Giveaway: Stylish Party Dresses [CLOSED]


Yet another giveaway! Tuttle Publishing has put forth a fun book — all about party dresses! In case you were wondering, I didn’t translate this one. And because it’s not going to be available until September 15th, today’s post is a bit of a sneak peek.

There are 26 patterns (a – z) with that simple, flow-y and Japanese look and feel. The title is a little misleading since there are a number of separates too. That just adds to the versatility, I say. I flipped through the pages and liked these in particular:


And then I thought, why not sew one? 

I selected pattern V because the raglan construction looked super easy:


I was talking to one of my favorite baristas yesterday, and as I rustled about my bag in search of dollar bills for my soy latte, he told me how he’s been invited to 13 weddings so far this year. 13!!! Even if I added up all the weddings I’ve been to including my own, I would come up short. The barista is very charming and witty, so I can see why he’d be inundated with invites. Feeling quite inadequate about my barren social calendar, I decided that I should make a casual dress out of knit instead. I found this slinky and soft jersey knit in navy and black lounging in one of my fabric bins and the die was cast.


I don’t know…the only fiesta vibe that this dress is evoking is “pajama party”. As you can imagine, it’s mighty comfy. In fact, when K saw me in my freshly made attire, she squealed, “Mama! I love that — it’s so pretty! I want one just like it to wear to bed!” The fabric is from here, I’m assuming, though I’m destined to feature fabric they’re out of. I didn’t have quite enough for the sleeves so I shaved off 3 inches from the sleeve length.

Maybe if I belt it?


Or no?


Not sure…


Either way, the keyhole detail in the back is nice, and I even added knit interfacing (like this) which is a step I usually skip.


A word of caution: I found some mistakes with the instructions. For example, the facing is supposed to be sewn on right side together, but the instructions are reversed. Also, I thought this was a funny misprint:


There’s a missing line — can you see it?

These are minor issues though, and the garments included are quite lovely. Would you like to win a copy?

To enter the giveaway, any comment will do but perhaps you’d like to regale me with a tale of a recent bash you’ve attended (I like to live vicariously). Or maybe share a favorite party song. Or you could vote on belted vs. non-belted for the pajama party dress. Anything, really. I’ll leave the giveaway open until next Thursday, September 3rd and will announce the winner the next day. International entries welcome! Good luck!!



45 thoughts on “Giveaway: Stylish Party Dresses [CLOSED]

  1. Hahaha, 13 weddings in less than a year? Ahem. I haven’t been to a single wedding in my life. I’m starting to think that I’ll have to get married myself if I ever want to attend a wedding. Or perhaps make some more friends?
    I’m not one for party dresses, but I like the Japanese take on them. They’re quite different from what would be considered a party dress over here—and I would totally wear them, from what I can tell from your photos!
    Oh, and my vote is for non-belted, definitely! I think it looks odd with the belt—but then I don’t usually like belted dresses, so feel free to take my vote with a spoonful of salt. (;

  2. The last wedding I attended was 5 years ago. And since I didn’t know most of the people there I found it a little bit stressful. But the cakes were awesome.
    As for the belted vs non-belted, I like them both. And you look great in both. In fact right there you have two different looks from one dress. Another way I would style it is with a dark/black belt, tights and booties. [Look at me talking about fashion when most of the time I wear jeans, t-shirts and running shoes 🙂 ]

  3. I went to one wedding this year and for the fist time wore a me-made dress. Yay! It was a very nice wedding, however, when the music started I realized I am getting old because I just don’t get bachata and raggaeton 😛

    A think black belt would be my go to accesorie for that dress. It looks mighty comfy without the belt, too.

  4. i love it unbelted, and not even as a sleeping dress. I am, admittedly, a fan of sack-dress-as-fashion, so what do I know? But I stand by my opinion that you look great in it!

  5. I think I prefer the unbelted look, but agree with the previous commenter that a dark belt and tights could look nice. We have family parties mostly, so there is no dressing up. My kiddo has just started preschool, and I have found a odd reaction of disappointment that he has been invited to a birthday party – one more thing I don’t really want to deal with – not sure if that is normal.

  6. I haven’t been to a wedding in 5 years, and haven’t been invited to a party in even longer for than that. I wonder if I should be insulted, lol. I think people don’t want my 4 young kids messing up their homes! I like your dress both ways. When it comes to dresses that style, I can never decide about the belt or not.

  7. I think the belt really adds to it, and makes it look more ‘nice casual wear’ than pajama-like!

  8. Belted with a dark belt. Or even a self fabric tie. The unbelted version looks really comfy, but hasn’t got enough structure to do justice to your figure. Perhaps side ruches to turn it into a tunic top?

    last wedding I went to was years ago… All the friends are married and popping out kiddies, so it might be awhile before more weddings happen!

  9. I vote for no belt, because that’s how I would wear it! I love a good comfy dress. But then I get a quizzical look from the husband, which I now know means, I think a belt would make the dress look better. I frequently choose to not understand the look!

