lace + silk chiffon: criminal minds

Lace and chiffon dress

I’m going to call this my Project Runway make, because I finished it in the four hours I had free Sunday. Down-to-the-wire sewing is of course de riguer on that jammy, and if season 8 is any indicator, peeps are constantly choosing silk chiffon. Much to Michael Kors dismay. That was my weapon of choice to pair with this chartreuse cotton lace, for one of my hopefully two (!) March Lace makes. Both fabrics are deliciously drapey, and this is my first time working with either! That also seems to be a recurring them on le PR…much, again, to The Kors dismay.

Lace and chiffon dress

I’ve messed around with poly lace and chiffon before, and the poly lace just doesn’t compare. You look at this cotton lace IRL, and want dive into it with both paws open and swim around awhile.  It molds soooo nicely, I was able to stretch it across the four vertical darts on front and back bodice of this heavily modified vintage TNT pattern (Simplicity 4290) and just go with bust darts. Regrettably, I had to go ahead and sew up the bust darts…I tried to do that whole couture lacey piecey thing and make them disappear into the bodice, but I think maybe the cotton lace is not the best friend of that technique?  I’m going to try it in my next go…still, I’m proud that the matching lining has 10 darts, while the lace has only two.

The silk chiffon was a beast, though!  A sexy beast, but a beast nonetheless! Perhaps I felt I needed punishment for Sonja’s dare, because I found myself returning to the scene of the crime, as any criminal will do, staring at all those silk prints… woooweee.  I walked away with two strangers. Know what I found out about my new girlfriends?   The silk chiffon.  She does not want to be toyed with, or hammered into a pleated skirt (34 pleats, all ripped out, to be exact).  She wants to be footloose ‘n fancy free, gathered to her sturdy lace bodice, and who am I to say no to a lady.

Lace and chiffon dress

Said lady has a double layer of chiffon to obscure le parts. Naturally.

To be honest, my plan all along was this shape.  But Plan A morphed into Plan B when I lamented the lack of using the lace motif on the edges, then it went to Plan C when the lace cotton didn’t want to be motif-ed, then onto D when I thought I’d scrap the 34 chiffon pleats and make a tattered lace skirt from the remnants, and back full circle to A when I realized I had four hours to finish and only half a bodice done.

Lace and chiffon dress

You may blame those scant four hours on Sonja and new MSN adventuress LLadybird Lauren. Those girls have kept me out till all hours of the night for the past 48 hours.  Payback for a sewing dare?  You be the judge.

Lace and chiffon dress

Actually, I think the pressure helped me… if I had been languishing around the living room this weekend, just me ‘n my sewing gadgets, I probably would have gone all tunnel vision and churned out another piecy alien dress.  I’m glad I had to wheel back around to my first instinct. DIABOLICAL PAYBACK PLAN THWARTED, YO!

Editor’s note: Inspired by Oona’s stylish dress? Here are some of Mood’s laces and silk chiffons to get you started.

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Comments


  • puu
    March 13, 2013

    you were right about yellow and that purple…match made in heaven! and PRS8 is possibly the best background noise to sewing ever invented….

    • oonaballoona
      March 13, 2013

      and the yellow has a lot of green in it IRL! i guess we’ll just have to have dress up cocktails so’s i can prove it…

      • puu
        March 15, 2013

        yes, please! 🙂

  • Lori
    March 13, 2013

    Fabulous outfit, the colors are wonderful and that lace is gorgeous.

    • oonaballoona
      March 13, 2013

      thanks lori! i am enamored of the colors 🙂

  • KristiEllKay
    March 13, 2013

    I love love love the structured bodice-to-drapey skirt. And the colors are so wonderful, paired like that! I

    ‘m still scared of lace. I thought you had to underline it for structure? You made the lining as a separate garment, basically, right? Does that mean the inside shows the seams and stuff that a regular lining would cover, if the lining is right-side facing out?

  • oonaballoona
    March 13, 2013

    !eek, i’ve confused the issue– i should have said the UNDERlining has more darts than the lace. i made the bodice in underlining material, and then attached the lace to it at neckline, shoulder and armhole edges in a basting stitch, leaving loads of seam allowance on the lace and paying attention to grain. then i stitched the bust darts together as one piece (lace + underlining). at this point my lace and underlining were not attached to each other below the bust dart. i stitched the vertical waist darts on underlining fabric only, then threw it on the dress form and used the give in the lace to smooth it over those darts. then i basted the rest of the seam edges together. the darts do show on the inside of the garment. if i had made a lining, they wouldn’t, but i didn’t want to add more bulk.

    that said, don’t be afraid! you can always practice on less expensive lace first!

    • Amy
      March 19, 2013

      Wait – you did all of that in four hours?! You are a wonderwoman. Your dress is fabulous, by the way!

  • Amanda S.
    March 13, 2013

    I definitely know what you mean about the plans going awry. My lovely lace dress has turned into a plain straight lace skirt! This challenge was definitely a challenge. Anyway, your dress turned out really cute and the colors are totally on trend. Glad you made it work!

