Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Sewing (5)

Moving onto another person's dress. This one is for my DD, the mother of the baby from the previous posts.

We saw a very cute dress in the Anthropologie window and so thought we'd try to copy it.
I can't find it now because it was in the fall line and apparently it has disappeared from my knowledgeable view on the internet.
This striking dress that you can't see, was a cream colored lace over a light tan base fabric. The bodice was fitted and the skirt gathered into soft folds at the waist for a full skirt and 50's type of style. Somewhat casual for a lace dress, DD said she would like something like it to wear during the spring and summer.
So ... Katz and I went to Britex fabric store when we were in San Francisco one day and looked for lace and ideas for a similar dress.
Now Kathryn is not a fabric shopper by trade like her mother is, but she had to admit that this is a fabulous store. It is not a store to buy sale fabrics, and so I was prepared to just find great fabrics that usually aren't available from my national fabric chain store.  I was looking for some wintery plaids for next Christmas and found some amazing wool tartans. They are authentically made for Scottish family kilts, etc, and are quite expensive, but I bought enough for a little jumper, a childs skirt, and an adult skirt for Kathryn's little family of girlies.
We also found some grey stretchy lace that we both fell in love with and I thought I could make a spring dress for her out of it. The stretch was something I was worried about in the finished product, so it did make me a little nervous to sew up into a dress. We switched gears from the original light weight lace dress found at Anthro, and I bought an underlining fabric that had more heaviness than I normally would've so that the lace would have some body and not just stretch out into a big mess when being worn.
I decided not to make it gather around the waist, because the thickness of both fabrics together may not gather well, so I made the waistline fitted and then the skirt goes down in an A-line to her knees.

The bottom 1 foot is slightly gathered at all 4 seams so that the lace edging is even all the way around.
The underlining did what it was supposed to do and I then added a lightweight slip with a little tulle for some added fullness at the bottom of the dress.
 Here is the slip under the underlining. (Underlining is supposed to act like it is part of the fashion fabric when making up an item. Sometimes it is even fused or sewed together before construction is started.)
The sleeves are placed on the edge of the lace so that the cute little edging shows. I gathered in the center of the sleeve base to mimic the base of the dress.
I do like the look of an invisible zipper in a dress such as this. And it was easy peasy to put in with my new zipper attachment #35 on my Bernina.
Back of the dress with pink sash. You could wear a belt, or any color ribbon around the waist.
I also sent a 4" wide brown ribbon that has a self covering wrap in the center. Pictures of actual daughter in dress to come. She says it fits her PERFECTLY. (Which is A main reason to sew.)
Not a casual dress as originally intended, but a neutral color and classic almost 50's style that will be able to be worn for many years.


  1. Don't know how you do it!


  2. You are amazing! Thought of you yesterday when we were in Mantua...

  3. i really like how this turned out~!! can't wait for my jumper! :)

  4. I've decided that I want to be adopted! what say you?