So a little while ago, I fell in love with a fabric at work. Because that doesn’t happen like every two seconds. This was a sweet rayon with a print that felt very vintage, in a soft green that is not at all my usual palette. And then we got this adorable embroidered net lace, and the pairing raised the delicate sweetness to soaring heights. Completely in love. But a little worried about making something from it that I actually want to wear. I generally like a wee bit of an edge to my sweetness, and lately I’ve been feeling that a bit more keenly. This rayon seemed like it wanted to be a drapey 30s or 40s style dress, which are sweet but not really edgy.
Which got me thinking about how to take such a dress and make it feel like me. Which led to some quality Pinterest trawling featuring loads of classic Courtney Love. /sigh. Sometimes you just never escape your inner fourteen year old.
After a little more browsing, the fabric and I compromised on Burda 6686, which appears to be the current incarnation of Burda 8071, which Handmade By Carolyn has made about a billion lovely versions of.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about the dress otherwise. Construction is pretty simple. I shortened just above the waist, and added a bit of a swayback adjustment, which was largely successful. I cut a size 38 in the skirt, 36 in the bodice, very easy since they’re just gathered together. Mid-construction, I shortened the skirt by about 5″ and lowered the front neckline about 2″. Unfortunately I’d already stitched the neckline all down so I had to unpick, lower, and re-sew the elastic casing. Blerg. I’m glad I did, though.
The dress has a side zipper, which I don’t love, but hate less than I usually do. And this style really wouldn’t work with a back zipper.
I added the lace at the hem and a wee little bit at the bust. I cut my lace to match the hem length, made it into a loop, and serged upside down to the bottom edge, so that when I put in the 1″ hem it would hang free from the lace a bit, if that makes any sense. I had originally wanted the lace to hang free from a lining, but the lining was too bulky and the green print wasn’t as sheer as I originally feared.
I should probably have taken the elastic out before I stitched in the lace at the bust as I caught the elastic in, which kinda defeats the purpose of a casing. Oh, well. I’ll worry about it when/if the time comes to replace the elastic.
I added a tag made from selvedge to the back neck since I kept losing track of which was which during construction. The lace will fix that, too, I guess.
All that remained was to spike up the hair, throw on some ripped tights and chunky boots, and some dark lipstick.
I love how this dress feels barely there. And even the crappy bathroom mirror photos seem perfect for the grungy look. 😉
By the time I get this back from display it may even be warm enough to wear it!
27 responses to “Sweet n’ skanky”
adore this dress!!!! gah! make me one!!
No but I could help you make one! ;D
Adorbs with the spiky look!
Love the dress and the fabric. Great job! Cheers, Michele
Thank you! I am pretty happy. 😉
Love the Courtney Love vibe!
Also very impressed with how you added the lace to the hem…I’ll haven’t to remember that one.
Also love the green.
Love, Love, Love!
I love that lace so much! Thank you!
awesome! great job.
You are really the essence of the Kinderwh*re look in these pictures!
The highest of compliments! 😀
Brilliant, there’s some stuff I never want to grow out of!
Yeah, it’s probably bad but I really think my fourteen year old self had some good style ideas… 😉
Lovely! Tough & sweet at the same time. If you don’t mind a sewing hint, you could try out the blind stitch on your hem next time. It would enhance the floaty feeling of the lace. (I just mastered the blind hem stitch on my machine, so I’m probably just channeling my inner fundamentalist/born again persona. Please forgive if it grates!)
🙂 I’m not sure why I didn’t try and blind hem this—I kinda wanted the stitched look? Or maybe I was just so focused on the lace I didn’t think about anything else…
wow, major flashbacks to high school and college! I loved those floral rayon jumper and babydoll dresses. Your dress is super cute.
I had the best babydoll dress! I miss that thing. Thank you!
So cute!! Love the pattern, so versatile eh!
The envelope pic of this view wasn’t too inspiring so I’m so glad it turned out how I was imagining it in my head. 😀
Cute dress and how good are you at selfies! You need to write a lesson on how best to do it! 😀
Oh, man! Thank you! I always hate my selfies—the bathroom mirror ones are almost tolerable but it’s pretty hit or miss. I take a lot of duds. And I almost always loathe my non-mirror selfies. 😉 so I guess my only advice would be take lots to get the one or two good ones.
Oh, it’s awesome! So very Courtney Love!
Very pretty dress – love the gathers and the lace.
Omg awesome. I love how you took such a sweet looking dress and totally grunged it up. Why does this remind me so much of high school? 😀
Your inner 14-yr old and my inner 14-yr old totally need to go shopping! (Hopefully without the existential angsty poetry my actual 14-yr old self wrote. *wince*)
The fabric is perfect for a 90’s-esque look!
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