Summer LBD


A couple of years ago, I made a a black dress with holes. At the time, it was a bit of a whim, but it ended up being an unexpected wardrobe workhorse. I wore it at least once a week, all summer. However, it has not aged well. Near the end of last summer, I realized that the holes are so deconstructed from washing that it kind of looks like they are not there on purpose. It was time to retire this garment. I feared that I would have to live a whole summer without a black eyelet dress!

Then came Cidell’s Fabric Mart Trip back in November. They had a lovely black cotton eyelet that I snapped up. I bought it with a full-skirted dress in mind, so I bought a lot. It is amazing how much fabric a full circle skirt takes up.

Initially, I wanted to do something from the book Pattern Magic for the top of the dress, but somehow I thought of this effect for the back, so I just draped it without a pattern. My favorite thing about this dress is the loop that holds the back piece in the center. It is open on the wrong side so I can put my bra band through it. That way, my bra won’t peek out in the back of the dress. I am feeling quite clever to have thought of this.

I love the look of nice lingerie under a sheer dress, but it does not really work with my lifestyle, so I lined the bodice front and the skirt in silk charmeuse. There’s a side zipper so I can get it on and off.

hem detail.  The skirt is a 6-gore full circle, but in order to take advantage of the selvedge, I cut it as a handkerchief hem.

hem detail. The skirt is a 6-gore full circle, but in order to take advantage of the selvedge, I cut it as a handkerchief hem.

obligatory spinning shot

obligatory spinning shot

back detail

back detail

front view

front view

back view

back view


  1. Posted July 1, 2013 at 4:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    oh, nice! and I like how you thought of sticking the bra band through the loop, brilliant idea

  2. mrsmole
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 5:55 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a great replacement dress! Love the hem and the fullness!

  3. Posted July 1, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    That is gorgeous! And such a great use of the scalloped edge!

  4. Debra Martin
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink | Reply

    I also love the back band. And the obligatory spinning shot 🙂

  5. Posted July 1, 2013 at 7:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    Pretty! I love lace in any form, and this is lovely.

  6. Posted July 1, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful as always, Claudine. 🙂

  7. Posted July 1, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    Love it! I hope you get to wear it lots and get compliments every time 🙂

  8. sunnygalstudio
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink | Reply

    very cool dress, love the back detail and use of the eyelet fabric, if it were mine I would wear it weekly as well.

  9. Nancy Karpen
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    It looks great Claudine. The first thing I thought when I saw the back was that it would cover a bra strap. Being able to actually fasten the back to the bra strap is even better. I am of the generation where showing bra straps is oh so tacky! You’ll get lots of use out of this elegant and fun LBD.

  10. Posted July 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Why didn’t I buy this fabric?

  11. Posted July 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That’s so beautiful–and I love the practicality of how you managed to do the back.

  12. Posted July 4, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous!! I love the fabric choice and the style you’ve chosen. It’s a super keeper…

  13. Posted July 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is utterly stunning! Stunning!

  14. Posted July 4, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love the back styling with the elegant hem and waistband detail. I wish I had thought of that! Now I have yet another idea to dance around in my head, too many further projects, not enough time!

  15. Shams
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 12:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    That is a beautiful dress, Claudine! I love it!

  16. Posted July 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The back of that dress is so clever. I love how you have used the selvage for the loop and for the back waistband, it looks terrific.

  17. Posted July 8, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is so gorgeous and stylish! I love the back detail, and great thinking on making the loop open as there’s nothing more annoying than a bra peeking out. I forgot to bookmark your blog after Me Made May and am glad I’ve discovered it again, via Crab & Bee!

  18. Posted July 9, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a beautiful dress. And with the silk lining, it must feel beautiful on the body.

  19. Posted July 11, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    Gorgeous! And like Cidell, I’m jealous I didn’t think to buy the same fabric. Of course, then I’d be disappointed in my results… The back bra band keeper/design detail is genius!

  20. Posted July 12, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is a gorgeous dress. Beautiful fabric with interesting details.

  21. Posted July 13, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very pretty. I am sure you will wear this often. The bra stay loop is clever!

  22. Kathleen
    Posted July 15, 2013 at 1:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    Serious envy here. I love an elegant, yet practical dress, and you have nailed it. So when will you be publishing a pattern for this beauty?

    • Posted July 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you! That’s funny about publishing the pattern. I don’t even HAVE a pattern. I took the actual fabric that I made the dress with, draped it on my form, and sewed it up. No pattern or test garment involved. I like to live on the edge that way.

  23. Posted July 22, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    So very chic. The spinning shot is divine… that skirt!!

  24. Posted July 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink | Reply


  25. Posted July 24, 2013 at 6:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    This dress is gorgeous. I love the fabric choice, the back cutout and the irregular hem. Wow, amazing dress!

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