Four months and eleven days

On May 16th I will be boarding the Queen Mary II for the cruise from New York to Southampton.


On board ship there is a pretty strict dress code in the evenings. Three nights will be formal (evening or cocktail dresses) and four will be informal (cocktail dresses). Two nights will be themed balls (themes not yet announced). I do not currently possess suitable wardrobe for this extravaganza. Oddly, my life does not have much call for evening or cocktail dresses. I should change that.

Anyway, I have plans. I have been buying fabric and pinning things to a little private Pinterest board set up for the purpose. Wanna see? Okay, then.


I plan to make a cocktail dress similar to this, using this stunning silk devore fabric, underlined in red. The print is huge – the roses are about a foot wide! It will certainly be dramatic.

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Second up, this gorgeous skirt and top, which I actually might make into a dress:

I’ve got some beautiful old gold embroidered taffeta which I made into a dress to wear at my brother’s wedding. I can use the skirt of that, shorten it a bit and add a stretch velvet top. Maybe in burgundy. I made a belt for the dress too, which would work well with this look.

And finally for the cocktail dresses, this fabulous fringed number. You can’t see it brilliantly in this photo, but it has a wrap style top and a fringed skirt. I would love to have this dress, but nice fringing is really expensive and I’d need a lot. So, we’ll see.

Another fab fringed dress.


Okay, now for the full-length dresses. I bought a dress in the Monsoon sale last year which has a very peculiar shaped bodice that doesn’t fit or suit me, but the fabric is so stunning, I decided it was worth it. It’s a mid blue with large pansies printed on it. I’ll take the bodice off and make a new one which I think I might add some beading or sequins to. The end result should be something like this:

Use the skirt from the Monsoon dress and a stretch velvet bodice. Belt? And beading?

Then there’s this. I’ve got several metres of a pink/ivory/tan satiny fabric (fabric content unknown) with appliqued bands of lace. I  think it might make a flowy skirt, not very like this. But I want to get some sequinned fabric to make the bodice a bit like this. I am least sure about this dress and it might end up being completely different from the inspiration.

Use the pink fabric for the skirt of something like this? Would need gold sequinned fabric for the top, I think.

Current shopping list:
3m each of red lining and underlining
1.5m burgundy stretch velvet
Stretch fabric and fringing
1m sequinned fabric

Four months and five days? No problem. *eyes up sewing machine nervously*


  • I hope you have an amazing time. I particularly love your idea for the fringed dress.

    I am kind of ashamed to admit that I could do four nights of long evening dresses and three of cocktail dresses from my wardrobe at present with no problems whatever. (I don’t have anything that says ‘Themed Ball – Theme Not Announced’ though as long as the theme could be interpreted in a vaguely steampunk manner I’m probably sorted for that as well). Maybe I should go on more cruises.

    • Wow, you obviously have a much more interesting wardrobe than me. I mostly have jeans, kneelength skirts and long sleeved t-shirts, none of which are remotely suitable.

      • I have this ‘Buy it, you never know when someone’s going to invite you to a wedding’ response to formalwear on sale. I think it’s a reaction to ghastly occasions in the past when I’ve had to shop on a time limit and have found nothing remotely suitable.

        • I have been in that situation before and it is no fun at all, so your solution is very sensible.

  • Also, further to that, I have confidence in your sewing skills if you do have any manner of ‘have not sewn enough dresses’ crisis, I’m totally willing to photograph my evening dresses and post you any that you want to borrow.

    • That is a very kind offer indeed and I will bear it in mind when it is April and I am starting to panic!

  • I think it’s awesome that you can sew up what you want to wear. I hope they turn out well. The cruise sounds like lots of fun.