For this trip to New York Fashion Week, I knew I wanted to make a dress. I fell in love with this gorgeous Trina Turk yellow lace dress a few months ago, and had it in the back of my mind when I went fabric shopping for my dress. Of course I waited until a few days before my trip to get started on the dress, but I knew I would be so sad if I didn’t have one of my own designs to wear to some of the shows.
I loaded up Eli and Cash in the car and drove down to Mood Fabrics in LA. I usually go to the LA Fabric District, but this time I was more concerned with finding the perfect fabric rather than getting a good deal on the yardage. I almost went with a dark red embroidered fabric, but I decided to go bold and get this amazing yellow lace. At $80 per yard, this was by far the most expensive fabric I have ever bought. But I had planned this trip to New York for months and I really wanted to make something amazing. I have boxes and boxes of fabric that I like, but over the past few years I have started buying less “just in case” fabric. Now I only allow myself to buy 1-2 fabrics at a time, and I have to use it up before I buy more. It’s better this way because I don’t get sick of fabric and just let it sit in my studio for months and months!
I am thrilled with the end result of this dress. I was happy that the dress photographed well, but I promise it is even more intricate in person! I bought 2 yards of it, and I used every last scrap. Cutting into this pricey of fabric was nerve wrecking for sure! I had originally planned on the side panels being wider, but after I cut the first panel I realized I wouldn’t have enough fabric left for the sleeves. So I cut that panel in half, and toned down the bell cut on the sleeves to make it all work with the amount of fabric I had. It all came together in the end, but there was a point where I texted Garrett saying, “I’m pretty sure I just completely messed up this dress!”
Yellow is such a bold color, and we are still going to see it peek through for fall. Here are some similar dresses for a little more eye candy. Some of them are really pricey, but there are a few dresses (like this one that is only $50) that are really pretty and much more affordable! This shade of yellow is a bit darker and would be great for fall.
Shop my look:
I included the Snapchat of my day at Fashion Week wearing this dress, so you can see it in action. My favorite part was wearing it to get burgers at Shake Shack!
photography by Jordan Zobrist Photography
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- 2 1/2 yards of lightweight lace fabric (I only bought 2 yards and I had to piece together a few things to make it work!)
- matching thread
- 2 yards of stretchy spandex in corresponding color for a slip (optional)
I added all the measurements to my dress in the image above for reference.
STEP 1: Lay one of your side panels on top of the front of your dress, rt sides together with the extra material of the panel pointing toward the middle. Serge them together along the edge. (if you don’t have a serger, you can always stitch with 1/2″ s.a. and zigzag the seam allowance to keep from fraying). With this delicate lace fabric, I adjusted my serger settings to create a thin tightly knit serge for attaching lace. The settings for serging lace will be in your sergers manual- just make sure you make adjustments if you do use lace. If you use a normal serge you might risk the seams coming undone easily.
STEP 2: Open up your front and back pieces that you just stitched together and lay your second panel piece rt. sides together with the extra fabric pointing toward the center and stitch up the opposite side.
STEP 3: Open up all three of these pieces now sewn together (side panel, front, and 2nd side panel). Lay you back piece on top of it with rt sides together (this will be the exact same measurements and pattern piece as your front piece). Match up the side seams of the back piece with the unsewn sides of each panel piece and sew up either side. With the dress currently inside out, stitch up the front and back pieces along the top of the sleeves.
STEP 4: Turn your dress rt. side out, and prep and insert your sleeves. If I had more fabric, i would have made these sleeves more bell shaped and dramatic. My sleeves measured 16″ side at the bottom when they were unfolded, but I would have liked them to be more like 20-25 inches wide.
STEP 5: Serge/finish the raw edges of the bottom of your sleeves. Depending on the kind o lace you are using, you can either serge and fold under the bottom of your dress, or cut around the lace, like I did. The netting will not fray, so I jus carefully cut around the bigger flower sections to create a whimsical bottom hem.
Serge along your neckline of the dress, fold under twice, and stitch with a wide straight stitch all around the neckline.