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Embroidered Lace Dress

Who’s getting ready for the festive season? I am proud to be ahead of the game this year. Sure, I may not have all the Christmas presents all wrapped up (or purchased, for that matter), but I’ve knocked up a little frock in advance of the party season.

And it’s a lace little number, no less. Whilst I was a little worried that an ivory lace dress could look overly bridal (and was debating over the teal vs pink embroidery because of that), I am relieved with the result.

What do you think?

Let’s start with the fabric. It’s a beautiful stretch lace, with stunning floral embroidery. It has an embroidered scallop edge on both sides in a silvery grey thread, and I knew that I had to take advantage of that. No hemming you say? ;)

The lace has a slight stretch to it, but is relatively stable. I decided to line it with an ivory lining fabric from my stash (purchased from Minerva ages ago), which has subtle polka dots woven into the fabric (you will see what I mean in the work-in-progress neckline picture below), mainly because the colour match was absolutely spot on (get it?). It is, however, a lining fabric with no stretch at all, which did mean that I had to “waste” the stretchiness quality from the lace on the lined portions.

To compensate for this, I had to pick a design which is not fully lined, to make the most of the lace. Sleeves were the obvious option. As mentioned above, I also wanted to show off the scallop edges. Well, I say edges, they are really near the edges of the lace selvage. This meant that I had to add a step of carefully trimming around the embroidery, before strategically placing the pattern pieces so that the skirt and the sleeves would be the right length, and have built-in scallop hems.

I used Vogue 8766 from my stash, and made view E. I almost went for view F, but decided that a slimmer skirt would be better for my petite body shape. Surprisingly, after making a quick toile, apart from some petite adjustments (shortening the bodice and the skirt), the fit was pretty good! I did make a design change and made narrower sleeves – whilst I was intrigued by the pleated sleeves from this pattern, I was clear that slimmer sleeves would complement the dress, especially with the built-in stretch in the lace.

I sewed the lace as any other fabric this time, with “normal” seaming methods, i.e. sewing rights sides together, except for the sleeves where French seams were obviously called for. This is my second time working with lace, and I think doing applique seams once in your life is probably enough! But why does it feel like I cheated?

I couldn’t resist, however, to add a couple of special touches.

Instead of the pattern instructions, I finished the neckline with bias binding made with the lining fabric like this:

See what I mean by the little polka dots on the lining?

Finally, I inserted a handpicked zipper. It takes a little bit longer, but I love the result! I do think that a little bit of hand stitching can make the garment. Don’t you just love it when everything is lined up properly?

So, I’m ready for the festive season! The only thing that I slightly regret now is to have not picked a stretch lining – I’m sure a little give in a fitted dress would’ve been appreciated during this time of the year!

Until next time,

Alice from Queen of Darts

Comments (2)

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M. G. said:

This dress suits you so well. · 30th Oct 2019 10:07pm

Nelda Basenberg said:

An absolutely stunning dress and it looks fabulous on you. Great job! · 30th Oct 2019 03:22pm