    • oonaballoona
      March 15, 2013

      i’m on trend ?! teehee!! i didn’t even know it!

  • Carolyn
    March 13, 2013

    I love it! It was definitely worth the four hours you spent on Sunday sewing it!

    • oonaballoona
      March 15, 2013

      thank you :). it had its maiden voyage out to dinner last night!

  • Kacie
    March 13, 2013

    I see how your super-color-vision helped you in this decision. I never EVER would have thought to pair these beauties. Thank goodness there are heroes such as you to create pieces like this. LOVE IT!

    • oonaballoona
      March 15, 2013

      yes, i used the power of the mantis shrimp… but also josh at mood helped me. i knew i wanted a deep purple, and we decided the yellowy greens in the skirt were just off enough to work.

  • Sarah Gunn
    March 13, 2013

    Wow! A four-hour wonder indeed – you work well under pressure and I don’t even notice the bust darts. Beautiful Oona!

    • oonaballoona
      March 15, 2013

      thanks sarah! i did have the bodice done, but it got ripped apart during the crash course on sunday 🙂

  • liza jane
    March 13, 2013

    Beeyootiful. I can’t believe you made that in four hours. You look good in yellow.

    • oonaballoona
      March 15, 2013

      eeeeeh, let’s say seven. four of which were the killing kind.

  • Cissie
    March 13, 2013

    Love your color combination~ And the fit looks perfect. Anxious to see some more Moodist revealing their lace projects. You’ve set the bar pretty high — and in only 4 hours. I’m in awe!

    • oonaballoona
      March 15, 2013

      i’ve got to word things more carefully! more like seven, but the four on sunday were crazyface. i’m excited to see more lace too, it’s one of my favorites to play with…

  • Karin
    March 14, 2013

    Yellow/chartreuse and dark lilac is a lovely combination. It’s even heavenly! I think of multi-colored window glass in an old church. And those heavenly beautiful. Congrats on a good design!

    • oonaballoona
      March 15, 2013

      ah, what a beautiful analogy! i know exactly the colors you mean.

  • Ginger
    March 14, 2013

    Well, doesn’t THIS look perfect?! Seriously, your sewing skills are ridiculous and this dress is fab. Way to go, duder!

    • oonaballoona
      March 15, 2013

      DUDE, i finished 15 minutes before jumping on the train to meet y’all. crazy.

  • Rachel
    March 15, 2013

    I love that combination, and never in a million years would have thought to put those together myself. Well done! I know I the feeling about having to let the fabric tell you what it wants to do, and not the other way around sometimes, especially when working with new fabrics! Looks great!

    • oonaballoona
      March 18, 2013

      it was hard to listen, i kept interrupting the fabric!

  • Claire
    March 16, 2013

    Gawwwwd this looks fantastic on you! Bravo!

  • D. Ham
    March 17, 2013

    I love all your outfits. Your sewing skills and origanility are
    awesome. you should start a business. I am tall , can’t find clothes long enough and can’tsew. I would be your first customer.

    • oonaballoona
      March 18, 2013

      well thank you!! you’d probably be a disappointed customer though, i’m pretty much fail at menswear. just ask ruggy!

      • D. Ham
        March 25, 2013

        With what I’ve seen. No way!!

        • oonaballoona
          March 28, 2013

          ha! my last shirt for him was deemed a “grilling shirt!”

  • Velosewer
    March 17, 2013

    You look great. These are two strong looking fabrics that look even more powerful together as a dress with great fit and flair.

    • oonaballoona
      March 18, 2013

      thank you, i love how you said this!

  • Arlene
    March 19, 2013

    4 hours? Excellent work! You are very courageous with color – its inspirational.

    • oonaballoona
      March 28, 2013

      i *might* be colorblind. or color super powered. depending on if you’re asking me or ruggy.

  • Dorothy
    March 20, 2013

    Your outfit is lovely and the bold colors are beautiful!

  • Kay
    March 21, 2013

    It is lovely, and looks very nice on your.

  • Janine Whisler
    March 28, 2013

    I have to admit Oona, at first glance this was not my favorite project, but on closer look this creation just gets better and better. Construction is so great, so perfect, the mixture of lace and print scale is right on and the design is a perfect blend of hard and soft – wait, what’s hard? The silk chiffon, the cotton lace? The superbly structured fitted top….?
    This dress really blows my mind because it questions the whole What Genre Does This Dress Fit Into? Boho? Retro? Mod? No, I got it…. OONA!!
    BTW, my daughter (26) is absolutely ga ga about this dress, love at first sight. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!

    • oonaballoona
      March 28, 2013

      janine, what a thoughtful comment, i LOVE hearing your changing take on this!! i do agree that it’s hard and soft, but like you, i can’t pin down the hard. maybe it’s the fitted bodice?

      although i am not generally a supporter of Sewing For Others, i hope your daughter can coax you into an oona genre dress of her own 🙂