the lace curtain dress

I finally decided to have a shot at doing something with lace – I bought a piece from reverse garbage, a place in Brisbane that sells odds and ends from all sorts of places with the hope of people finding a use for others’ junk. Anyway, I assume this fabric was a lace curtain in a past life, and I got a couple of metres for $6. Yay! Bargain!

I previously got going on Cambie dress, and despite making a muslin, had some neckline gaping issues. My attempt to fix them post-hoc made things ten times worse, and as a result it’s on the mending pile. Hopefully I’ll get the energy to do something about it, because I *love* the pattern, and it’s in a really pretty cotton.

Anyway, this dress is a bit improvised, but the bodice started out as the Cambie bodice pattern. I made the neckline straight (as per Tasia’s tutorial here), and totally removed the top of the back, so it’s just straight across:

lace dress back

oops. The back hem isn’t as wonky as this photo suggests. I just think it was unironed… (typical)

The bodice has 3 layers: the lace layer, the underlining, and then a lining. You know when you’ve read about a technique and you get really excited when you get to put that knowledge in to action? That’s how I feel about the underlining for this dress. I started with just the lace pieces:

and then pinned them to the underlining (identical pattern pieces, in cotton):

… and sewed them together, so I can treat them as one pattern piece.

I haven’t used underlining for anything before, but I’m planning to use it for a linen dress to limit wrinkling.

For the skirt, I didn’t use an underlining, so there’s just two layers. I wanted the top (lace) layer to hang free of the cotton lining underneath, so I just sewed them separately. Originally, I had the skirt gathered at the waist…

… but I wasn’t totally sold, so I tore it all to pieces and hacked a bunch of fabric off the outside edge. Now it’s like an a-line with some subtle gathers. Voila!

lace dress and q lace dress

Because I cut this before fixing my previous neckline fitting issue (I know, I know), I had to insert some extra darts that come in just to the side of the straps, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. SUPER cute… agreed?

I’m a little careful to wear it with casual/colourful accessories to downplay a possible wedding-dress look, I think I’m being successful so far.

lace dress

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8 thoughts on “the lace curtain dress

  1. dressesandme

    OMG what a great dress! no one would ever know that it’s made from a curtain! I love the straight neckline too, it looks more causal than some cambies I’ve seen – I’m so in awe!

  2. Veronika

    Absolutely love it! Love the look of the lace and it looks especially chic hanging lower than the under skirt.

  3. dandeliondrift

    Wow…this is beautiful! Lace clothing has been popping up everywhere and I just love it! I love how you could dress this up, or make it casual! Really, really pretty

  4. Trina

    Well done! I really like the two separate silhouettes of the skirt pieces. It came together beautifully. Inspiring.

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