Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

My entry for the Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition in 2016. I am wearing a light beige slip underneath.

Inspiration and design: I was inspired by lace dresses and skirts by Dolce & Gabbana, Zimmerman and Tory Burch.  I love a raglan sleeve and in the Zimmerman dress worn by Kate Middleton I liked the lace dot detail along the raglan seam.  I also like flounces, which make a lovely fluted shape. Flounces sit much more nicely than a ruffle because the top seam is shorter than the hem, because flounces are cut out as two concentric circles, or a doughnut! Dolce & Gabbana often uses flounces.
Sketch design
Inspirations from D&G, Zimmerman and Tory Burch
Pattern and raglan sleeve seam design
Pattern: I used one of my favourite vintage 1960s patterns, Simplicity 4608.  It’s described as “Slenderette one-piece dress with two skirts. Dress has round neckline, raglan sleeves, left side zipper, bodice front button closing and self or purchased belt”.  I used view 3 but made quite a few changes.  I changed the zipper closing to the centre back seam, made the front piece non-closing, lowered the neckline and made the sleeves much wider by slashing and spreading the sleeve pattern pieces.
Using the lace pattern:  In the pattern of the cut out lace panel I could see a doughnut shape for which I used to cut out the flounce. I used two panels to get enough flounce.
Donut shape for the flounce
Cutting out the flounce


For the sleeves I wanted to use the dot pattern of the lace that’s along the edge of the panel as a feature along the raglan seam. I wanted an effect as seen on the raglan sleeve seams of the Zimmerman dress.
Raglan sleeve seams with strips of dots 
To do this, I cut out the front bodice, back bodice and sleeves as normal. I sewed strips of the lace dots along the edges of the pieces.  Where the seam curved I had to gather the strips a little.
Sewing the raglan sleeves using the strips of the lace dots. I then cut away the fabric from the bodice and sleeve pieces.
I then cut away strips from the original pattern pieces. Then I sewed the bodice pieces to the sleeves along the lace dots strips. This made two rows of dots along the raglan sleeve seams.  I also used two rows of lace dots in the waistband.
Another consideration of pattern placement was ensuring there was a nice patch of black along the hem where the flounce attaches to the skirt.  I did this to make the subtle lace pattern of the flounce stand out.  If there was lace along the hem the flounce pattern would not be noticeable.
Finishing: I am quite pleased with my finishing of the dress.  I used the narrow hem setting on my overlocker to finish most of the seams. I overlocked right up against the seam.  I trimmed all the darts using the overlocker narrow hem.
narrow hem overlocker
overlocked the darts
overlocked the sleeve hems

I used purchased bias binding to finish the seams of the invisible zipper and also for the neckline. I used a hook and eye at the top of the zipper on the inside of the dress, but a little black button and thread loop on the outside of the dress to make it look nicer.

 More photos:


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