‘Where do you go to, my lovely?’
Ha, ha – Karen does whimsical.
Here’s my second version of the Simplicity 2591 pattern, made with fabric bought from Walthamstow market at £1 a metre. Even as I was handing over my money, I began to doubt this choice of cotton. But now that I’ve made it up, I am back in heart with it. It’s so much fun, especially with that lace hem. All in, I reckon this dress cost me £11 including cost of fabric, notions and a proportion of the cost of the pattern. Not bad, eh? I cut it two sizes smaller than my measurements dictate, as recommended by Stitchy Witch. Naughty Simplicity, to mislead your Sewists so.
This second version has made it clear that weightier fabrics like my stretch cotton sateen suit this dress better as they hold the form better. This dress makes for a fun outfit when I’m chilling out, but I don’t think it’s working quite well enough to wear for afternoon tea in places like the posh Langham!
I am wearing it with a beautiful crocheted brooch made by my talented friend, who has an Etsy shop called cupboardofgood. The bonus of this lightweight brooch is that it doesn’t drag down on fabric. I’ve also teamed the dress with another of my charity shop belts, originally from Jigsaw. Charity shop belts are the future!
Once I’d decided to add a lace hem to the skirt, I went on line and dipped into books to try to find a resource. No luck! So, I thought I’d put together my own tutorial on attaching a lace hem direct to the hem of a dress or skirt.
Two warnings before you begin:
1. Ensure that the fabric of the main garment and your lace are of relatively similair weight and stiffness. Attaching a lace hem like mine to a light poplin would probably have been a disaster, as the stiffness of the lace would have made the hem of your light, floaty fabric very awkward and unwieldy.
2. Be careful with the accuracy of your hem line. That stretch of lace rules a big line under the edge of your hem so any issues with wonkiness will be screaming out at you.
So, on to the tutorial…
Pin the lace to the hem of your dress, lining upside down against the right side of the fabric. The right side of the lace should face down onto the fabric. Leave a decent sized hem on the dress ie one inch.
Sew along the base line of the lace, leaving about a quarter inch hem on the lace.
Press the lace trim, turning your hems up to face the wrong side of the dress fabric.
Press your generous hem on the dress fabric over and over again to form a ‘seal’ over the raw edge of the lace. Alternatively, you could trim these raw hems and apply bias tape. (My friend recently directed me towards these gorgeous Liberty print bias tapes!)
Sew and press the finished hem. You’re done!
To balance the two warnings that I began with, I give you two hidden delights of the lace hem:
1. No hand sewing of a dress hem – hurrah!
2. When the sun comes out, your lace hem does this:
I hope that helped. Any other lace tips out there?
I leave you with a wonderful piece of street art that I saw yesterday on the South Bank. I defy you not to feel happy!