Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Journey to a Lace-Edged Summertime Dress

I was not going to let myself start any new sewing projects until I finished off all my in-progress sewing projects. Before starting any new modern projects, I needed to finish all my modern in-progress pieces (some of which were cut out over a year ago - yikes!), and before starting any new historical costumes, I needed to finish all my current in-progress costumes. Well, as of a week and a half ago, the modern UFO (Un-Finished Objects) pile is no more! Everything is finished and wearable! Thus, I was allowed to start a new modern dress for myself - just in time for the Winter Wear Designs Summer Time Blog Tour! (Yes, after a long break, because, well, it's 2020 and nothing is "normal", the WWD Blog Tours are back!!)

WWD recently released a new pattern - the Journey Tunic & Dress. As soon as I saw it, of course I wanted to make it! So, Suzanne graciously sent it to me for this blog tour. It looked like such a fun, comfortable, easy to wear silhouette, plus the pattern has about a million options for personalizing (yet I still managed to hack it a bit. . . because that's what I do!), how could I not want to play with this new pattern?

Thus my pattern choice for this blog tour, and my first project after making my way through the UFO pile, was easy. The fabric choice is where the real thinking came in. Clearly, I needed to use stash fabric, because my stash is out of control! But which stash fabric?? A fun cotton print? A nice solid linen? Did I have any fun rayons that might work? What about stripes or a plaid? As I considered the multitude of possibilities, I recalled one I hadn't though of for a while. Back before I went on the World Race in 2017 I bought 2 1-yard cuts of a lace-edged, light weight, embroidered denim from Joann's. Since then, I have not been able to figure out what in the world I could/wanted to do with this fabric. The Journey Dress would be just the thing.

Like I said, my fabric was in two 1 yard cuts. Why wasn't it all in one 2 yard cut? Well, because I bought one yard of this fabric on impulse almost 4 years ago, then realized that wasn't enough to do anything with, so I went back and bought a second yard the next day. Ahh, adventures in fabric shopping. 

I used one cut of fabric for the skirt, using the lace-trimmed edges as my hem.

Obviously, I put pockets in the side seams of my skirt, because I don't do dresses without pockets! That said, the Journey dress pattern does include in-seam pockets, so it wasn't even a personal hack of my own this time! Always nice when designers include the important things (pockets!!) in their patterns.

I used the second cut of fabric for the drop-waisted bodice

I cut the main portion of my bodice from the less-decorated center of my fabric.

And the front and back yokes were cut from the lacy edges.

I was running a little tight on fabric, so one shoulder of the back yoke is pieced together. I did my best to pattern match the embroidery.

The yoke is lined in scraps from the un-embroidered center of the fabric. 

The yoke lining is machine sewn like normal to the lower section of the bodice and the lace edges of the yoke are hand sewn in place over top of that seam. Machine stitching would have interrupted the beauty of the lace. 

After the bodice was done, I tried it on before attaching the skirt.

I made a couple minor fitting adjustments, and then decided I wanted a more distinct waistline than what the pattern offered. Thus, my inevitable pattern hacking began. I decided a drawstring at the bottom of the bodice would be just the thing to add a little more shape to this fun, swingy, drop-waist  dress.

Thus, I began hand sewing a pair of eyelets in the center front of the bottom of the bodice.

I'm actually quite pleased with how these eyelets turned out! They're not perfect, but much better than some of my previous hand-embroidered eyelets! 

Once the eyelets were sewn, I attached the skirt, sewed a bias-tape casing to the inside of the dress, and threaded a drawstring of linen lacing through.

My dress was done!

This fabric was finally out of my stash and in my closet, ready to wear!

So how do I feel about the finished dress?

Well, I really like it!

I wore it most of this past weekend!

Saturday night for a game night with friends and then all day Sunday, including for an outdoor church service in the evening. The first real, live church service I've been to since Covid-19 started! (Proper social distancing was adhered to, thus the reason church was outside on the church lawn, rather than in a building)

This dress is incredibly comfortable and I feel cute in it!

Most certainly a garment which will be worn over and over again, all summer long!

Don't miss out on any of these stops on our Summertime Blog Tour:

Patricia of Sew Far North

Lim of KekeSews
Ilse of Sew Sew Ilse

Debbie Groves Guest Posting at WWD
Diane of Sewing With D

Livia of Liviality

Aurelie of Maglice&So
Donnisha Jones Guest Posting at WWD


  1. Beautiful dress, and a very clever use of small fabric pieces with borders. The drawstring waist is perfect for this dress!

  2. Lovely fabric hacking and pattern hacking! Denim and lace are on of my favorites.
    I'm so glad y'all can enjoy live services again! I think we are all learning to appreciate being able to fellowship with other believers on a whole other level!