Lace Dress Vogue 8766 Kinda Sorta Finished.

Well, I’ve been constantly sewing since my last post way back in November of last year but other stuff has been getting in the way of posting to the old blog.  I’ve been very busy getting serious about dealing with some auto-immune problems really getting in the way of life. The good news is it seems that I am finally getting on top of things. The resulting major lifestyle changes has meant I have dropped a chunk of weight, so that this dress, while finished, is now about 2 or 3 sizes too big. The saga continues. I plan to completely remake it, the fabric is too good to scrap but before I break out the unpicker I thought I’d take some shots of what I came up with to sort out the bodice issues I mentioned in my last post here.

Firstly some comments on the pattern Vogue 8766.  I have to honestly say I am not really that enthused with it.  The bodice darts on Butterick 5748 or Simplcity 1873 work way way better for me.

So, here it is, all finished, with catchstitched seam allowances and a handpicked zip.  Due to its sack like nature on my deflated body I am resorting to dummy shots:





I am pleased with the bodice fix, if you look very closely, there is a join in the lace slightly to the left of centre on the bodice front.  I am pleased with how invisible it now looks how I am not so pleased with the lace insert thing that I ended up tacking in at the last minute to fill in a now slightly too low neckline (oopsy).

So, what do I plan to do to this dress to take it from too-big sack with a mother of the bride vibe (nothing wrong with that if I actually was a mother of the bride) to something I feel fabulous in?

Here is the list:

* Unpick skirt from bodice, unpick side seams,  pivot the darts out using this tutorial from Carolyn and recut the skirt using a different pattern, probably one of my basic skirt blocks I use often.  This will also shorten the skirt about 4″ as it currently sits mid calf which I was hoping would look elegant but actually hits at a very unflattering spot on my leg (cankles, anyone?).

* Open up bodice darts and recut using one of the other bodice patterns mentioned above that works better for my shape.  I am thinking Butterick 5748.  While I am there, I will baste the lace to the silk in rows to hold everything in place more effectively.  The weight of the lace is currently pulling away from the silk underlining and sagging in places.  I may add another layer of underlining that has a firmer structure to also support the bodice shape.

* This will probably mean I have to resew the hand picked zip and redo the armholes.  Why not? I’m a glutton for punishment.

The whole process has been an interesting learning curve, learning what shapes work best for my body, how to work with lace, a side trip into hem length (interesting post on finding best hem length for your shape here, I love the infographic showing the “grey zones” that make a shorter leg look stubby) plus a google search on “frumpy” that returned some interesting results.

Are you sick of this dress yet? I’ve made so many other things, many of which are great but this is the one sticking in my craw right at this moment.  I just can’t let it go until I get it right.  Are you like that or if something is not working do you prefer to move on to something else?

  • First, as a gal with two auto-immune diseases I lend you my congrats at feeling like things are getting managed and hope you continue to feel well.
    This fabric is so lovely I'm glad you're not abandoning it. I'm sure you'll get much satisfaction from it when you can finally wear it with joy.
    I think I'm much like you in that if I love a piece I'll keep working on it intermixed with quicker fun projects.

  • Sharon

    So glad that you are getting things managed, you have been missed. This dress is too pretty to give up and your changes sound like they will work out very well.

  • Gabrielle

    It must feel terrific to be getting a handle on your autoimmune problems – definitely a top priority! I've got one diagnosed autoimmune disease, and have just found out that a I've got a lot of family history with another more unpredictable autoimmune disease – might be time to find a good specialist doctor!

    This dress is looking beautiful – very special indeed, and I hope you have it fitting the new healthy you soon so we can see how gorgeous it is on you :). Oh and I'm not very good at sticking with a sewing project when it doesn't fit…

  • Thank you so much for this comment. The redone dress is almost finished and you will laugh when you see it, it is completely different.

    Yeah those AI issues are a royal PITA. It took me quite a few goes to get a team of doctors who worked for me. In the end my biggest improvement was finding a dietician who specialises in hormone dysfunction and knew all about my not very well known genetic oddities (pyrroles and MTHFR mutations). The tweaks she made to my diet have made a profound difference to coping and helping/supporting the medical aspect of the AI management. Good luck with your journey, I hope you get it sorted as best you can too.

  • Thank you very much Sharon. The dress has been radically changed but I am 100 times happier. Almost finished.

  • Thank you so much! Yeah, I just keep plugging away until I am happy but throwing in a quick skirt or easy knit dress is a great way to stop it from driving us mad I totally agree. I've been making pencil skirts in between working on this.