Sunday, March 2, 2014

how about a little lace dress? I'll take one, please

 How many times have I thought, "oh I will just whip up a *fill in the blank*!" or "Come on! With all this fabric and all these patterns, are you telling me I have to go shopping?"

And yes, with all this fabric and all these patterns, I have found myself dashing over to A Fabric Place on my lunch hour, anxiously pawing through the goods, hoping to find the makings for the perfect make. May I now present a different experience - a quick dress using a TNT pattern and fabric from deep stash! These exclamation marks tell you that it is an unusual occurrence!
Almost finished, this is an unlined lace dress to be worn over a black slip.

I used a favorite simple top pattern, the Robin Top by Style Arc, and I just lengthened it to knee length, and cut the neckline sorta free-form to make it easier to work with the lace trim.

I have learned I don't need the zipper in the back, so I skip that. If I chose to fit the pattern more closely, I would need it, but I like being able to pull it on over my head and skip taking time to insert the zip.


When I say this was easy, it was shockingly easy! I hope I am not jinxing myself before I finish sewing it today. I hope I have enough lace edging to trim the sleeves with it. If not, I will come up with a simple hem on the sleeves.

I sewed all the seams using a long basting stitch on the sewing machine. Then I carefully tried on the dress to check the fit. Thanks to using a TNT pattern, it was perfect. Then I cut long strips of silk selvedge from a brown twill silk in the stash and basted them by hand to the narrow seam allowances of the side seams and the shoulder seams.

Then I turned to the serger and yes, I serged lace. Having attended couture sewing workshops, watched Claire Shaeffer's Hand Sewing DVD and read every technique on the internet, I cannot recall anyone recommending use of a serger for $50/yard lace. It worked for me!

So yeah the expensive lace, gulp, let me tell you about that. I bought it on a day trip to the Garment District in Manhattan a couple years ago. I was shopping for project supplies for a sewing workshop. I was really having trouble finding something casual enough for my vision. And, I bought more than one piece of lace because, honestly none of them were perfect, but I needed a project and it was good enough. I ended up using a different guipure lace to make a jacket. So, this fabric had a little guilt built in, and I am ever so delighted the shoo away that feeling, as the dress is turning out better than I expected.


almost finished!

I am still far from having a very efficient sewing space, and that includes adequate lighting, so I apologize for the fuzzy photos. But, rather than organize or clean, I have decided to sew this weekend. I will be glad I did when I have something nice to wear next weekend to celebrate the marriage of a wonderful couple. 

I have some black suede booties but they make me well over six feet tall, so I may shop for new shoes if I have time. I always feel like a giraffe when I wear stylish shoes, but sometimes a person has to suck it up and gangle forward.

Better get moving so I can use the best light of the day to do my hand sewing ... thanks for stopping by!


34 comments:

  1. Put on your heels and tower! :)

    That dress is gorgeous. Can't wait to see it all done!

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  2. Oh, Robin! That is gorgeous! I especially love the scalloped effect at the neckline and hem. I agree with Nikisha, you've got the height, enjoy it! That's not so different as me, making my skirts progressively shorter lately. I've got the legs, I've got the tights/leggings, I'm going to enjoy it. :)

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    1. yes your short skirts look wonderful on you!

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  3. I love lace for any occasion and this can be very formal or wear it with skinny pants for a more casual look.
    Love it.

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  4. What I would do for your height! The dress is darling. Put on those high heeled sneakers and party on, girl!

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    1. well, now I know "what would bunny do" ;)
      so I will party on!

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  5. Robin, I'm grinning from ear to ear reading your post. First, I'm thrilled that you're sewing! Glad you're back! Second, you used a TNT pattern to get this amazing dress! Squeee!!! Third, the fabric is awesome and I'm glad you found a good use for it. Finally, buy the shoes and go all glamour for this event. I know you will look awesome!

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    1. oh I am so glad to be back too, thanks Carolyn!

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  6. Looking forward to seeing it finished. Looking wonderful already.

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  7. So beautiful! I don't know if I would have used my serger, but then again, why not? It actually make sense.
    I'm only 5'3" so I rarely tower over anyone over twelve, but I don't Ming when my taller friends do, I barely notice since they are so tall anyway. Wear what feels good.

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  8. Wow, that is a stunning dress! And will be really sexy with a nice slip under it. I'm in awe of your bravery, working with such expensive fabric. It's worth it though, you made a fantastic dress!

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  9. I love your dress. I have used a serger for lace but mine was much less expensive. Treat yourself to a great pair of shoes.

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  10. Fantastic dress. Love that lace. You have created something lovely that will look different depending on what you wear underneath - I do assume you are going to wear something underneath LOL.

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  11. you are gonna be sex on legs. no other way to put it.

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    1. oh oona ... always with the honesty!

      LOL

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  12. I agree, put on the heels and make a grand entrance in that fabulous dress!

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  13. So glad you're back first of all. What a great dress--you'll be a standout, heels or no. But why tone yourself down?

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  14. It's a beautiful dress and you shouldn't feel guilty about money long spent.

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  15. Fab dress! And all from deep stash AND a pattern inspired by and named after you. Win, win, win. Enjoy the wedding and rock the reception.
    Is there any chance you could show us what you mean about the basting silk strips to the seam allowances? I thought I had visualised it, then I got to the part about serging and wasn't sure anymore.
    Love Beajay's comment, BTW.

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  16. Looking very nice indeed! Hope the under slip is a bit shorter ;)

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  17. Oh Robin, fabulous dress. I look forward to seeing pictures of you in the dress! Missed your blog posts!

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  18. Can't wait to see how your dress turns out! I have a navy with black lace dress rolling around in my head for a wedding too. Both fabrics have been in my stash - waiting for the perfect project because - Heaven forbid I use it for anything less the perfect project! Its a goal for 2014 to start using my stash fabric.

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    1. that sounds nice - navy with black lace! I hope you sew it up soon :)

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  19. Oh this dress is beautiful, love it. I too can't wait to see the dress over the slip. I have a fabulous piece of purple (my favorite color) in my stash just waiting for that perfect pattern, you may have given me an idea here. Thanks so much.

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