  10. I went to a nice potluck dinner at a friend’s home. Summer’s vegetable and berry bounty were included in everyone’s dish. So good! My first thought when I saw the dress was cut odd some of the bottom hem and add that fabric to lengthen the sleeves. I have no idea why I thought that!

  11. Hi Sanae. I’m not a social butterfly neither. We had a big family gathering at the end of July which was great. There were probably 70+ people of all ages and sizes and many generations! It was interesting to catch up with people we see but rarely (eg weddings, funerals!)

    That’s a cute dress. I am not one for belting using a belt (rather than a fabric tie). I like both versions on you. However, I think with the belted one you need a black belt which will blend in more with the dress.

    One question about this book – I notice it says it goes up to size 14 – what size bust does that cover?

    I’m so glad that our weather is cooling off now and we are really looking forward to the rain this weekend! Sounds weird, doesn’t it?

    1. Hello Melissa! Size 14 is based on the bust measurement of 40.5″ (103cm). Hope that helps, and yes!! So excited for cooler weather. Your family gathering sounds fabulous – 70 members, wow!!!

  12. 13 weddings! that’s crazy!

    It’s not really a party story but a few weeks ago me and some friends decided we wanted to enjoy the warm weather and go for an outdoor swim. Our options were sadly limited, and in the end we chose adventure and went to a bit of forest nearby that had an old swimming pond in it. This particular pond was built for swimming but it has been closed since the 1970s, meaning that it’s safe to swim in but technically illegal. No one really seems to care though!

    Anyway, we go up there and it seems there’s a festival going on at the same time, so we are stopped by a parking attendant asking us if we’re here for the festival. Because as he said ‘I’ll have to charge you for parking if you’re here for the festival, but fi you’re just here to swim you’re fine! No charge’. Cue my friend behind the wheel, in a very serious voice: ‘But… But sir, swimming is ILLEGAL here! We are here to WALK!’

    He gave us a funny look and let us through, and my friend parks the car. She then proceeds to take a giant box, obviously containing a rubber boat, and a snorkel out of her trunk. We then have to walk past the parking attendant again, carrying said items, for our ‘walk’.

    It was really awesome in the end, I love swimming in lakes and rivers and there are so very few places to do it safely here!

  13. There are so many patterns! I just pre ordered my book because I couldn’t wait haha. Super excited to see and try these out 🙂

  14. I have this book in Japanese and it’s easily the most beautiful sewing book in my collection. The patterns are adorable too. I’m not commenting to win, bc I already have it, I’m just commenting bc it’s so awesome 😀

  15. My last party was a disco 70s costume party for work in Sydney, Australia. There were plenty of crazily dressed folks, but not enough to truly make it a crazy bash.

    I’d also suggest the dress with the belt – takes it away from bedtime and dresses it up a little.

  16. Haha! I like it either way but the belt does leave no doubt that it is a dress. I really like that pattern though. Found some stripy knit just last night and was thinking about doing something similar to that.
    Party… the last shindig I went to was the going away staff dinner for all of us summer staffers. It had pretty wildflowers that I promptly ripped apart and mod podged into my journal, a delicious strawberry salad and lots of hugs and tears. We ended it by throwing boxes at each other. I got my hair curled for the first time that summer. It was beautiful. 🙂

  17. Two summers ago I was pregnant; and we went to 8 weddings. I was just past my first trimester at the first, and we took our 3 week old to the last. It was nuts! (Oh, and someone fell in a fountain at one of the weddings, which was hilariously awesome.)

  18. Gorgeous book and gorgeous dress. I vote for the belted version. I often chicken out on belts myself cause I’m going for comfort or just thoroughly lazy but seeing them on other people makes me realize how great they look. You’re rockin’ it!
    It’s been a while since I’ve been to a party where people really dressed up (I can count the number of weddings I’ve been to on one hand too). I live in France where people don’t really dress up for anything. Even the opera. I kinda miss the fancy dress moments of my American past. My husband was nominated for a big theater award this year- the French version of the Tony… we spent a crazy amount of money trying to get properly dressed up for the award ceremony and when we got there half the people were in jeans. Ugh. He didn’t win anyway. Plus there wasn’t any food at the ceremony! We felt a bit jipped. We looked good though and managed to guzzle some champagne before leaving. We ended up eating bread and cheese at home in our un-fancy corner of Paris… in our very fancy clothes.
    I hope we manage to wear our outfits again before they rot in our closest!!

  19. I love it unbelted! Maybe though, part of that is that I dislike wide belts, so maybe I would also love it belted if it was with a skinnier belt 🙂 One of my flatmates had something crazy like 13 weddings one summer, the most I have ever managed was 4.

