I love seeing Helena’s projects!  She is the creative sewist behind Gray All Day, and she sports a wonderful style that’s equal parts girly, edgy, and cool.  I had such a lovely time on her podcast, Clothes Making Mavens, and I’ve been so looking forward to seeing what she’d be making for The Day and Night Dress Challenge.  Welcome Helena!

The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018: Gray All Day

Hello, this Helena from GrayAllDay.com and I am thrilled to present my coffee and cocktail dresses!

Coffee Dress

The first thing you might notice is that my coffee dress is black, and my cocktail dress is the colorful one. Of course it is so dependent on the styling, and they are both cute and comfy, but I made the coffee dress out of such a cozy, snuggly sweaterknit that I thought it was obviously one of those dresses that I could throw on after waking up on a chilly morning and I could run out to the coffee shop.

The coffee dress was inspired by a plain over-sized sweater dress and, even though the design was simple, I couldn’t get it out of my mind how great I would feel wearing it. This squishy cable knit fabric is so soft that I decided a Sew House Seven Toaster lengthened to a dress would let my whole body snuggle into the fabric, instead of making a cardigan or just a top. I was right, this is amazing to wear!
Unfortunately during these photos it was very warm, but as I write this it has cooled down again and this dress will be so cute with tall boots! I’ll style it that way soon and post it to my Instagram.

I have made a Toaster Sweater before, and the construction is very easy. My seam allowances in this double ply knit were too fluffy to tame with the serger, so I just trimmed carefully, especially around the turtleneck and sleeve cuffs. I finished it off with a blind hem so the skirt stayed smooth. Such a fun, quick make!

Cocktail dress

And since I am so fabric motivated (isn’t that nicer than saying fabric addicted or fabric obsessed?) my cocktails dress was driven by this amazing lightweight knit gifted to me by Stylish Fabric for the tour. The colors are so wild for me! But I couldn’t resist the chance to play with the horizontal and vertical stripes to make the V1482. I love a challenge!
I centered the top front vertical stripe so it was symetrical, then shifted those stripes over on the bottom piece for contrast, keeping the horizontal stripes lined up.

Across that blasted pocket is where things got very tricky. The contradiction of this unique pattern is that it must be made in a very drapey material so the batwing sleeves hang gracefully, but this results in the pocket sagging. I used heroic measures to save the pocket from the sagginess. I used staytape, I pulled my pocket tight, I even shrunk the pocket a bit for more control. In the end, I think you can see the stripes do match up, it just isn’t as sharp as I’d hoped. The inside pocket lining is distracting, but after my strategic cutting for the stripe matching, my pocket pieces had to be cut from scraps!

But it was an engrossing challenge and I love the pattern, so I’m sure I’ll make it again. My husband and I decided it wasn’t so much a cocktail dress as a buffet dress, right? Plenty of room for a feast – I just love sack dresses!


Keep watching here on Elizabeth Made This   and on YouTube between now and February 28th for more amazing dresses from this wonderful global crew of sewing bloggers and vloggers I’ve assembled!  

Want to join in the fun yourself?


      1. Sew some dresses!
      2. Let other people know about it.  Use #dayandnightdresschallenge on Twitter and Instagram and follow the Day and Night Dress Challenge Facebook group.
      3. Keep reading here to find out the latest.  Follow Elizabeth Made This on Instagram andFacebook.
      4. Post a picture of your day look (coffee) and your night look (cocktail) to Instagram to enter yourself.  Don’t forget to tag me @elizabethmadethis and use the #dayandnightdresschallenge.
      5. Grab a graphic and post it on your site and/or repost on Instagram:
      6. The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018



Elizabeth is a self-taught sewist with a love for all things DIY and creative. Her friend calls her "The Fabric Manipulator" and she's always looking for ways to squeeze the most out of her sewing time in between caring for her 4 kids and husband.


  1. A buffet dress is a fabulous idea! I bet you could shove a whole bunch of leftovers for later in that pocket, too. Your coffee dress is so stylish and it has me looking forward to cooler weather here. Fabulous makes.

  2. I agree, what an awesome idea! (Buffet dress). Both are really beautiful and you look great in them too!

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