A White Lace Dress for a Friend

As I mentioned in a recent post, the reason I made my Etro shift dress was because I promised a white lace dress for one of my good friends. Well, here it is! She wore it to the BBQ/welcome dinner for her wedding and it fit her near perfectly, if I do say so myself :)

The dress was made from a frankenpattern combination of a Burda Cap Sleeve Shift Dress and Butterick 5706. For more info, see the previous post.


I bought the white lace from Gorgeous Fabrics, and I still have quite a bit left. Guess I’ll have to wait until another friend gets married to use it!

I really should have included strap holders to keep the lining strap inside the dress. Oh well – next time. 

If you remember, I also made myself a white lace dress for my own wedding. For that dress, I both underlined the lace, and lined the entire dress. However, this resulted in a very heavy dress and I wanted to avoid that for Amy’s dress.

Because she wanted the lining to be shorter at the neckline to reveal some lace, I had to do some thinking on how to underline/line the dress. I’m not sure if what I did was technically appropriate, but it worked out really well. It isn’t a ‘proper’ underlining since the neckline is clearly different to give the illusion of a slip, but the two layers are sewn together at the darts and side seams. I did this because I wanted the two layers to be one piece and because I thought that if I sewed the darts separately, the rayon underlining would end up collapsing since it is much more fluid than the lace. I used a lovely soft rayon twill for the underlining by the way (which I believe is from Harts).

IMG_3301I totally eyeballed the alterations I made to the rayon neckline to make it look like a slip, but somehow it magically worked! I cut the back in the straight line from the top of the side seam, and cut the front to mirror the lace.

IMG_3303 Cobber's Lace Dress Collage 2

Most, if not all, of the seam allowances were bound with HugSnug. It was my first time using it, and I have to say I quite like it! Cobber's Lace Dress Collage 1

I posted this on Instagram, but I added ‘Something Blue’ to the dress in the form of a zipper stop (bottom left corner above).

I’m going to post the order of construction below in case you’re curious how this went together. Also, because I want it written down in case I need to make a dress like this again :)

Order of construction:

  1. Cut out front and back pieces in lace and lining.
  2. Alter neckline of lining and bind with HugSnug, adding extra long straps from the front which will be attached to the back.
  3. Shorten lining and hem (bind with HugSnug)
  4. Hand-baste together lining and lace along the sides.
  5. Sew darts through both layers of fabric (front and back darts).
  6. Sew shoulders.
  7. Bind armholes and neckline. Trim down seam allowance and machine sew on HugSnug. Then turn to inside and hand sew.
  8. Sew HugSnug along side seam allowances.
  9. Insert zipper and sew other side seam.
  10. Attach straps of lining to the back lining piece.

Below is the interior of the neckline where you can see the HugSnug was machine-stitched to the lace and the hand-sewed with a running stitch. It isn’t visible from the right side at all.

IMG_3278Here I am with the Bride along with another close friend (we were all in the same year of our hockey team in college). I made myself a last minute Vogue 1179 in a coral rayon knit. I mostly likely won’t review that pattern, but suffice it to say it’s super comfortable and I can definitely see myself making it again.

Congratulations on the beautiful wedding Amy and have fun in Thailand for your honeymoon!!

White Eyelet Simplicity 1590

Last week my thesis committee gave me the go ahead to start writing my thesis! YAHOO! My defense date is set for August 26th…which is very very quickly approaching. However, I’ve come up with a good strategy to stay motivated to write – I use sewing as a reward! Write a few pages and I get to go sew a few seams :)

My latest project is Simplicity 1590, a re-released retro pattern with a cute little peplum and scoopneck.

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 4.39.36 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 4.39.48 PM

I must thank Instagram for opening my mind and seeing this top as a success. I thought the top was really cute on the dress form but not on me. As you can see in my message below, I thought the peplum stood out way too far because my hips are quite abrupt. Thank you to everyone who convinced me to see otherwise! Sometimes I focus way too much on the little problems without noticing the bigger picture. It does still stand out more than I would normally like, but when my arms are down, it’s barely noticeable. Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 4.43.18 PM

I used a white Maggy London eyelet fabric that I purchased from FabricMart and pearl snaps from SnapSource. I’m wearing it here with my pink Grainline skirt – LOVE this skirt.

I’m surprised how well the neckline and shoulders fit me. I’ve made tops before with dropped shoulders like this and they’ve never turned out so nicely.
IMG_3259I’m not wearing anything but a bra underneath this top in the pictures! Ohh la la! But I don’t think you can barely notice and the facings help mask any see-through near the bust.

