This dress had been completely made to almost finished stage when I decided I didn’t like it. Because I am a total perfectionist, and love to torture myself, I unpicked it completely and started again.
This time I decided to underline in a lovely cotton voile in a soft creamy yellow from Spotlight. It worked much better than the silk I used before (you can see the previous version of this dress here). The lace is rather heavy and using a soft drapey silk as the underlining caused all kinds of problems with how the lace sat. With the more stable voile it behaved much better. I also took the time to run horizontal rows of basting in a fine silk basting thread, which also helped the lace and underlining act as a single layer. I did this for the bodice but the skirt is free hanging and only attached as the side and centre back seams.
Next up I recut the bodice in a completely new pattern. Instead of Vogue 8766 I switched to the bodice of Butterick 5748, I managed to do this as I was cutting a full size or two down. As I didn’t have enough length to cut the full bodice out of the old pieces, I modified the pattern to make a wide midriff yoke, which I was able to eke out of the unused sleeve pieces. I also had to cut the shoulder straps thinner, which makes the bodice a little skimpy for me but I plan to make a linen jacket to wear with it so I don’t feel so bare. The benefit of this is that the vertical join in lace on the bodice front (just slightly to the left of the centre front in the pictures) is now virtually invisible.
Sorry for the life of me I couldn’t manage a decent shot of the back. I am still doing dodgy phone camera photos – the zipper doesn’t look straight to me but I am hoping it is just how I am standing – that zipper got handpicked in three times and I am finally running out of enthusiasm to fix everything.
Finally I recut the skirt pieces using Gerties pencil skirt pattern from her first book, which is a good shape for me, and shortened it a tad, which brought the heavy lace pattern up near my hips to a more flattering place. I also pivoted out the darts in the lace layer of the skirt to remove some of the bulk there as that top band of lace on the skirt is really heavy – it broke my overlocker thread trying to finish off the seams.
These photos ended up being the best of the lot – I really struggle with the photo taking at the moment, le sigh.
So internally it is fully lined with the same cotton voile as the underlining which hides any shadowing from the seams showing through. It also gives the dress a nice firmness, and feels lovely to wear. There was a fair bit of handsewing in this dress and it really did drag on a bit too long, I was totally flagging at the end, but I am happy to have something wearable, although now the weather has shifted in Sydney and its much cooler, so I have to wait I think till next summer to wear it, which is OK as it gives me some time to make a lovely linen jacket to wear with it. Any ideas for colours to wear with this dress?
So there you go, I finally got to use the lovely lace from Mel from Poppykettle.