Lace and Ruffles and Bows, Oh, My!

Sometimes, when I finish a project, I wonder what I was thinking when I thought this would be something I would wear. Then again, sometimes the strangest garments turn into basics in my wardrobe.

I tried this dress on with virtually everything I own, and I think it looks best with regular black trousers and a black tank top underneath. With leggings, it looks too sexy. With a long black skirt, too bulky. Short black skirt, just wrong. Black trousers, just right. So I’ll start out wearing it with the black trousers.

The pattern I used was Vogue 1255. I made a few changes to accommodate the lace. I cut the cuffs in a single layer so I could cut around the lace motifs. I cut the ruffles on the straight grain rather than the bias (as the pattern specifies) because the lace won’t fray. I used pinking shears to cut the ruffles. I did not have quite enough fabric (story of my life), so I cut some of the ruffles out of cotton tulle in a similar color to the lace.

The pattern includes a separate piece at the hem. I cut the selvedge the width of the piece then clipped and curved it to fit the piece, so the hem is the selvedge. If this makes no sense, please look at the photos and it might be clearer.

Neckline detail. I cut the ruffles with pinking shears.

Hem detail. I took the selvedge and clipped and curved it to make it conform to the shape of the hem.

Cuff detail. I cut the cuff in a single layer and cut around the motifs.

Back hem

bow-shaped metal buttons

Back ruffle detail

side view

back view



  1. Posted November 19, 2012 at 2:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful, I really like the effect at the hem.

  2. Posted November 19, 2012 at 2:59 am | Permalink | Reply

    Lovely lace detail! Like the bow button as well!!

  3. Posted November 19, 2012 at 6:15 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oh gorgeous!

  4. Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    What exquisite lace! Where, may I ask, did you get it?

    • Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink | Reply

      I got it at London Textiles in Cherry Hill NJ. They sell mill ends, so their selection is very hit-or-miss. I’ll let you know the next time I’m planning on going there, which will probably be next summer.

  5. Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    Gorgeous dress! I love the details and the fabric, they’re a bit fairy tale like. Maybe this idea is a total miss but have you tried the dress with linen pants in a light color?

  6. Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    It is beautiful, it looks like it belongs in a museum exhibit.

    • Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. But unfortunately, that’s my problem with it. I fear it won’t be very wearable.

  7. Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    I agree with Lisette–it’s a museum worthy piece!

  8. J lynn
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Just beautiful, your sewing is so inspiring.

  9. Posted November 19, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    It seems to me that an eye for gorgeous fabrics might be the story of your life! Beautiful – and perfect for the holidays.

    I hope you’ll include me in your fabric outing!

    • Posted November 19, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink | Reply

      I’ll let you know. I only go there once a year. I buy a LOT, and it takes me around a year to sew it all up.

  10. Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink | Reply

    Just beautiful, Claudine! It will be perfect for the holiday season. And I love your first photo and the one with the button detail. Great shots.

  11. Sharon
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Claudine – what an exquisite garment! It takes my breath away! PS – I would love to join the London Textiles fabric-shopping trip.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

    • Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Great! I’ll let you know. Keep in mind that they are not open on weekends, so it will be a weekday sometime in summer 2013.

  12. Connie
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Simply glorious. I so want to see that piece in person!

    • Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Since it’s mostly holes, it will easily fit in the suitcase for the trip to San Francisco in the spring. I’m sure I’ll see you there!

  13. Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It is so lovely!

  14. Sufiya
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That is seriously stunning; the fabric takes my breath away! I am just GREEN with envy that you have a place nearby that makes such fabric available to you! don’t think i’ve ever seen anything like that on offer here in Canada except in the VERY high-end stores!

  15. Kathryn
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    You said it all: Oh my!

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