plisse is a bit translucent. I cut out the exact skirt pieces in a goldish crepe back satin. I did have one issue when sewing the plisse and satin together as one layer. The plisse was really slippery, and had apparently shifted while cutting so it wasn’t the exact size of the lining. I did have to do a bit of trimming to get things back into alignment.
The Exposed Facing
Since my exposed facing was inspired by Cleopatra’s beaded necklaces, I wanted to use something sparkly. This is the one thing I bought for this project. It’s a bronze sequined lace fabric. I cut out my front facing pieces from both the velvet and the sequins and hand basted the edges together so they would function as one, just like the skirt pieces. The back facing, I left as just the velvet. I did remove some of the larger sequins when attaching the facing to the neckline and when it was time to actually top stitch the edges, I took my time and sewed by hand. I didn’t want to have machine stitches running through the sequins. Every time I sew sequins, I vow I’m never doing it again, and then I do it again! It is so worth it though!
I styled my dress with a brown and gold belt, lots of gold and bronze jewelry, and some gold rope twisted through my hair. I think I definitely channeled Egyptian queen! Remember if you want to grab the Sonata Dress or any other Love Notions patterns, you get 40% off! Make sure you enter my giveaway over on my IG, and go show me some love on the Love Notions Youtube channel!