Little thoughts

Little thoughts: need more sleep! :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Planning and shopping my stash

I was browsing through Etsy the other day in their wedding section as they have a whole dedicated part of the site and wanted to see what all the fuss was about as it's ruffled a few feathers and I discovered a whole load of tutorials and advice.  I homed in on the dress section as they were doing a 'dress style for your shape' kind of thing and saw this beauty:

Tea Length Wedding Dress - Lace Bodice with Covered Buttons
Original source here

I think it's sometimes easier to see how a dress is made when it's in a block colour and especially when it's white/ivory and I found this dress and it was being modelled by a lady about the same size and shape as me and I LOVE it!

The top is made from lace and v neck, the waist is a wide band that nips in the waist and then there's a full 50's style skirt with tulle poking out the bottom and it's tea length.  It looks beautiful and I discovered I have almost everything in my stash in order to make it.  I have an abundance of navy blue lace courtesy of a lady in sewing class as she was given a black bag full of lace from a friend who used to work at the Gossard underwear factory before it closed and she gave me a whole bundle of it.  Aren't I lucky!  I have some royal blue dupion silk which was a remnant I picked up in John Lewis' remnant bin for a song but wasn't sure what I was going to use it for as it was a bit small to make a top and I have some dark midnight blue satin which I had from my sewing class teacher as she didn't want it any more!  So all I need is a zip and some navy blue tulle/net whatever you want to call it and I've got myself a dress that is retailing on Etsy for a few hundred pounds for under a tenner I expect!  I know I'm going to love this dress, but it's going to take a lot of time to put the bodice together, the rest will be a cinch as the skirt is just like the skirt on the Burda style dresses I've worn this month for Me Made May and the waist band should be pretty easy as I'll just cut the silk to the right length, but if I'm not convinced I can always use the satin instead so there's only two shades of blue I suppose.  I had thought of pleating the waist band to add more interest but I'm worrying now that it will add bulk where I don't need it.  I'm going to skip the buttons down the back as number one I'm lazy and number two I don't want them digging in my back when I sit down and number three I'm not getting married.  Yeah, before anyone gets too excited and starts buying a hat or anything, this is just me looking at a dress that's all pretty and thinking 'maybe I can make that'!

I do have a few concerns that I would like some advice on if anyone knows, how do you sew with lace?  Is it best to sew by hand?  The lace I have is rather wide, about 3 inches so I'm going to have to piece it together to make the front bodice which I don't mind as it may give it a better shape than me trying to wrestle with lace by the metre, but it's obviously see through so how easy is it to line and what would be the best thing to line it with?  I'm changing the back of the dress which is the other reason for not having the buttons as I have limited lace so may be a v shaped back too so am wondering whether to put the zip in the side rather than the back because of this.  I also noted in the dresses description that pockets can be added, this may be something that I will do, as long as I remember as I love pockets in skirts and dresses, well, with such a big skirt you're not going to spoil the lines of it by having pockets or by putting your hands in them.  All suggestions greatly welcomed!

I'm off to pin some lace to Mabel the Mannequin and see how it looks!


  1. Go girl, this is a beauty of a dress!

  2. Thank you! No progress as yet as other things have got in the way but should have some progress tomorrow.

  3. I'm afraid I've never sewn with that much lace so I am looking forward to seeing how you tackle it. Blue will be such a beautiful colour for this dress.

  4. if you can get a hold of one, couture sewing techniques by claire shaffer has a large section on dealing with lace. The basic idea is to cut around the motifs and line the pattern pieces up so that you can hand sew sections on top of each other to allow the pattern to continue uninterrupted all the way around. Its not exactly economical with fabric, but it looks lovely.

    If you don;t want to go that route, lace can be done either by hand or with a machine. It really depends on what you use and if the holes are large enough to catch your presser foot or cause tangles. If it does, you can you a thin fabric colored ribbon to catch the stitches.

    Lots of options!

  5. Looks like an exciting project and I can see that shape dress would suit you. I don't have experience of sewing lace so don't have any adice I am afraid. I am lookign forward to seeing how you get on though.

  6. Wowee, this is exciting Mimi! I can imagine such a dress on you, a perfect siren dress! I have not sewn much lace either so wouldn't dare to offer advice. But it'll be exciting to see what you design :-)

  7. Thank you for the hints, tips and encouragement ladies! It really helps! I'm getting ready for a fair tomorrow so haven't made any progress yet, maybe the weekend.


Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment!