Lace — Long and Black

This dress is (almost) my first experience sewing with lace. And, sort of amazingly, it’s my first bias-cut skirt. My niece is studying at the Royal College of Music. For one of her performances, she needs a black, floor-length dress. I thought it would be fun to make her one, and indeed it was. She picked these 2 patterns from Burda WOF:
this one for the skirt
this one for the bodice

The skirt is sort of interesting. The pattern directions tell you to sew the lace on top of the charmeuse, then cut the fabric away under the lace. Yuck. I sandwiched the lace between 2 layers of charmeuse, raw edges even, stitched a 1/2″ seam and flipped the charmeuse away from the lace. It worked out really well, and the self-lining gives the skirt some much-needed body. The skirt has some odd vertical waves. Maybe they have something to do with the bias mixed with the non-bias lace. If anyone has any ideas about where those came from and how to prevent them, please post in comments. I think the dress looks nice anyway, but it’s sort of bugging me.

Purchasing the fabric involved my very first trip to Goldhawk Road, which is sort of London’s garment district. The charmeuse was easy to find, and was not all that much more expensive than it would be in New York. The lace was a little harder to find, but there are 20 or more shops in a couple of blocks, so it was easy to go to lots of different establishments looking for it. I bought lace yardage and cut it into strips.

Here’s my niece wearing it

Here’s some detail. I put lace on the midriff piece and on the straps.

Here’s the back

EDIT — She’s not planning on wearing it with that slip. She’s going to get a long flesh-toned half slip to wear with it, but she does not have it yet, so she just borrowed a slip of mine for the photo.


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