Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Butterick 5706 -- Lace Dress

I made this dress at the very beginning of March -- just in time to wear it to my friend Janette's daughter's wedding.  I also wore it as my Easter dress.  The black and silver lace is from Joann Fabrics.  It was the end of the bolt and I paid around $13 for all of it (I still have a sizeable piece left to use for something else later).  I have been wanting to try making a lace dress.  I have a few patterns that use lace, but I chose Butterick 5706 view D, partly because it was labeled "easy" and  also I didn't want to have to cut the lace up into lots of pieces.  There were only three pattern pieces to cut out:  the front, the back, and the sleeves (plus the lining).
Close up of the sleeve and fabric
The lining fabric is a muted silver satiny solid from Hancock Fabrics.  I'm not sure of its name, but it does not fray at all, which is nice.  I cut a size 14, but I added 1 inch to the side seams starting under the arms and I added 1/2 inch to the length.  I also added 1/2 inch to the sleeve length and did a full bicep adjustment on the sleeves. In retrospect I wish I hadn't done any of this except for the bicep adjustment because the dress turned out a little big, and that made it look frumpy.  It needed to fit closer to look right and I ended up taking most of what I added to the seams back out.  I also wish I had made the dress shorter, but because the lace is cut on the edge there's no way to shorten it.  I will just take comfort that I've heard hemlines are getting longer again;)

The pattern was labeled "easy" and there were no problems with the directions.  However, sewing with this lace was like sewing blind -- I could not see what I was doing or even where I had already stitched, and marking the fabric was almost impossible.  (I used a universal needle and a narrow zigzag to sew the lace parts).  Also, this was the first time that I have put in a conventional zipper.  Probably not the wisest move to put your first zipper in on a lined, lace dress, and it certainly is not perfect. But I'm very happy to report it works, and now I will not have to be afraid of zippers.

Erratic zipper application
This dress is very comfortable to wear, and I already have plans to use the pattern again. I will say that it turned out more "afternoon" and less "evening" than I had anticipated.  That's really okay because my life has lots more afternoon events than it does evening ones anyway.


  1. It's gorgeous Angela! You are so clever with these tricksy fabrics. I can't even begin to imagine trying to sew a lace dress but this so beautiful. I love the way the lining softly highlights the lace pattern above too. E x

  2. A very pretty and flattering dress. I really like the length because it falls at the narrowest point of the leg without resorting to going to the ankle. I saw your pretty picture from the wedding at Janette's. Great dress to have available!

  3. Angela, you could never look frumpy! Lovely dress as always. I thought of you and your wonderful dressmaking last week while watching a new TV programme, The Great British Sewing Bee, in which the contestants have to take 3 challenges to make or customise different items of clothing. You'd have been great at it. x

    1. A lot of people have been raving about that show! I think in the US we have to watch it on youtube, but I'm planning to do that. I am far too slow to do well in a competition, but I appreciate your vote of confidence:)

  4. That's a beautiful dress and you look very nice in it.

  5. Dear Angela, I used to sew all the time! I even made bathing suites!! I would love to get a sewing machine again. Mine broke when my daughter was little.
    I don't think the dress looks frumpy at all.
    I like a little bit of length on a dress.
    Thank you for visiting and leaving a kind comment.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  6. Your dress is lovely. Not at all frumpy. Especially since it is lace. It has a very elegant look. Great job.

  7. It is sooooooooooooooo beautiful!!! You were so beautiful in this dress.....and what an awesome job you have done. I am loving your courage on sewing clothes!! Go Girl!!!

  8. Your dress is absolutely beautiful and elegant! The edge of the hem is very nice and you have to be proud of this dress, if you still think that it is loose, this is easy to fix ... as to the zipper, I suggest you place an interlining strip, iron it and above this strip lower the zipper ... that helps the fabric don´t wrinkle or stretch when you sew the zipper ... Happy week!

  9. Very nice! You make me want to start sewing for myself again. I need to as I have absolutely nothing to wear for the summer.


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