In a Colorful Mood: Technicolor Lace Skirt

blue and orange lace skirt

This month I was in such a colorful mood. When challenged by the Mood Sewing Network to sew with lace, I found myself gravitating towards this bright, textural orange lace with its organic pattern of swirling leaves and flowers, from Mood Fabrics. I really wanted to have some fun with color by pairing the orange with an equally vibrant hue. After a very circuitous path, I ended up choosing this blue double-faced wool  from Mood to partner with the lace. Since this experience marks my first time to truly work with lace, I chose a pattern I had successfully made in the past: BurdaStyle’s Jenny basic skirt. It’s a classic, and I wanted to be able to focus on the fabric without any pattern hiccups!

Since lace can run on the expensive side, I’d bought just enough to work as an overlay with the scallops running along the hem of the skirt. I wanted to be ever so careful with it, so I read up on how to prep it for use and settled on the method of hand soaking, then laying it flat to dry. I spent all of the next day at work mustering up the courage to cut it that evening. When I got home, you wouldn’t believe my surprise when I realized it had shrunk too much to use as a simple overlay! Instead of cutting, I spent that whole night draping the lace this way and that way to see how I could keep a semblance of my original design while maximizing the scallops somewhere other than the hem. After some encouragement from my husband, I finally settled on a wrap effect by using the scallops vertically. I then created pseudo scallops along the hem by cutting along the lace’s natural design. Since the lace wouldn’t reach the true hem, I aimed for it to cover roughly 2/3rds of the skirt’s length in the hopes that the rule of thirds would look favorably on my new design. The little bit of the length I cut off meant I had a couple extra scallops. I appliqued them on at the bottom corners to help the vertical scallops merge with the natural hem scallops. Surprisingly, after all of my fear of working with lace, sewing with this lace was really easy! Its texture meant my hand stitches sunk right in and disappeared.

blue and orange lace skirt

To add to the lace challenge, I also did my best to make invisible darts and seams. I really like how the subtle break in pattern is almost imperceptible. There are side seams in the lace in the photo below, I promise!

blue and orange lace skirt

I made a few modifications to the pattern to keep the focus on the lace. First, I eliminated the back center seam on the lace overlay so that I wouldn’t have a break in the motif. I also narrowed Jenny’s high waistband to a more typical height, eliminating the back center seam there as well. Finally, I switched out the split for a kick pleat so that there wouldn’t be an obvious break in fabric right under the lace hem at center back. But, I didn’t mess with the classic pencil shape. Jenny’s just naturally got the right curves!

blue and orange lace skirt

I lined the entire skirt in a purple silk crepe de chine from Mood. For some reason purple seemed the obvious choice. Since the double-faced wool was so thick, I used the lining to face the waistband. I hope it holds up! Also, I always convert darts to tucks in the lining. It keeps the shape of the skirt while also providing a bit of extra wiggle room. I will admit to some laziness in not switching out my thread for something that matched a little more closely when understitching the waistband facing and hemming the lining. But, I figure it helps tie the lining in with the rest of the skirt. A bit of teal for everyone!

blue and orange lace skirt

All and all, I am very happy with this skirt. I love the colors. I love the shape and the feel of the wool. I love how much I learned about working with lace. Mood Sewing Network lace challenge completed!

Editor’s note: If you’re looking for a lace similar to Amy’s, please call our NYC store at 212-730-5003, ask for the lace department, and tell them you are interested in guipure lace. Here are some wool crepes that we recommend for the skirt, and here are some crepe de chines well-suited for the lining.

blue and orange lace skirt

16
By:

Comments


  • Seattlerain
    March 18, 2013

    That burst of purple in the lining must make you super happy when you put on that gorgeous lace skirt! Love the colors!! I’m so glad that the shrinkage worked out in your favor. I have to try a much smaller project with lace. Your skirt rocks!

    • Amy
      March 18, 2013

      Thanks! I do love all of the colors together; they do make me happy! So, are you from Seattle? I’ll be moving up there this summer!

  • Lauren
    March 18, 2013

    OOOOH I really like how this turned out! I never would have thought to put the lace on the skirt like that – shrinkage would have resulted in me melting into a crying puddle and ending up with, I dunno, something lame like a lace clutch. Ha! I’m so glad you powered through this, love love love the color combination. And heck yeah, teal stitches on the inside against the purple lining is a perfect touch 🙂

    • Amy
      March 18, 2013

      Well, I figured it was what I deserved for ordering just enough. But, I’m very happy it all worked out. It definitely lived up to being a challenge though. That’s one of the best parts of MSN, and Mood Fabrics for that matter – being able to try out all kinds of wonderful fabrics and stretching your skills because you want to live up to their quality!

  • Kacie
    March 18, 2013

    Holy cow this looks amazing! I think this turned out even better than your original idea, which also would have been gorgeous, but this has so much more interest to it. I’m absolutely obsessed with this skirt, and will probably shamelessly attempt to copy it someday when I finally get through my current projects…so like…10 years from now 🙂 Exquisite!

    • Amy
      March 18, 2013

      Copy away! I’d be so flattered to know that I had inspired someone else’s design!

  • Amanda S.
    March 18, 2013

    What a fun color combo! Sorry the lace shrank so much!

    • Amy
      March 18, 2013

      Thanks! And, it was a good lesson to learn early when working with lace. I’d hate to have something similar happen if I were working on a lace gown or something less forgiving than this skirt. Next time I’ll be prepared!

  • Carolyn
    March 18, 2013

    I’m with Lauren, I would have been no good if my lace had shrunk! But you rallied and came up with a terrific use for the lace…love how you “made it work!”

    • Amy
      March 18, 2013

      Carolyn, I know you’d make your TNT dress work no matter what. Actually, I believe you’d just go back to Mood and get more! I wish I were close enough to Mood to get my fabric there in person… To visit Mood in person would be a dream!

  • Sarah Gunn
    March 19, 2013

    What a creative use of lace and color, Amy! Your skirt is a true original and a clever sewing inspiration. Congratulations!

    • Amy
      March 20, 2013

      Thank you! It was a lot of fun to be challenged by all of you this month!

  • Arlene
    March 19, 2013

    Great idea! but sorry ladies I don’t like the color combo here. It might have looked better if it was tone on tone. Orange lace on an orange skirt would have looked beautiful!

    • Amy
      March 20, 2013

      Oh, no need to be sorry. I can see your point. My “very circuitous path” actually began with an orange underlay. But, the two oranges together were all wrong. I didn’t think to try another orange; instead, I started playing with other colors. With my original idea the blue wouldn’t have played so large of a part because it would have all been covered by the orange lace, but I am still very happy with my final skirt. I think it’s fun, and it’s crazy colors put a big smile on my face.

  • Ginger
    March 21, 2013

    What a fun skirt! I love that you were able to stick with this despite the shrinkage setback and come up with something so unique!