A Little Bit of Lace Detail Dress

Pattern: By Hand London’s Elisalex dress for the bodice and Sewaholic’s Cambie dress for the skirt

Fabric: Cotton chambray from Merchant and Mills


This dress has been a long time in the making. 6 months too long; I started it last June (working on it in between degree show and final uni bits and bobs), tentatively finished it in July, and ripped the zip and back seam out in August. The back was gaping, it sat too loosely on my waist, the shoulders slipped…. I wore it once, out for dinner with Scott, and after having to pin the shoulders to my bra straps in an effort to keep them up – something you should never have to do – I decided that the dress was a complete and utter fitting failure. I threw an almighty tantrum at it and that was that, it was doomed to sit, crumpled and unloved, on my unfinished, maybe-I-can-do-something-else-with-the-fabric pile. Until, that is, a few weeks ago.

I unearthed the dress whilst looking for fabric to make a toile and, time and distance having restored my patience with it, I set about restoring what I’d ripped out. This dress would work! I returned the zip, this time taking care to attach it with my shape and measurements in mind, drawing in the waist and shoulders (around about two darts I’d previously put in in an attempt to tighten up the back and stop gaping). I do have dreadful problems with gaping at the back with a lot of patterns – although I have, by some miracle, somehow – and after many toiles – managed to tweak the Elisalex pattern to suit my narrow back. More on that in another post, with another – still being made – dress though.


Anyway, enough about my faffing; onto the dress itself. I used beautifully soft cotton chambray which, whilst lovely, needed a little bit something extra just to ‘lift’ the dress once completed. Enter a length of beautiful cotton lace trimming which has been stashed in a trimmings jar for goodness knows how long. It looks pretty great against the chambray and was the perfect round the waist, defining touch. A touch of vintage pretty to an otherwise practical day dress.



I’m in another National Trust garden for these photos – this time the walled garden at Castle Fraser. Scott and I had a wee gander out to Castle Fraser last Sunday (there are a LOT of castles to explore in Aberdeenshire and I do love a castle…) and, despite being a bit chilly, it was nice to have a potter round the gardens and a walk in the grounds. Although the landscape is still a bit wintery and brown the first hints of Spring were on show; snowdrops are beginning to pop up in the flowerbeds. Not too much time left for winter now!

Anyway, that’s more than enough of a ramble from me for now!

Hannah x


10 thoughts on “A Little Bit of Lace Detail Dress

  1. Thank you for telling me, being a bit of a ditz with technology and had somehow managed to delete them! Can you see them now? I hope I’ve not gone and deleted photos from older posts too…?


  2. I love the way the dress scoops at the back and your right, the lace trim sets it off perfectly. I think everyone that sews has a naughty corner for half finished gone wrong sewing projects. I bet your glad you fished it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – I love a bit of lace trim! The scoop back is a really nice feature of the Elisalex dress – now I’ve got the fit sussed I have so many more planned. It makes me feel better if everyone has the same unfinished, this isn’t working pile as me…! 🙂


  3. Your dress looks lovely, the two patterns work together perfectly! I’ve still got some merchant & mills denim left to use, their chambray & denim selection is brilliant isn’t it?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Merchant and mills have waaaaay too many lovely fabrics and their denim and chambrays are fantastic – I rarely manage to visit their website without giving in and buying something… I’ve got several lengths of chambray still stashed away for another dress!


    1. Thank you very much – I love adding bits of trim here and there – especially lace! It can really change the whole look of a plainer garment. I live in boots and thick tights for – being in Scotland – at least 2/3s of the year so love finding ones that go well with dresses and skirts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s