The Lace Dress That Became a Lace Skirt

It’s the Lace Challenge month at the Mood Sewing Network and in the past few months there has been a flurry of excitement and activity concerning the picking out of a choice piece of lace. I did not participate in any of that excitement, though, because way back in July of last year I used my Mood money to purchase some exquisitely beautiful green lace. (It sold out quickly so I unfortunately cannot link you to it. Here are some of their other laces.) Oh I had plans! I bought 3 yards and could have done just about anything.

Lace and chiffon dress

So why are you looking at a plain straight skirt that could not possibly have taken all 3 yards to make? Because I screwed up, people. I had wanted to make a dress but I picked a pattern with princess seams. Despite all of my careful laying out and measuring to make sure this linear lace lined up, a dress with princess seams on the bodice simply will not look good with any fabric that has to be matched along the seamlines both vertically and horizontally. Plus I made some dreadful mistakes while cutting it out. I was very fortunate to be able to salvage the skirt portion. But oh, how my heart aches for that lost yardage!

Lace and chiffon dress

This is my TNT straight skirt pattern, McCall’s 3830, which I used for the straight skirt portion of the dress. I’ve used this pattern quite a lot lately and you are probably tired of hearing about it.

Lace and chiffon dress

Thankfully I didn’t make any laying out mistakes on the skirt portion, and the pattern of the lace flows nicely across the side seams and back.

Lace and chiffon dress
Lace and chiffon dress
Lace and chiffon dress

I used green bemberg from Mood for the underlining and lining. I tried several different colors but kept coming back to the dark green.

Lace and chiffon dress

I really wanted to underline this skirt so that the seams of the lace couldn’t be seen through the skirt. I also wanted uninterrupted scallops along the hemline. In order to get the look I wanted, I had to sew the lace to the underlining down to the top of the scallop. Then I sewed the bottom of the lace together, clipped the lace to the seamline at the bottom of the underlining hemline, and sewed the underlining together. I pressed the scalloped lace to one side and secured it with some hand stitching. After that I had only to whipstitch the underlining in place. This is a difficult process to describe, but here is what the final outcome looks line:

Lace and chiffon dress
This picture is of the lace and underlining with the LINING PULLED UP AND OUT OF SITE.

And here is the pattern I used, McCall’s 3830:

This skirt is not what I had pictured in my mind’s eye, but I do love it. The fabric is very fancy with gold thread woven throughout, so this skirt definitely fits my lifestyle more then a dress would have.

22

Comments


  • oonaballoona
    March 14, 2013

    i hope you can forget about the lost yardage (man i know that feeling) because the skirt is exquisite!

  • cidell
    March 14, 2013

    Wow. That lace is seriously beautiful. I would have snatched it up too. I wanted to make a lace skirt with my cut too. But, it was vetoed by everyone I showed it too. Yours is gorgeous.

    • Amanda S.
      March 14, 2013

      Thanks Renee! I can’t wait to see which fabric you picked and what you did with it.

  • Lauren
    March 14, 2013

    Oh wow, that lace is AMAZING. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it – it looks like there are several layers that make it up. Good job salvaging a skirt out of it – and, you know, at least you can probably get more wear out of a skirt, since you can pair it with different tops? Maybe maybe?

    • Amanda S.
      March 14, 2013

      Thanks Lauren! And yes, I will definitely be able to wear it more… Look for the positive, right?

  • Grace
    March 14, 2013

    It really is a gorgeous skirt, and I bet you’ll find more opportunities to wear it than the dress. Thank you for the sewing details!

  • Carolyn
    March 14, 2013

    I’m sorry that you weren’t able to salvage the dress but love the skirt! I also agree with you that this probably fits your lifestyle and will get alot of wear – cause lace is hot, hot, hot this season! Finally the lace is TDF! Beautiful garment!

  • Lori
    March 14, 2013

    I really like the skirt, you will wear it with many different tops/sweaters/blouses. I am sorry about the lost yardage, that is always so disappointing.

  • Ginger
    March 16, 2013

    This looks great! I love the edges of the lace at the hem– it’s so pretty!

  • Sarah Gunn
    March 16, 2013

    Your skirt is beautiful Amanda. Thanks for sharing the tip on finishing the bottom of the lining and hem. It looks perfect as usual………. and thanks for letting the readers know that even you make a mistake every now and then.:)

    • Amanda S.
      March 17, 2013

      Thank you, Sarah. I make mistakes ALL THE TIME! I just don’t always blog about them.

  • Amy
    March 18, 2013

    Beautiful skirt! And, even though it’s sad to know that your original plan didn’t work out, I’m very happy that you made something that will get a lot of wear. It should – it’s gorgeous!

  • Laura
    March 19, 2013

    LOVE the skirt…..hated that you made a mistake…but what a save! Looks fantastic!

  • Linda
    March 24, 2013

    Very nice! You should take what’s left of the bodice and use it trim out a cardigan or jacket to match the skirt.