Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lace Christmas Dress: Oliver + S Bubble Dress

 I was in Joann Fabrics a couple weeks ago and saw this lace in their special occasion fabric section.  It was actually pretty gorgeous, and I thought it would make a fun Christmas dress for Miss S.  I  decided to use the Bubble Dress pattern again, since it was a fun, quick dress to sew.  I also decided to add actual sleeves again, rather than just the extended, cut-on sleeve as directed in the pattern.  I've got a picture of my pattern pieces below, in case you're interested in how I modified the sleeve.

Rather than make a gathered sleeve with binding, like I did last time, I made a little bubble sleeve, using a lining and the same method as is in the pattern instructions for making the bubble skirt (essentially sewing a piece of elastic in between the outer fabric and the lining fabric).  You can see a peek of my lining in this photo of the sleeve.  I liked the effect the bubble sleeve produced, of a slightly more formal looking sleeve finish than the bias bound sleeve.

The green velvet ribbon is my favorite color in the world.  I found it at this great little shop near my house that has a really fun selection of trims and ribbons.  I bought some felt and begged my younger sister to make some little flowers to put on the ribbon.

The fabric is actually a really nice quality lace.  It is a cotton/nylon blend and has a subtle gold foiling  It's got really nice texture in person.  I underlined the lace with a cream colored lining fabric, then treated the two fabrics basted together as one in constructing the dress.  I lined the entire dress in a white cotton voile.

Here's a picture I snapped of my modified pattern pieces.  I used the sleeve and armscye from the Jumprope Dress pattern, since it's just a basic straight sleeve.  I just shortened it to a cap sleeve.  I kind of guessed on how long the shoulder seam should be and where the sleeve should start.  You can see that it wasn't a really scientific process, but more trial and error.  Then, to make the puffed sleeve at the top and bottom, I slashed and spread the sleeve apart.  I estimated how much I should spread it by measuring a puffed sleeve from a top that Miss S already had and then roughly matching that.  Unfortunately, I don't have the sleeve showing the slashes and spreads, I only have this cleaned up copy that I used for cutting the fabric.  You can probably google "slash and spread gathered sleeve" or something like that and get some examples if you're interested.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  Unfortunately, during the winter it will have to be worn with a sweater most of the time, since it's pretty cold, but at the rate Miss S is growing, she'll still fit it when the weather warms up.