Lace is one of my favorite fabrics. I don’t use it all that often because no matter what you do with it it’s quite dressy and formal, but it still catches my eye at the fabric store, every single time. I don’t have many opportunities in my real life to rock something lacy – it might look a little silly on a grocery run or when I’m running around in the backyard with our puppies. But, wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I type that I remember a white lace skirt with an elastic waistband hanging in the closet that I love and have worn countless times. I usually wore a denim button up with it and some leather sandals and a hat. Made a fantastic summer outfit. So, all of that to say lace is formal but it can also be, let’s call it, “dressy casual.”
This is the finale week in my series with TÉLIO, and I’ve been beside myself to share these final two looks with you. (The second, a navy satin dress with black trim is coming on Friday!) This is such a great way to round out the collection, and I absolutely love the fabric in today’s post. I made this dress with TÉLIO black guipure lace, a French lace I’ve used a number of times over the years. It’s a bobbin lace, which means the motifs are connected by bars or plaits – not mesh or net. Essentially, it’s an “open weave” lace with no backing. There’s no traditional scalloped edge, but you can cut around the motifs and finish the edge with a little fabric glue to create the scallop. (I did just that on the hem of the skirt.) This lace is medium weight, 100% polyester, and it was the motifs that caught my eye. I love those leaves!
My original idea was for a dress with a fitted bodice and a midi length pleated skirt. I can’t tell you how many times I went back and forth thinking about what to do with this lace. I wanted to do the fabric justice, but I also wanted to do something fresh and new, so I decided to forgo the fit and flare in favor of something more fitted and sophisticated. (Plus, you saw a fit and flare in a yummy marigold lace a few weeks back, and you know I’ll be back to that silhouette eventually.)
I would have loved to make the skirt a little longer so that the flounce started below the knee more (creating a longer line), but then the flounce would have to have been narrower to keep the dress the same length. Or, I could have made the flounce floor length, but I really wanted to keep this dress midi length. I don’t have many occasions that call for a floor length lace dress!
I’m loving the sheath dress silhouette right now, and I thought an interesting way to elevate it was to add a mermaid flounce to the skirt. The simple addition of velvet ribbon around the waist and on the skirt, makes this piece perfect for fall and winter – and I’m crazy about those textures velvet together. They make a great pair!
I underlined the lace in white to make the lace pop, and used horsehair under the flounce to give it a little more volume. I cut around the motifs along the hem, which is a nice detail there.
Now, for the pattern. I mashed together the bodice of Vogue 9197 (also making it bateau neck) with the skirt from McCall’s 7540. This isn’t difficult to do, but the waistline on the bodice from Vogue 9197 actually sits above the natural waist, so I had to make some adjustments to make sure the patterns not only matched at the side seams but so that the skirt wasn’t too short through the hips. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to make the McCall’s pattern, and it’s quite nice. It’s been drafted generously through the hips which is to say that, if anything, you might need to take it in that area for a more personalized fit. And I may never have an occasion for a floor length skirt, but I think I’ll be making the skirt again soon in that length. It’s so flattering.
I’m so happy with this dress, and it’s a welcome addition to my closet. I appreciate special occasion dresses that don’t show so much flesh. I have always believed in the power of mystery. There’s also something about long sleeves in formalwear that I find incredibly refreshing. But don’t worry, I’ll be back on Friday for the last look in this collection, and it’s sleeveless and fabulous – and I will lose count of the number of times I will wear it.
See y’all Friday!
I can’t think of a single color I don’t like. I definitely have favorites that I wear a lot, but it’s hard to think of a color that I make a concerted effort to avoid or that I just don’t care for. I’ve spent a great deal of time looking for fabric in just the right color over the years too. Navy must be rich and dark, not vintage or faded looking, yellow should be bright without being gaudy or cheap looking, and reds should be true red – not too orange, not too blue. Emerald is also a color I love, especially for fall, and it’s a color I think I wear well. (After a summer in lots of white, I’m reminded thanks to all the pictures I take that white is actually not a great color on me. So, moving forward: less white, more bold colors. Hold me to it.)
I found this fabric shortly after discovering the lemon print fabric for my fall collection series with TÉLIO. The moment I saw it I not only squealed with delight at having finally found the perfect shade of emerald, but I also knew it would work exceptionally well with the lemon print, the small scale polka dot, the marigold lace, and the pine ponte knit. (You haven’t seen the ponte knit yet but it’s good. Really good.) The emerald plays up the leaves on the lemon print so nicely, and it’s nice to have that color as an accent with the other fabrics.
The fantastic part about this fabric is that it is in stock at fabric.com. It’s 100% Viscose Rayon, 56″ wide, and it’s machine washable.
