Full disclaimer - this dress is a total knock off! Ever since I saw Ami's from Little Tailorless Peony Dress I was obsessed with it. It just looked so perfect. And she looks so adorable in it. It was a combination of the beautiful dress and wanting to look just as cute as Ami that I decided that I needed to have a white lace Peony Dress.
The pattern is Colette's Peony Dress. I think the name is perfect for this dress. It is so delicate and beautiful, yet understated, just like a blooming peony. Also, peonies are my favorite flowers. So may be I am a little biased on the name. Reading Amy's and other dressmakers reviews, as well as having my own experience with Colette Patterns I knew that some modifications to the pattern were in order. Thankfully, the dress didn't require more than my usual alterations - lengthen the bodice, redraft the armcycle, move the darts and take in at the sides. It really sounds like a lot of work, but may be because I've done it so many times it doesn't seem that way to me anymore. I was confident with the fit after my first muslin.
I followed the construction process as per the pattern instructions, but the only thing I did differently is I didn't use a neckline facing. Instead I used a self made bias tape to finish the neckline.
I cut my lace pieces and fabric pieces and laid them on top of each other and treated them as one piece. It did involve some basting at the seams and darts, but it wasn't as hard as I expected it to be. For the sleeves, I used the lace on it's own.
I decided to hem the dress as one piece as well. The lace and the underlining are attached at the hem, and I used a regular straight stitch on my machine. I know there was a better way to do it, but at this point my lace was starting to become quite finicky and was stretching with pressing. I don't know what it is about me and stretchy fabrics... So I decided it was for the best to attach the fabric and the lace together in a very concrete manner, hence a simple straight stitch hem.
The fabric came from my local FabricLand. The underlining is a simple poly blend fabric, that is very light and not transparent at all, and the lace is a mystery blend. As it turned out it does stretch with pressing and it stretched a lot. But it also shinks immensely with wash!! I was very surprised and scared by it but thankfully I learnt it when I pre-washed the lace. It came out super shrunk and crinkly, but turned back into beautiful lace with ironing! So strange... I wonder if anyone else has seen something like that. Do share!
Despite funky lace fabric, I am very happy with how this dress turned out. I've always wanted a delicate white lace dress! It's so easy to dress it up or down. I simply can not wait to don it in warmer weather with my black biker jacket and boots. Oh, to feel edgy and cool!