Hey y’all! I have a project I really enjoyed to share with y’all today. I made this dress to wear to a friend’s afternoon winter wedding.
A navy lace dress with square neckline, sheer sleeves, circle skirt, and fitted bodice.
My inspiration was Shabby Apple’s I’m Late! I’m Late! dress and other navy lace dresses I saw on Pinterest:
I ordered my stretch lace from Fabrics World USA after getting a free sample. It was well worth ordering. I love how it looks, although it is really clingy to itself. I bought 3 yards and had barely enough.
For the bodice I used a princess seam pattern I’ve used in the past (McCall’s 3129) for the broadcloth underlayer, with a little fitting and changing of the neckline.
For the skirt, I used Butterick 3134 for the underlayer and a 3/4 circle pattern for the outer layer.
I put a zipper in the back, making sure to extend it past the waistline, but not too long to make the skirt lay funky. I still put it on over my head although I can just squeeze enough to step in. I also wear my circle skirt slip underneath to give it more volume and help the skirt lay better.
I didn’t hem the lace because it doesn’t fray. That was super nice on the sleeves because I didn’t hem those either.
For the sleeves, I used a sleeve pattern I drafted years ago (like 2009 ago) and adjusted the curve of the top of the sleeve pattern to fit my bodice. It went together like a dream, and I was so thankful.
To do the lace overlay for the bodice, I layed the front bodice (the princess seams were sewn) and back bodice onto the stretch lace and just kind of ignored the shaping of the pieces and cut out the outline so that when I put the dress on my dressform, the lace would stretch and conform to the underlayer. It was a bit more complicated than it sounds and took many tries of shaping, cutting, and pinning, but it came out and I love it.
To finish the neckline, I just serged the lace and broadcloth together. It was a little tricky to turn the corner on the square, but generally it was simple and easy. The neck does gape a little, so I roll up some scotch tape and just stick the neckline to my skin when I wear it. The professionals use fashion tape, right? 😉
I was planning on doing a navy belt like the Shabby Apple dress, but with my lovely new taupe shoes I decided I needed a matching belt, and oddly found this one in the back of my closet- I had picked it up at a thrift store and forgotten about it. 😛
So, there ya go, my navy lace dress! It was worth the time and money (about $40 for fabric) to create something that I know will be a go-to for events and church for years to come. After I’m done a project like this that I’d been putting off for a while, I think, “Now, why didn’t I do this before? I have an awesome item now that makes life easier, and only had to suffer a little to get it!” ha. 😀
Advice if you want to make one: get a dress form, and double check everything. Lace is super hard to rip seams out of. 😛 Also, don’t rush. I tried to and quickly realized that was not gonna fly. So, I slowed down and it was so worth it. 🙂