Sewing for Me: Lace Dress

 Working toward my goal of learning to sew more for me, I attempted another adult pattern:  Vogue V8766.  Initially, I made the sleeveless, scoop-neck version of the pattern and ended up with a dress that was pretty, but totally didn’t fit.  The entire upper bodice and shoulders ended up too roomy (if you know what I mean) and too wide as well.  I did get the waist sizing right and realized that the circle skirt portion was a great match for my pear-shaped frame.  I was feeling pretty frustrated after the first attempt at the dress, but I didn’t give up.
I tried again using the strapless version pattern pieces.  I adjusted the bodice by folding in the pattern pieces at an angle so as to maintain the waist measurements but drastically pull in the whole top of the dress.  I also learned how to size and adjust the side boning so that the dress would come together nicely.  I still need to hem the second dress, which I made out of a plain cotton, and it will work nicely in the spring/summer.  I made my final dress with a lace and lining from the bridal fabrics section.  The lace is a heavy cotton and was pretty pricey, even with a coupon, but I think the end result reflects a nicer, classier dress than the first dress that I made with a cheaper, polyester lace.
 I used a beige lining so that the dress wouldn’t look so bridal-y.  Love how the colors turned out.  I left the lace unhemmed (I might go in and finish the hem later, but it works for now) and did a rolled hem on the lining.  And while the circle skirt was a great style, I ended up cutting it significantly shorter than the pattern because 1) I’m short. :)  and 2) the whole dress looked a lot lighter and I looked leaner when the skirt hit just below the knees, but above the widest portion of my calves.  I also shortened the waistline, which elongated my figure, too.  I wore this dress to the Clue-theme party at Alt Summit.  Since we were going for a bit extravagant, I paired it with my feathered fascinator and a vintage fur stole that I found on etsy.  I think the dress turned out great.  The fit was perfect and the finishing passes for professional rather than homemade-looking, in my opinion.  So, I’m going to go ahead and score this a major win in the sewing for me department.  I actually felt like I learned a few things about fit and curves and style that will help me going forward with my next project for myself.  I did not learn anything about modeling for self-timer shots in this process – just sayin’.


  1. sweeter than cupcakes says

    You’re so brave, and the end result is stunning!! Adult curves and fit still scare me. I’ve only made 3 things for myself even though I have quite a few patterns I’d love to try someday.

  2. Suzanne Winter says

    I am in love with this dress – I can’t pull off strapless (I am super broad shouldered with almost no bust), but the rest of it is something I think would flatter my shape too, I’ll need to look into that pattern! Awesome job with the lace, it is stunning!

    • says

      Suzanne – I have no bust, but when you’re sewing your own dress, you can compensate for that (in theory), but the pattern has a version that’s sleeveless and also with sleeves. Try it!

    • says

      Thanks, Kristie! Those are cute patterns, too! I’m going to have to pick something to sew next pretty quickly because it takes me a while to work up the nerve to cut the fabric!

  3. Rachel says

    Pretty dress! The fit is great and finish looks really professional. I always feel so dorky posing for the timer!

  4. Gwen's Busy Little Hands says

    You look fantastic in that dress. Way to go! Fit is so important and it looks like you are doing a great job of adjusting the fit. I’m still struggling with that myself. Enjoy both of your dresses. Looking forward to seeing more of your projects that are for YOU.


  5. crafterhours says

    Gorgeous dress and model! The fit is amazing. Your work was worth it! And now you have a simple dress that is guaranteed to fit so you can customize like crazy :)

  6. Truly Myrtle says

    It’s so pretty! I love lace in the sunshine – and you’ve done really well with your photos – it is so hard with a self timer!!

  7. says

    You guys are just killing me with your sweet comments!! I almost almost didn’t hit publish on this post, but I’m so glad I did! Thank you!!!!

  8. Delia says

    You look smoking! Great job. I too liked hearing your fitting notes. I am short too so they were perfect tips for me. You’ve definitely inspired me!

  9. Justine of SewCountryChick says

    Hi Stef. Great job! Did you know you can cut along the motifs of the lace on the bottom of the dress so you don’t have to hem it? It’s a great technique for lace and looks pretty.


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