  20. I like it both ways… I think maybe taking in the sleeves a little would make it less pj-ish. Otherwise I love the dress and would love the book! 🙂

  21. Belt or no belt, looks good on you anyway! The last party I went to was actually my 37th birthday, last May. The kids spent the weekend with the grandparents. Me and my husband, plus a couple of good friends went out on the town, the town being Lisbon, to listen to Fado. It was one of the best nights I had! Plus I wore a me made outfit!

  22. 10 months ago I made some culottes and started taking photos of all the things I could do while wearing culottes. The plan was for a blog post that ended with the one thing you can’t do in culottes – pick up men. Easy, all I need is a party to attend, some obliging male friends to br photographed looking mildly revolted by my culottes and I’ll have my funny blog post. Well, parties happen much less frequently to me than I’d remembered and the funny blog post is still incomplete.
    I vote no belt, but like it with a belt too. The last photo is a real winner, so perhaps I vote fir sitting down in it all the time!
    The book looks great. Thanks for the opportunity.

  23. I prefer the unbelted version. It looks more stylish and I bet it’s more comfy too. Thank you for the lovely giveaway!

  24. I see I’m not the first to make this suggestion, but I also vote for shortening the hem a bit!

    The last proper shinidg I went to was frocktails a few weeks ago… that should keep me going for a while! 13 weddings in a year? NO THANKS!!!

  25. That book looks awesome!
    I vote non-belted, but I love flow-y things. I think either way works for you though.

    I can’t remember the last time I went to a party that required me to wear something besides jeans!

  26. Unfortunately….. I am in a similar boat. I’ve not really made it to many social occasions lately. I think it has something to do with adjusting to my new life as a mum- all be it now 1 year into it! I am though, looking forward to my sister in laws wedding come November, in sunny Bangalow, NSW.
    You look gorgeous, enjoy the new handmade piece. x

  27. Pyjama party? That’s my kind of party! I vote unbelted. Looks good and will be way comfier.

    As for parties – even before having kids I was hardly a party animal, but nowadays an exciting night out is dinner down at the local Malaysian place (which is what we’re planning to do for my birthday this weekend). I haven’t been to anything resembling a party in ages, but I did enjoy the school Book Week festivities yesterday. I dressed as Meg, the witch from ‘Meg and Mog’, and had a marvellous time menacing students with my broom.

  28. I like the belt without the belt. I would make it a little shorter and wear it with leggings. That is how I dress almost everyday these days . But if wearing it alone, the belt is nice!
    The last wedding I attended was 5 years ago. The wedding rush around me was about 10 years ago. Another wedding rush will come when everyone’s kids are grown up…

  29. I only seem to end up at kid parties these days, so don’t worry. The rest of us aren’t cool either 😉
    The last party I went to was at a kid ranch for my niece’s birthday. My favorite part was meeting the animals with my 2 year old. He was so sweet with the sheep! He’s obsessed with anything soft and as soon as he got to touch the sheep he said “Sleep on it!”. He also thought the chickens wanted to eat him… Good times lol.

  30. I love the casual no belt look.
    I just came back from visiting my family in Estonia and went out with my two younger brothers (26 and 27) there. Whoa I felt so under dressed. I guess I hardly ever dress up. Having a ten-year old and living in Seattle has made me super casual. Here even opera and ballet don’t require really nice clothes. I do make an effort but absolutely nothing in my closet qualifies as party clothes.

  31. Like Jenny my last fancy do was to Melbourne Frocktails! Such a great night! I like this cinched on you – I’d whack some elastic around the waist to gather it evenly, and wear either a narrower belt or a self fabric belt.

  32. Hi Sanae! I was on Pinterest a few minutes ago, bumped into your IKEA blouse and loved it. Pinned it, of course. Decided to check your blog for other marvelous thing and found this incredible giveaway! Please let me participate, I’d love to win. I’m a total novice. Always wanted to learn but I like to do things by myself and not attending courses. I managed to hand sew a couple of things and I’m quite happy with the result but recently I decided to buy a IKEA sewing machine. I’ll tell you why: since I’m not so good I discovered that IKEA, in a very practical and intelligent way, made a lot of tutorials on Youtube and this is going to help me. Believe me. And is cheap too. If it turns out that I’m a real failure it’s okay. At least I tried. About your dress I think you should use flats or boots and a messenger bag that will help to define in a smooth way.

  33. I love that last picture of you! i vote for no belt.
    I haven’t been invited to any weddings this year 🙁
    Would love that book!

  34. Unbelted for sure! I would style it with some black Converse All Stars. And i can also count by my fingers the number of weddings i´ve been to! But i do get to go to some great kids parties, ha!

  35. I got this book in french and there are just so many beautiful pictures (although the girls all look a little bit sad …) and nice patterns – though I didn’t try one until now. What a good idea to realize the dress in jersey, it looks really gorgeous & comfi both ways!
    We’ll have two big family events next year and I am looking very much foreward to them! I am not commenting for the give-away as I have the book already, but thank you for the inspiration!

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