Lace in Bloom

Pattern: Burda Young's Fashion Jacket #8042 + McCall's Misses' Tops #M6164 + KwikSew's Misses' Dress #3778
Fabric: cotton knit lace, underlined with a cotton knit
Cost: $22

I've been really enamored with sheer lace dresses lately. In my bathroom is Jessica Alba's January cover for Glamour Mexico, and I love that dress! But even after a trip to the lace and bridal supply store, I couldn't find anything that would work for me. While my regular haunt doesn't usually carry lace, this time I found a magnificent and thick cotton one--on sale at that! I don't usually wear pink, but in this case it was just too good to pass up. I bought a blush/tan colored cotton knit--also on sale!--that I used to underline the lace.

The pattern was another Frankenstein of Burda, KwikSew and McCall's. I cut a three-quarter length sleeve and arm hole from the Burda jacket pattern, but ended up never using it because it just seemed like too much fabric. I know a jacket pattern is also probably an odd choice for a fitted dress, but it's one of the only sleeve patterns I've got. The McCall's pattern I used as usual because it fits my hips and I added in the Kwik Sew skirt because last time I made a non-stretch dress out of McCall's knit pattern I had to add extra fabric. I cut extra allowance for a back zipper, but because the cotton lace was actually a knit, it was stretchy enough to pull over my head (this left the hassle of running a large dart down the back to replace the zipper).

Here's my dress from the side with the back-dart and my big booty (ok, I ended up having to take the booty in a little bit):

While tight stretch dresses should be second nature to me now, the more I do them the more I realize that I know very little about how to adjust for fit. I am mostly self-taught so I have my ways, but I'm beginning to think there are better techniques out there. I just discovered the blog Pattern ~ Scissors ~ Cloth, which is an excellent read for all things pattern-making.

My other miscalculation was that I decided to do French seams with all four layers of the fabric. In order to reduce bulk, I ran a zig-zag stitch down each seam allowance and tacked it to the lining. This seemed to help.

I used the selvage of the lace as my dress hem, as this gave it a nice, bulk-free finish that I didn't have to worry about sewing. The lining I left unhemmed because it is a knit, so it won't ravel and usually looks better unhemmed anyway.

I finished the armholes and neck opening by zig-zagging the lace and lining together and folding it under once. 

For a quick weekend dress, I'm quite happy with the results! (And ready for spring.)

Check it out at BurdaStyle and


  1. I am jealous of so many of your fabric finds, but especially this one! I can never find laces that don't look grandma-y. Where did you get it?

  2. That is absolutely stunning!!! I have never sewn lace knit, but I am just going to have to do so. That is so elegant and pretty!!

  3. Another wonderful composition. The seams show no bulk. No mistake there....just an alternative. Great piece.


  4. Thanks everyone--and I finally finished this post so more of the details are there! I like to buy my fabric in Berkeley at Stone Mountain and Daughters. If you're ever in the area, they have a great sale section!

  5. And laces can always look grandma-y, it's just a matter of how you use them (and why I didn't end up putting sleeves on this one). So don't be afraid--go for it!


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