Black & White Lace Easter Dress

I got started on my Easter dress early this year so I wouldn’t run out of time like I usually do.

P1180390

I fell in love with this Pamella Roland designer Vogue pattern the minute I laid eyes on it. I had to have THE EXACT SAME DRESS as the example on the envelope. But, you know, I have a lot of projects swimming around in my head at any given time, and I was willing to wait for just the right fabric to come along. When Mood Fabrics posted this Theory black cotton guipure lace a while back, I shouted “perfection!” at my computer monitor and snapped up 3 yards. Sadly it sold out while I was swatching the other fabrics I used for this project and there’s nothing else comparable listed at the moment. They do post them from time to time, so keep your eyes peeled if you are interested in making this pattern.

P1180395

The body is made from Mood’s Jason Wu whisper white blended double faced crepe, of which only the blue colorway is currently available. (It must have sold out yesterday because I just checked on it on Friday in preparation for this post. This just proves yet again that if you like something on Mood’s website you’d better buy it quickly. It won’t be there for long!) Crepe remains one of my favorite fabrics to work with and wear. This one is made from a blend of viscose, cotton and nylon and is really beefy but drapes beautifully too. Because of that thickness I was able to leave off all the interfacing, underlining and horsehair braid the pattern calls for.

P1180422

This pattern is fairly straightforward. I muslined the top and had only a few slight tweaks to get a perfect fit. I added 5/8″ to the bottom of the bodice for a long torso adjustment but probably could have done without the extra length. This dress is heavy, and the weight is pulling the bodice down slightly. I also took about 10 inches out of the width of the skirt due to fabric limitations from a cutting error. I sewed the top of the lace invisibly by hand to the bodice, a necessary step that is not addressed in the directions.

P1180440

Vogue’s example dress has lace that is twinning on the back bodice which makes my eyes twitch, so I was careful to match mine up so that at least the top edge of the lace is uninterrupted from one side of the zipper to the other. My eyes also twitched from the lace that is swinging about below the hem of the dress, but after making this garment I can tell you that it is somewhat unavoidable. The lace is simply too heavy. I cut mine to so that the longest edges would be 1 inch above the hemline, but you can see it dipping down to the bottom edge in the first picture.

P1180402

I love the pockets on this dress. I’ve not always seen the point of them but I’m coming around to the pockets-in-dress loving side.

P1180361

The trickiest part of making this dress was attaching the skirt to the bodice. There is so much fabric to wrangle and it is a super thick seam. I had to aggressively grade the fabric so that it would lay as flat as possible against my waist. You can kind of see the various layers on the inside through the lining, which was made from Mood’s antique white silk habotai.

P1180365

I opted to hem the lining and outer skirt separate from each other. There are certain times when it makes sense to hem the skirt to the skirt lining, but for the most part it is a recipe for disaster. Different fabrics drape differently, and unless you get it just perfect the hem will look bubbled and home-made. For this dress I whip-stitched the skirt invisibly by hand and machine stitched the lining. Oh, I forgot to mention that I took a 2″ hem without adding anything to the hemline. Per the pattern directions it is only suppose to be a 5/8″ hem, so my dress is 1 3/8″ shorter then drafted.

P1180367

Dressform pictures:

P1180353

P1180354

P1180358

P1180359

Whew! That was a ton of work! I wish I had sewn some sort of waist stay during construction to help with the weight. I might still do it if I can figure out how to add one without creating more bulk in the waist area. However I am really pleased with how this dress turned out. It feels expensive and is well fitting. Black and white is timeless, and I plan to be wearing it for years to come.

36

Comments


  • oonaballoona
    March 21, 2016

    You look like the cat that ate the cream in that second shot, and you SHOULD. this is magnificent!!!

  • Erica Bunker
    March 21, 2016

    This is gorgeous! It looks like classic Oscar de la Renta!

  • Cennetta
    March 21, 2016

    Gorgeous Eastern dress. Ananda, I’m always impressed by your beautiful craftsmanship.

  • Amy
    March 21, 2016

    Beautiful and classic! What a dress! You found the perfect fabrics to honor the pattern cover of this Pamella Roland design.

    • Thanks Amy! Sourcing and swatching fabrics and supplies is so satisfying when it all comes together.

  • Lori
    March 21, 2016

    This is absolutely stunning, I love this on you and an amazing job.

  • Peter
    March 21, 2016

    Just gorgeous — a sensational way to showcase that incredible lace. I recommend a waist stay — in grosgrain ribbon it’s not going to add much bulk but it will help balance the weight of the dress. Very, very inspiring!

    • I’m definitely adding one before Sunday. I looked them up and found some great information, and I’m now wondering why I never thought to include one in a dress before. Thanks Peter!

  • Fiona
    March 21, 2016

    You’ve done some truly beautiful work with that lace Amanda! definitely did it justice. I love the Vogue designer patterns, very inspiring

  • Michelle
    March 22, 2016

    Wow! You really have an amazing talent with making dresses. Excellent work as always and how elegant is that whole outfit.

  • Karen
    March 22, 2016

    This has to be my all time favorite of your sewn garments! I’ve been following your blog for years and really love this dress and it screams your perfection sewing techniques! Happy Easter Amanda to you and your family.

  • Zanymouse
    March 22, 2016

    Wow, what a beautiful dress! You did such a fantastic job!

  • Grace
    March 23, 2016

    This is so beautiful. You did an amazing job. Happy Easter!

  • bakedeggs
    March 23, 2016

    Stunning!

  • Sarah Gunn
    March 25, 2016

    What a stunning dress! Happy Easter 🙂

    • Amanda S.
      March 27, 2016

      Thank you Sarah! Happy Easter to you as well!

  • Linda L
    March 25, 2016

    Beautiful dress! Love the style on you.

  • Deborah
    March 27, 2016

    That dress is a total success! Well done!

  • sallie
    March 28, 2016

    Wow Amanda!! Just. WOW! This is such a work of beauty! It really showcases your impeccable sewing skills, and the fit and design are so perfect for you! Love everything about this! Happy Easter!!

    • Amanda S.
      March 28, 2016

      Thank you so much Sallie!

  • Melanie
    March 29, 2016

    I absolutely LOVE this dress and your sewing is always so impeccable. I admire your sewing because you show detail and the interior of the garment. Your sewing is quality..! Keep up the good work and more posts….thanks

  • Gail
    April 14, 2016

    My word that is a gorgeous dress.