That lace dress, Mark II. AKA the hundred hour dress AKA morphing Vogue 8766 to Butterick 5748

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.

Lace Dress

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.

Lace Dress
 

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.

Lace Dress side

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.
Thanks Mel!!

 

  • OMG – this has to one of the most beautiful dresses i have seen on blog land – honest it's a true work of art and as for your perfectionist ways, i bow down and pay homage to you, not sure i could torture myself that much. amazing made my weekend xxx

  • LaraGa

    This is a beautiful dress! The skirt looks great as well, I was never able to get the Gertie skirt to work for me, so it's great to see it 'out in the wild' (so to speak) and looking so wonderful.

  • Manju

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  • its gorgeous, and fantastic job on the recut – i just had a look at the first dress and you were so right to remake as the simple neckline makes the most of the lovely fabric. looks great on you, congratulations

  • Oh Janelle! What a work of art. This is really such a beautifully classic style on you (and the linen jacket idea to wear over the top is perfection) and the lace pattern adds so much. I can't even begin to imagine how much work you've put into this – but it definitely does show. You've given me some inspiration (and desire) to go back to some of the things I've sewn and tweak those little things that need tweaking. I really love this 🙂

  • Fabric Epiphanies

    Your dress is lovely! The fabric is gorgeous and the fit spot on!

  • Oh Wow. Thank you so much, that really makes my day!

  • I've made Gertie's skirt a couple of times and really like the double darts. For this dress it is so heavily modified as I rotated the darts out on the lace it's not really the best example of it, but I am very relieved it works here. I am always amazed at how many versions of a pencil skirt there are and they all really do fit very differently!

  • Thanks you so much Manju. Your encouragement means alot to me as I really admire your sewing!

  • Thank you very much. Yes, the first version was too fussy for sure.

  • Aww thanks Mel. I am so happy I was able to do your beautiful fabric gift justice. I would have been heartbroken if it ended up a wadder so that motivated me to make it work. And I am always tweaking things, sometimes months or years later, and I am always glad when I do. It's worth it for sure.

  • Thank you very much!