Sunday, November 11, 2012

Trial by fire part 2 // diy

I know I say this a lot, but  I love lace. Seriously a lot. It's so delicate and feminine but also can be edgy and just downright sexy.

If you've been here awhile, you know that I bought a couple yards of two different kinds of lace, way back when. You may have already seen the first project using the lace I bought {here}. However, I kind of dropped the ball on letting you know what was going on with the second bunch. Well, wait no longer!

A long time ago, I asked readers to vote on the shape of the dress I should make. Thanks to all who voted, by the way! I've finally finished it and I'm ready to show you what I ended up doing.

To save you some trouble of clicking through, the winning dress of the poll was Malt Shop from Shabby Apple, followed very closely by Zarita by Diane von Furstenberg.
First place // Second place
So, if I were to keep with the trends you voted for, I needed to make something fitted, above-the-knee, scoop-necked, and with some kind of sleeve. I decided to do a combination of the two "winning" styles, and go with a shorter but still un-lined sleeve.
And, I wanted to do it from an honest-to-goodness real store-bought pattern. As if stretchy lace and underlining wasn't already enough of a challenge.
So came the adventure of finding a pattern. Whooooooamygoodness. Whoever designs the cover images on those pattern envelopes needs to move into the 21st century; most of the "finished products" look straight out of the nineties or earlier. I did my best to imagine what the various choices would look like in my black lace, and decided that this one would work well enough:
I made the picture tiny because it really looks awful. But it's really the best I had to work with. It was on sale for a dolla and I found it  five minutes before the store closed, so I had to make my mind up pretty quickly.
Patterns come with several different "views" to choose from, so I decided to make one with a plain front, scoop neck, and cap sleeves. I would cut two of each fabric piece for the project, one of lace and one of the super soft jersey knit that I would use to line it. I sewed the knit piece to the lace piece for every one of the seventeen pieces that made up this dress, then followed the directions to piece the dress itself together. Easy right?

HAH no.
Like I mentioned a while ago {here}, I had a lot of trouble with this project. Note to anyone who ever tries to conquer a pattern envelope? There are suggestions for the type of fabric to use on the back. If you're new-ish to sewing, you should follow those suggestions.
You can probably guess that I totally didn't.
It still worked out okay, but I had a heckuva time trying to make this project work. The fabric stretched and got wonky, my iron burned some of the delicate lace (what the heck!?!), the zipper ended up determining the shape of the back neckline (oops).
But I love the dang thing, wonky seams and all.
DIY Lace dress, leopard belt, Lipstick, DIY neon necklace, Little Black Dress,
The dress in action at a wedding a couple months ago, worn with my DIY neon statement necklace!

I'm totally still learning. I feel like it will take years and years before I know exactly what a pattern is asking me to do. Even longer still to be able to accurately carry it out.
BUT I'm loving the ride.
Have you ever sewn something from a pattern? How did it go? Did it come out like you'd planned?


  1. Hi! I nominated you for a Liebster Award!
    Check out my blog for details.


  2. Oh my word. Your dress is fantastic. I actually grew up doing 4-H sewing (I just found my five year pin a few days ago!) and made two dresses and a shirt and shorts outfit... which seemed a lot easier than when I tried to make a normal, a-line skirt and FOR THE LIFE OF ME could not figure out how to accurately read this pattern. The zipper ended up being too short and I had about .5" gap at the top before the button which was wonky too! Argh! It should have been very easy but it was just a pain in the butt!!


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