Saturday, September 03, 2011

Designer Interpretations - Lace Inspired

A couple of posts back I said that I was going to make five items in five days.  I've actually already shared the five garments I want to sew in an earlier post...but after going through the fabric collection it will probably be only four since I didn't have a piece of fabric for one.  Which is actually a good thing since I got off to a slow start yesterday and I haven't actually picked fast and easy pieces to make.

The four designer inspired dresses I want to sew during this brief sewcation are:

1.  The Jason Wu Sheath Dress with the Lace Embellishments

2.  The Jason Wu Appliqued Sheath Dress

3.  The Dries Van Noten Mixed Fabrication Dress

4.  The Heidi M. Dress w/tie

Since I was off to a slow start, I thought I would start with one of the faster pieces - The Jason Wu Sheath Dress with the Lace Embellishments.  Not only was I inspired by the dress I found on Bergdorf Goodman's site:

But also the Lace Accents articles found in both the September 2011 issue of InStyle:

and the September 2011 issue of Elle Magazine:

I started with my TNT Dress pattern because to me this was basically a sheath dress with a lace embellishment.  Of course the lace embellishment is the make or break detail on this dress...elevating it from a basic dress to a designer one...but easily duplicated using my TNT pattern.

And the construction of the shell was simple...I've done it quite a few times before *smile* so that was the autopilot sewing.  However, getting the lace on was another thing.  It was a little more involved than I had originally anticipated.

First I had to measure the lace so that it hit the curve of the armhole like on the inspiration piece all the way to the hem.  I determined this by matching armhole seam to armhole seam then placing a pin on the front and back of the dress at the halfway point between the seams.

I folded the lace in half and placed a row of pins down the center of both pieces of lace.  Then each piece of lace was pinned to the side seam using the row of pins as the centering point.

Next I hand basted the lace down the center of each side seam and at the underarm seam.

After that I took the dress to the sewing machine with the intent of machine stitching the lace down.  I ended up just placing one line of stitching down the side seams because when I machine stitched one side down it caused an unsightly puckering.

So three hours later and alot of hand stitching, the lace was stitched to the sides...

...this is where I stopped to have some dinner and write this blog post.  I thought I would do a progress report since this simple sheath dress was alot more involved than I originally thought.

I did try the dress on. It fits so well and looks great...but I still have to decide if I'm going to add the lace at the shoulder seams (right now I'm not leaning that way), add a lining and hem the dress. 

I will definitely finish this up tonight - so photos tomorrow!

...more later!


  1. Oooo! I can't wait to see this finished! I love the lace panel!

  2. Very beautiful. It will look great either way, but I think the lace on the shoulder adds an extra special touch.

  3. Love how this is looking. Can't wait to see it modeled.

  4. It's going to be fantastic, I am not normally a fan of lace, but I am really loving these lace accents this season too.

  5. Lace...Love it and how you applied it!! :)

  6. fantastic! Can't wait to see it. :) g

  7. I'm also not normally a lace fan, but love how you (and Jason Wu!) have used it.

  8. Wow, that is very involved. I'm sure it will pay off! (And I'm impressed by your ambitious plans!)

  9. This is going to come out fabulous.

  10. I love lace. I am sure that all your careful planning and hand stitching are going to pay dividends - your dress is going to look beautiful.

  11. What a wonderful idea! This is so inspiring for me. Can´t wait to try this method too.

  12. It's looking gorgeous! I really love that subtle look of lace down the sides, it's a neat way to wear it. :)

  13. Carolyn...I hate you! Because of you I only seem to be making dresses these days. Sure I look fantastic in them and husband love them and I get all kind of compliments...wait a minute. I guess I don't hate you after all. You are my muse so keep on musing!

  14. How pretty! It's inspiring to see lace used in grown up ways that aren't "boudoir." I'd leave the lace off of the shoulders I think. The accents on the sides are perfect.

  15. The dress is looking gorgeous. I'm looking forward to the finished modeling!

  16. Oh, this dress looks beautiful so far. Love the lace appliques! Can't wait to see more!

  17. I'm just now starting my Staycation. I've made a pair of pants, almost finished a top, and have RPL in the washing machine! I love your ideas for fall. I can't wait to see the end result. Thanks for all of the inspiration you provide!!!

  18. I also loved the Jason Wu sheath. Can't wait to see your finished dress!


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