Lacey Goodness

*Sigh* I don't think I ever get tired of making pretty dresses. We're still averaging about three weddings a year and I treat each as an opportunity to make my next idea. A girl's gotta have some excuse to dress up, right?

Pattern: McCall's Misses Dresses #M7719
Cost: $50
Fabric: embroidered poly netting with rayon/silk blend lining

This time around I tried out the new McCall's 7719, one of this past season's fancy dress patterns. I really wanted to work with some more lace or embroidered tulle (wedding dress making withdrawals?) so I found this beauty on the Joann Fabrics website on sale for just $7 a yard. I had to drive to the next town over to get it, but I scored over three yards for under $30. The Bay Area Sewists kept commenting on how expensive it must have been at our Frocktails so I think I successfully tricked them all. To enhance the lace effect I picked up a rayon/silk blend at a Hart's fabrics sale over the holidays in a tone that matches my skin color. As a lining it feels very soft and truly luxurious.

As with any new pattern, I like to do a bit of research on Pattern Review and Instagram to see how others have made it up and anticipate any issues. There weren't many versions of this view up yet but I did notice that several people had issues with gaping at the side of the bust cup. This meant a muslin was in order (enter amazing cartoon fabric from the stash). I was really glad I put in the extra effort because I had the same issue. I found I could pinch the excess out at the waist seamline (see the cup on the left side of the picture below). But, as you can see, that distorts the shape of the cup. To fix that, after pinching the excess out at the bottom of the cup, I re-centered the top of the cup so it pointed toward the strap as designed. That fix is shown on the dress form on the right and the patter pieces below. Much better!

But you can't leave it there! I pulled a favorite trick from Mrs. Mole of Fit for a Queen and snugged up the sides of the cup. She uses twill tape to gather some of the extra ease; I used elastic and stretched slightly as I sewed. The result is a cup that hugs to your body and stays just where it should. I also added a second piece of lining and tucked a bust cup in there for added shape. This is definitely not a dress you can wear a regular bra with. See how the elastic makes the pieces cup inward even as it lays flat on my table? That's what you want. 

Much better! From there the dress was smooth sailing. I just had to pick my pattern placement carefully and sew it up. As opposed to, say, a Vogue pattern, this dress doesn't have too many pieces and comes together easily once you have the fit of the cups and waist worked out. I didn't add boning but I did innerline the waist pieces with a sturdier canvass for a bit of shaping. 

The outer skirt is just a gathered rectangle of the lace. The lining uses an A-line skirt pattern with no gathers to reduce bulk at the waist. I have also used a circle skirt for this purpose in the past to good results. 

Perfect! Loving it! Just one problem. Is it too slutty for a church wedding? Hmmm....

I had just enough fabric leftover to make a cover up that I could wear to the ceremony. I was able to squeeze this little crop top out of it and I think I might like this look even better! The trick was to cut it short enough to still show off my waist shaping. It feels like a cute little 60s two-piece set!

Isn't the back fun? Here's the scoop: I knew that I wanted to be able to take this on and off myself with little difficulty to transform throughout the night. So I devised a plan where the back of the top crosses over and secures at each shoulder. To make it extra easy, I chose some magnetic snaps so I wouldn't have to fiddle too long with my outfit. Just unsnap each side and you can pull the crop top off with little effort. Here's a little sequence of the transformation. Fun, right?

As I mentioned, I already got to wear this baby to Frocktails and will be dragging it up to Vancouver later this month for the wedding. It was such a fun project all around and I can't wait to wear it dancing (especially since I now know everything will stay in place!). 


  1. Gorgeous! Love the addition of the overtop, my friend did the same thing for her wedding dress. More covered up and warmer for the church portion, and a quite different look for dancing. And I think the top would have milage of its own with other outfits

  2. this is so pretty, saw it in person and it's perfect :)

  3. 1) brilliant closure on the topper
    3) the fit is just great and I have put that tip from Mrs Mole in my backpocket as I hope to make a dress or jumpsuit with that triangle style top.

    Beautifully done!

  4. You look fabulous in this outfit! Love that dress.

  5. Wow, amazing! To think that fabric is from Jo-Anns?

  6. Maybe you’ll wind up having this appear as your ‘vogue pattern’ moment of fame... like Pat K did with her famous green linen dress. Seriously. The little top is brilliant.


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