IMG_3260After much consideration, I decided to use fusible interfacing for the facings, despite the fact that my fabric has many intentional holes in it. I used Pro Sheer Elegance Light and I didn’t have any trouble getting it to adhere nor with the glue transferring to the surface below. Fingers crossed there are no issues in the wash…

IMG_3265Overall, I’m really happy with this blouse! Plus, I absolutely love both installing (yay hammering!) and wearing snaps. They’re just so fun :)

If I make this again I think I’ll try it in a silk fabric so the peplum falls more softly over my hips.

IMG_3267There’s really nothing better than a white cotton top in summer!

Etro Shift Dress

A while ago, I agreed to make a dress for a very good friend of mine for the rehearsal/welcome dinner for her wedding. The wedding is July 18th, so naturally, I didn’t start working on it until late June. She wanted a simple white lace shift dress, so I started with Burda Cap Sleeve Shift Dress #130, shown below since it had the neckline she was looking for and there were many good examples on the website. Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 10.03.31 AMI made a muslin, which she tried on at her Bachelorette party, and the fit was decent. There were a few things to tweak (swayback, square shoulder adjustment, lower the neckline slightly, add a bit of width to the hips) but otherwise it seemed like a winner. I made the flat pattern alterations and since we have very similar body types, I made myself a practice version, because that’s just the necessary thing to do :)

Well, I’m happy I did because it turned out to be a big shapeless sack with the alterations! I know she wanted a simple dress, but it should still look good! What it needed was back darts to give a bit of shaping, so I pulled out Butterick 5706 from my stash. I did a semi-frankenpattern because I wanted the neckline of the Burda dress, but the sides and back darts of the Butterick dress. The bust darts were extremely similar so it wasn’t too much of a shot in the dark.

For my dress here, I used another free piece of fabric that I won from the Elliott Berman Fabric Friday giveaway on Facebook. This one a paisley cotton blend basketweave from Etro (I don’t see it on the website anymore unfortunately).  I only had 1.5 yards so I was careful to make it fit. I have to give it to Elliott Berman, they sent me fabrics I would have never chosen, but I absolutely love the top I made and this dress too. They’re such beautiful unique fabrics – great quality too! If their goal was to recruit new customers, they worked with me :)

IMG_3229I committed one of my biggest pet peeves – I cut the back pieces so they echo each other. It just bothers me so much! The back darts make it slightly less obvious though.

IMG_3231We took these pictures at Dan’s cabin last weekend – a nice change of background :)

IMG_3235The pattern on the fabric isn’t symmetrical so I decided to run it down the side of the dress. I also wanted to avoid any awkward pattern placement over my body, which would have been easy with this paisley print.

A few pics on the dressform so you can see the colors and design better.

IMG_3241 IMG_3242 IMG_3243

I lined the dress with a nude colored rayon bemberg. I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of this dress. It’s fun enough to wear to a party/wedding but also casual enough for a work type event. 

Edited to add (07/11/2015 3:10 pm):

My husband is really into drones and got a new copter a few weeks ago. So, he convinced me to let him make a drone video of my new dress. I debated putting it here because I find it quite embarrassing…but, oh well! Here it is

Anyway, I got to work immediately on my friends dress, which is now done. A sneak peek below – I’m really happy with how it turned out!


(Almost) Red, White & Blue! aka StyleArc Ginger Top

Happy Fourth of July to all my American friends – or to anyone who celebrates!

The weather is dreary & rainy here today, which is especially frustrating because when I checked the weather forecast on Wednesday night it said SUNNY all weekend long.  It’s suppose to dry up by 5 pm so we can still send off some fireworks this evening.

I took these pictures yesterday when it was beautifully sunny outside. You can’t beat this weather or view! We’ll hopefully be roasting marshmallows here tonight.


So the new garment here is a StyleArc Ginger in a blue & white ITY knit from FabricMart. I almost gave up halfway through this project, I forgot how much I HATE sewing ITY knit. Wonder Tape saved the day! I used it on all the hems (neckline, armholes, back hem) and it washed away beautifully, leaving a lovely even hem.


ITY is lovely to wear, drapes well and has a nice ‘cool’ feeling. However, the poly base is definitely there. I don’t sweat much (am perpetually cold), but after a day of wearing this it was quite smelly.
IMG_3217I’ll keep wearing this top though, it’s SUPER comfortable: loose yet still has a flattering neckline.

IMG_3214I’m wearing it here with my bright pink Grainline Moss mini that I blogged recently. I mentioned in that post that I anticipated not liking this skirt as much due to the stretch component. Well, I lied! The color fits perfectly into my wardrobe and it’s incredibly comfortable.

IMG_3212So this is my (almost) red, white and blue outfit. Pink is close enough to red right? I think so :)

IMG_3208Happy Fourth! I hope your weather is better than ours today!