Too Late for Valentines’ Green Lace Dress

burda_sept_2012

It was love at first sight when I saw this simple lace dress on the September 2012 cover of burdastyle. The original fabric, which I adore, costs OMG 85 Euros per meter excluding shipping from Europe.  Despite searching high and low, I simply wasn’t able to find 3D lace at an affordable price.

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Well, not until recently when I realized I could buy fabric from taobao.com, China’s version of ebay. I’ve only seen this 3D lace in red and green and decided to go for the latter since green has always been my favorite color. Moreover, emerald green is Pantone’s color of the year, so what better time than this to sew something in green?  So, I chose this 3D lace which cost me US$22 per meter (2 metres were used) and underlined it with a silk/cotton blend fabric in the same shade of green. Both fabrics can be hand washed which are huge bonuses!

Green lace dress front

The dress was meant for my Valentines’ date with dear hubby but was finished two weeks late. Cutting the fabric presented the first challenge I faced while working with 3D lace. There were lace floral pieces which were stitched at regular intervals on the fabric and while laying out the pattern, I had to keep in mind where these were and avoid cutting into them or have them on the seam line.

I cut a size 38, my usual burda size and added seam allowances. The fit was good for the shoulders and arms but there were way too much ease on the sides. I spent quite a bit of time refitting, unpicking, cutting and stitching again. I think even without adding seam allowances to the sides, I would still have to take them in.   I didn’t take in the extra bits on the side for the skirt as I quite like the slight A-line. The lace is so thick that ironing wasn’t going to cut it. I had to press open the seams, pin them down and top stitch them to keep them open. Nonetheless, this fabric is so marvelous, I couldn’t help but turn to the back to show you more of it :)

Green lace dress back

I used the basic pattern pieces but did not have to cut away and reassemble the scallop edge. A unique feature of this rather heavy lace fabric is that I can cut my own scallop hem. So long as I do not cut without of the main stitches, the lace is not going to fray. Here’s the fabric before I cut the hem.

Lace dress progress

Here’s the hem I eventually cut.

Green lace hem

 The sleeves I cut below showed part of the actual scallop edge of the material.

Lace dress sleeves

The armholes were finished with green bias tape.Lace dress sleeves

One other thing I manipulated on quite a grand scale was the relocation of many 3D lace floral pieces. As much as I love this lace fabric, I hated the 3D florals sticking out at the bust, waist and pelvic (front of dress) and at my tailbone (back of the dress). I realized that if I was extra careful, I could unpick the 3D florals and hand stitch them where I wanted them to be. So, off went those pieces I hated and the unpicking alone took me a week (around 1-2 hours a day or before my eyesight fails me). Here’s a photo of a partially unpicked floral. If I weren’t careful, the bottom lace would tear.

Lace dress unpicking

Here’s me relocating the pieces to make the garment more complete and interesting. Lace dress relocation of lace

I removed the floral from the front of the sleeves and moved it to the centre, just on top of the seam.

green lace dress sleeves

A few floral pieces were also added to the side seams of the dress. Green lace dress hem

And a few over the zipper opening:)

Green lace dress back CU

It’s definitely been a good learning experience sewing with 3D lace. I am finally happy with this dress and especially so when my family doctor told me yesterday that he’s inviting us to his youngest daughter’s wedding in April. That’s gonna be an opportunity for me to wear this dress:) Yay!
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50 thoughts on “Too Late for Valentines’ Green Lace Dress

  1. This is so gorgeous! The fabric and color choice is stunning. I am sure it was well worth all the effort of fitting and re-positioning lace motifs..

  2. Love love love love LOVE!!!!
    I can’t express how beautiful this is! I didnt even know 3D lace existed!
    How do you think it would go with a fuller skirt? Such as a half circle? Do you think it would become too bulky?

  3. Thank you ladies :) So happy that you like it too:)

    @Gorgeousfabrics: Thanks Ann, haha! that’s true and a really good idea.

    @Bec: It’s tough. Even for a chinese reader like myself I have to rely on google translate at times. Fabric terms are tough to translate.

    @Amber: I think this particular 3D lace will be too bulky for a fuller skirt. You may want to underline a light weight lace with something more structured like silk organza, organza lace which are lighter yet structured but you will need to line them. There are even new fabrics such as lace that are merged with satin (they are one fabric). Those will make prettier fuller skirts as well. Hope that helps:)

  4. This is beautiful! I wasn’t aware of 3D lace so thank you for bringing it to my notice! I love that you could easily create your scalloped edge and the extra time spent moving the lace really adds to it.

  5. That turned out really well. I love all the detail shots and reading about the retooling involved. I think you have a winner with this emerald green. I like it better than the original photo on the magazine cover.

  6. Thank you ladies! really appreciate all your sweet comments:)

    @Samantha: I only had about 2 to 3 hours of sewing time Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and I took about a month to finish so I guess it took around 30 to 36 hours to complete.

  7. This is such a gorgeous dress! I love it too much! I’ve never heard about 3D lace fabric, thank you for posting it. I would dream to work with this fabric someday.

  8. Your dress is stunning……Wonderful job! It looks really high fashion! Congrats on such a beautiful creation…enjoy the wedding!

  9. I agree, you did a fabulous job on a really challenging project. I hope you’ll wear that dress to the grocery store!!!!!

  10. elle est magnifique beaucoup plus belle que celle de burda toutes mes felicitations pour ce travail j adore encore bravo et merci de nous faire voir de si jolies choses

  11. This dress is beautiful, and what a stunning color on you! All your hard work with fitting this dress definitely paid off. The 3D lace is such a lovely detail. Excellent job!

  12. Chaqueta de los modelos cortos abajo, diseños de manga corta son muy elegante, con un diseño de cinturón, más casual aseado. Pantalones Estrecho-piernas con pantalones negros, los colores más prominentes en el nivel. Luego, con falda de lana, hará que la gente se siente muy lady.

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