Diane von Furstenberg summed things up well when she said, “Feel like a woman, wear a dress!”  If there were one garment that epitomizes being a garment, I think it’s the dress.  We throw one on in the morning when we have a precious few minutes to get dressed, rushing out of the house looking polished.  Slip on a lovely frock at night and become the picture of elegance.  Dresses make their appearance at funerals, weddings, and everything in between.  There’s hardly a wrong time to wear a dress.  So, with that in mind, I decided to host the Day and Night Dress Challenge.

The Day and Night Dress Challenge will have 2 parts: a blog tour and a community challenge with prizes!  I’ve got a great line up of sponsors, and I can’t wait to share them!

The Day and Night Dress Challenge

The idea

I’ve been wanting to get back into performing with my violin, and it’s been a number of years since I had a black dress in my closet.  Though I need a black dress that’s polished and appropriate for orchestra performances, the truth is that I seldom wear black.  The idea of challenging myself to make a black dress became much more appealing when I thought about making an everyday dress at the same time.

I live in dresses.  As I run between dropping off and picking up kids all day, a knit dress is an easy solution for my limited time to get dressed.  I can quick grab a dress and a scarf and boots and be out the door, still feeling classy and feminine.  As a sewist, I see these dresses as a showcase for color, texture, and interesting sewing techniques.   Now, I’m all for adding a jacket to any of these looks and going out at night with my husband, but there are times when you need something a little dressier…

With no print or color to create a focal point, black focuses the attention on form and details.    I think that’s why there are so many designers have made iconic black dresses. Who doesn’t immediately think of Givenchy’s little black dress for Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s?  That dress is the perfect dress for Audrey.  It echoes her form and just looks like her somehow.  Black is sleek and elegant.  It gives you a chance to create a dress that mirrors your own style in a different way than a day dress would.  Can you wear black dresses during the day–of course!  But in my mind, black dress = perfect dress for a lovely evening.

 

The challenge

The challenge is to make 2 dresses for yourself:

  1. A dress with a day look: This can be anything!  Shirtdresses, knit dresses, sweater dresses, wrap dresses, the sky is the limit.  Sew up a dress that suits your life and expresses your own sense of style.  I want to see color, pattern, and texture here.
  2. A dress with a night look:  Night look dresses should be black, and they can be as fancy or as simple as you choose.  Think about a dress that could go to the opera or a cocktail party or anywhere else where you need to look effortlessly chic and sharp.  The fabric that you choose for your dress should be overwhelmingly black.  Black fabric with metallic threads are great, and prints are okay if from a distance, they read black.  While your night look dresses should be black, feel free to add any accessories or other pieces in different colors to complete your look.

Dresses are to be made during the time of the challenge (January 8th-28th 2017 for the community challenge).  This is a contest for women’s garments only.

Challenge Schedule and rules

  • The blog tour will take place from Sunday, January 8th- Saturday, January 14th 2017.
  • Entries for the community challenge will open on Sunday, January 8th and will close on Saturday, January 28th 12 am MST.  There will be a link up available for entrants to post their dresses.  Feel free to chronicle your makes on social media #dayandnightdresschallenge on Instagram and Twitter or join the Facebook group here, but only entries posted to the link up will be considered for the prizes.
  • Voting will begin on January 29th and close on Saturday, February 4th.
  • There will be 2 winners of the Day and Night Dress Challenge as determined by vote.  Winners will each receive a prize package which is detailed in this post.

Stay tuned to meet the bloggers participating in the blog tour.

How can you get involved in the Day and Night Dress Challenge?

    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 and Facebook.
    4. Check out the Pinterest boards connected to the challenge: Day Dress Fashion Inspiration and Night Dress Fashion Inspiration
    5. Enter your project here to win great prizes from the challenge sponsors.
    6. Grab a graphic and post it on your site:

53 Comments

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      Thank you! I can only imagine that this group will come up with some spectacular things.

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  3. I really like the challenge, but does it really have to be black? I hate black, could I make a cobalt blue or emerald green dress and still participate with this?

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      Oh man, I wish I could say yes to you, but for the purposes of the challenge, it’s gotta be black. You have my sympathies; black is not my color either. In my case, I have a function where I very specifically need a black dress, so I’m breaking my general rule I have of not wearing it. I’d love for you to be able to participate. Do you have any function that would require a black dress, or could you make one for someone else?

      • Idea: if black muddies your face, perhaps contrasting collars and cuffs? My brain is doing a whole 20s lace motif and embroidery dodad. You could make it with /changeable/ collars and cuffs! (If that’s allowed?)

        • elizabethmadethis Reply

          The dress itself must be black per the rules, but you may add any accessories that you want. Removable collars and cuffs would be okay, but ones that are sewn in would not be unless they’re black. Next year, I will be changing the restriction of black, but this year, the challenge is about a black dress.

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  13. Hi! I really want to enter but I *seriously* Do Not Wear Dresses; but loooove the idea of a day and night look! Would you be willing to have a femme styled vest pantsuit type day night deal at all? I’m really punk so there’s apt to be elements to it that would be fun! Otherwise what do you say to me /faking/ the dress part. Idea like: a skirted pair of punky/lacy pants so the skirt acts as the “dress” of the pants? Or like a jumper/romper with removable or lace overlay skirt?

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      Interesting proposal….hmm. The rules clearly state that dresses are to be made. That being said, as long as there’s a skirt in play, there’s nothing saying that the skirt couldn’t be removable. I do however think that the skirt needs to function as a dress. A removable skirt by itself is really in the category of separates which is not a dress. Just off the top of my head, a skirt that zipped onto the bodice would work because it could be worn as a fully functioning dress, but a jumpsuit with an added skirt doesn’t because it’s not really a dress. I have an overlay skirt that I made for my night look, but that’s going over a full dress. You’re also free to sew dresses for someone else if that works better. I’ve found myself saying no to a lot of challenges in the past, and I’m realizing that I can always just make something and give it to someone else. The sewing is what’s fun for me at times. 🙂 I hope that helps.

  14. Also I have a mermaid sequin fabric PERFECT for the night look – cept its black one side cream on the other, cause the face itself of the fabric is reverable just by running your hand over to change the nap. Is this fabric suitable or must it be solid black, or an unchangeable black? Cause this fabric, if you rubbed your hands on it backward for about an hour, would turn entirely cream. But obvs id wear it mostly black; but half the fun of the fabric is running your hands up and down it to change the colours!

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      As long as the overall look of the fabric is black, I think it’s okay.

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  18. This is such an inspiring challenge! I am in, but will not sign up for the competition part since both my dresses are UFO’s (sewing in black is really difficult for me so I kind-of just lost interest, this challenge is what I need to get myself going on them again!) Anyway, the sewing process did not fall altogether in the competition timeline so I realise they don’t qualify…but hopefully they will be finished this month and I can at least share them to the facebook group or tag on instagram as “sew-alongs”? You have put an enormous amount of effort into this initiative…well done!

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      Thanks so much. It has been a lot of work, but fun! I’m sorry things didn’t fall into place. I hate it when things don’t go as planned. Yes, please share!

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