Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Finally, THE Lace Dress

Wow, talk about take forever to finish this one.  But finally, after my stretch lace dilemma,  the dress is finished!  And looking damn fine, if I do say so myself. 

The dress was made for my daughter (that's her and our mochi "Jayjay" in the photo), in an effort to build her wardrobe of stylish black clothes (also see the Peephole top made for her).  Why black?  Because this year she is studying make-up artistry and the dress code is black.  But black doesn't have to = boring, right!  Lace is all in, so a lace dress it was at the top of the list.

Early in the year I has purchased (on impulse) the 09/2012 edition of Burda Style magazine and it so happens that the front cover is a lace dress - perfect starting point I thought.

I hadn't actually traced a Burda pattern from their magazine before.  Even though I had sewn other Burda patterns I thought it would be good to start with an 'easy' pattern while I get acclimatised to the magazine instructions, which by the way I read more than a few times to really understand what it was saying.

I was all set to whip this up in a day, easy pattern, lace would be underlined with a cotton and sewn as one, couple of darts and a zip.  So straight forward I didn't even bother to make a muslin.


Well ... then the customisation requests began. "Can the underlining stop above my boobs; can there only be lace across my chest; it must have sleeves (dress code) - but lace only sleeves; can it hug my body, I don't want it to just hang".

No problem -  I put two darts in the back to give it a fitting silhouette and ran the side seams in a little.  I traced the sweetheart neckline from the Cambie bodice and shaped the underlining, tacking the lace to the underlining around the top of the sweetheart neckline.  At this stage I thought I was doing great.  We were up to the next fitting so I could see everything was sitting in place before I tackled the top of the dress.  Yep, construction didn't go according to the instructions because usually you would sew the shoulder seams first, but I had to leave the shoulder seams until now.
It does fit better - but she insisted on holding the dog!
Here is where I hit my conundrum - for the the shoulder and sleeve seams I had lace on lace, and stretch lace at that.  What to do, what to do?  Oh I know, procrastinate!

It's quite hard to photograph this lace!
After some great suggestions from the blogisphere and some more thinking I finally finished the dress ... I inserted some stay tape into the shoulder seams, so they wouldn't stretch over time.  I then eased the sleeves in by hand basting so I could get another fitting and decide whether it needed any additional support.  What would you know, it looked and felt fine, so I proceeded to overlock the seam edges, providing support that moved and then a row of zigzag over top of my hand basted stitches. To provide some support for the lace top I also inserted some shoulder straps made with the underlining fabric - this will prevent the lace across the chest being stretched out of shape because of the weight from the dress.

I may have started this project back at the beginning of April but because I finished it in May, I wonder if that counts towards the Burda Style Sew Along May 2013?  I hope so :-)  Although there is another that I want to make.



10 comments:

  1. It is beautiful! I'm glad you were able to figure out how to finish the shoulders and sleeves.

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    1. Thanks - I even tried it on just to double check :-)

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  2. This turned out lovely! So "in" right now!

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    1. I think I might have to make me something similar - probably a little bit longer!

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, I just wish it was easier to photograph :-)

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  4. The dress turned out great and she's a very lucky girl that you are sewing for her. My son (6'5" tall @ 17) wants me to sew him some windcheaters and track pants that will fit him but I am so obsessed with my own sewing that I'm finding it hard to set some time aside for him! Haha, it will happen soon though! (not sure that he'll let me photograph him though!!) Carola

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  5. Haha, the photograph was part of the deal - I like to call it negotiation instead of bribery!

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  6. What a beautiful dress! I love the lace - it's so classy and timeless. Your daughter is so lucky to have talented seamstress mother!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words :-)

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