I knew I wanted to play around with lace motifs and needed a lace that I could cut into that wouldn't fray. The one I used is from Mood fabrics and is all sold out but here is a black 3D guipure lace that's similar. The white is an ivory wool twill also from Mood fabrics and also all sold out. (Sorry!) Mood as lots of other wool twills available. Their anemone red is a particularly beautiful color that would go great with black lace.
The pattern I used is Vogue 9183. It's a simple shift dress that's fitted through the bust and skims over the waist and hips. I was intrigued by the neckline of this design and the absence of side seams. I did not make a muslin first as I figured it wouldn't need much fitting past the bust. I cut a size 12 through the bust and waist, tapering out to a 14 through the hips. Thankfully it fit without needing any adjustments.
To make this dress I sewed the ivory wool body pieces together first and put in the zipper. Then I put the dress on my dress form and figured out how I wanted the front lace piece to lay. When it was completely pinned on I took it off the dress form and slowly stitched the lace on by hand with millions of tiny stitches. I went all around the perimeter of the lace and did some stitching in the middle as well. When that was finally done I put it back on my dress form and repeated the process for the second lace piece. Then I had to figure out the lining because this patten is unlined. Usually putting in a lining just involves using the provided bodice pieces but since this dress has a neck facing that's folded over and incorporated into the design, the lining was no picnic.
Here's a closeup of the neckline. I think it looks kind of 60s mod.
I used an antique white china silk for the lining.
The sleeve head seams were covered in bias tape for a clean finish.
This dress took forever to complete! I actually thought I'd finished it a few weeks ago and posted it to the Mood Sewing Network for October. However, the more I looked at those pictures the more I felt like something was off. Every once in awhile I'll change my mind about an aspect of my sewing after I see it photographed, and for this dress it was the sleeve length. Perhaps elbow-length sleeves just aren't flattering on my body or maybe something was off with the proportions. I'm not sure. I cut the sleeves off to the shorter length and trimmed a bit of the sleeve head along the way. I like this sleeve length much better. I'm still not completely satisfied with how the sleeves look from the back of the dress but I am moving on. And trying to not be obsessive. That's hard for a perfectionist.
Note: All fabrics used in this garment were purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.