I really enjoyed working with a pattern designed for lace as previously I’ve just tried to adapt patterns with mixed results. I used a complimentary colour crepe for the lace underlining and a cotton in the closest shade possible for my bodice lining. I also managed to find a coordinating invisible zipper too (SCORE!).
There wasn’t any guidance on good lace matching techniques included though I guess this would be going above and beyond the call of duty! I managed to look up some techniques online, then came up with my own method.
It was a sort of hybrid between patching and sketching the lace design of my left side onto the reverse of my pattern piece to line up the right side of the bodice; so hard to explain but I am super stoked with the results.
There were a couple of rounds of muslins to nail the fit of the pattern. First to shorten the bodice, but then I had to readjust a little to get the collar to sit at the right place on my neck (it’s weird not having shoulder seams to guide you).
The instructions were generally written for someone with a good understanding of construction as they were definitely concise. The pictorials were excellent help; for assembling the collar I actually found the pictures better than the descriptions.
I omitted the collar buttons (front and back) though I think I would add them to the back on future versions to stop the back collar from being too pointy! On the front it was just distracting my eye too much so I simply sewed down the button loop under the opposite collar.
I made my button loop by plaiting three chain stitches from my serger to keep the colours bang on and the band as thin as possible.
I probably should have made a coordinating waist tie (or even stepped it up and built one into the dress) just for a bit more waist definition and contrast.
(Grrr I don’t have a photo without shine on the back panel – my lace has this gorgeous sheen to it but it makes it rather difficult to photograph!)
I’d also like to say I think this is the best pattern envelope I have seen in a very long time. Perfect fabric choices on the samples, a beautiful sketch and big photos so you can really see all the details for the dresses.
It is GENIUS that Simplicity partnered up with Project Runway and taking it a step further to work with specific Project Runway designers has really paid off here. I appreciate the Cynthia Rowley patterns Simplicity offer (though I have yet to try the one in my collection) but I don’t know, something about this Leanne Marshall dress feels a lot younger and fresher while still keeping you covered up and looking classy! I think it will suit a range of ages and body sizes.
I totally recommend this dress to you. But be wary, you’re not getting your hand held through this one, Simplicity expect you to have a pretty darn good idea what you’re doing. If you’re planning to try this out as your FIRST dress you might need to step back and rethink.
Is there anything better than sewing yourself a gorgeous new dress for your birthday? I ended up with a really cool dress that feels both retro and modern.