Rayon (also called viscose) is made from wood pulp, a naturally occurring, cellulose-based raw material. I like it because its characteristics are similar to that of linen and cotton, and it is beyond comfortable to wear in the Texas heat. I love the drape of viscose batiste or challis, and it’s easy to work with and launder. It also retains color well, which is why you can find such rich colors in a rayon fabrication. It doesn’t pill unless the fabric is made from short, low-twist yarns (I’ve never had a rayon that even remotely pilled), and it doesn’t build up static electricity. Rayon does, however, wrinkle so loose fitting garments are best (full skirts and dresses, flowy tops, and scarves). Bemberg rayon is also a fantastic option for linings. I choose it over polyester or acetate every time.
This particular rayon is a batiste, so it’s especially lightweight and drapes exceptionally well. It’s opaque enough to forgo a lining, which is great. Use a little extra care when you cut it out, because it can be a tad slippery (no edges hanging off your cutting table!), and I would also pin your pieces together in one or two additional areas as you sew it just to ensure it doesn’t move around. I used a size 70 universal needle, all purpose thread, and I serged all the raw edges. French seams would also be lovely. I let the dress rest on the dress form overnight to let the bias fall, then I leveled it and hemmed it.
I used an out-of-print pattern, Butterick 5878, and I replaced the tiered skirt with a full circle skirt for the most movement. I’ve made this dress twice before, over a year ago. It’s easy to sew, and very, very comfortable. I especially love the elastic around the waist.
For those of us in warmer climates where seasons take their sweet time arriving (or don’t change at all), color is a great way to dress for the season without layering or piling on coats or things that don’t make sense for the weather. So this emerald viscose makes for one seriously pretty dress, and I can ease my way into fall without looking or feeling ridiculous. Considering how much I love this color, I’m surprised that this dress is the first garment in this color I have in my closet. I think I’m looking at a fall season jam packed with emerald green!
I’m one of those sewists with a fabric stash. It’s not huge or outrageous, but I will admit to having more than enough. Most of the time, I’m a smart shopper and I only buy what I need at that moment or know I’ll use right away – but I’ve been known to stock up from time to time. (If my husband reads this he will have a good laugh while enthusiastically nodding his head.) It’s hard not to indulge, especially when I find things at great fabric stores when I’m traveling or when there’s a sale or . . . the list goes on. I have a feeling some of you can relate.
Fabric is what inspires me more than anything else, and there’s no greater thrill than finding something that makes your heart skip a beat. That print! Those colors! It’s perfect! The moment I saw this stunning lemon print sateen, I knew it was meant to be. I loved the idea of using this print as the anchor for the entire TÉLIO series, and the colors in the print are perfect complement to each other and great for a fall transition collection. I’ve been dreaming about a lemon print fabric for years. I found something earlier this spring and while I love it, it doesn’t have the richness and depth that this sateen does. And the navy blue background might be my favorite part. Lemon print fabric isn’t impossible to find, but most of the time it’s on black, which I think is a little harsh. Navy blue is a lovely partner for all that yellow and green.
I knew I wanted a twirly midi skirt out of this fabric, because it shows off the fabric well – and it’s an item I wear all the time so I knew I’d get lots of use out of it. I wanted a separate hem band piece, which I could highlight with contrast piping in the seam. This was a great way to break up the fabric without being distracting, and I like that it draws your eye down from the waist – really accentuating the fit and flare.
Now for the fabric and pattern details: This skirt is my own design, and the top is McCall’s 7573. The lemon print sateen (97% cotton/3% spandex) can be purchased at EmmaOneSock. I made the blouse out of Belvedere 100% cotton shirting in optic white, and it will be available soon at Sew Much Fabric. I don’t think I’ve ever touched another shirting that felt as magnificent as this does – it’s exceptionally good quality. It is not entirely opaque though, which I why I went with a design that gave me a double layer across the bust. This little top is incredibly easy to sew, and it’s super comfortable. Looks great with jeans and tennies too.
This is a pleated midi skirt with slanted front pockets, hem band with hem facing, contrast piping, and invisible zipper in the back. No need to line it, so I just added yellow bias tape to the waistband to incorporate a little detail on the inside.
These pieces – separately and together – are welcome additions to my fall wardrobe. The skirt in particular will be worn so much people might start asking me if I own any other clothes. 🙂
Have a great rest of the week, and I’ll be back on Friday with a dress that should have been on the blog weeks ago, as well as studio makeover update. Slowly but surely, it’s coming together!
And don’t forget to follow @teliofashion for a chance to win a three yard piece of the fabric I’m featuring that week. Last week’s winner was announced this morning, and be sure to enter tomorrow for a chance to win some lemon print sateen for yourself. Happy sewing!