Project Little Lacy Dress
Skill Level: Intermediate
Skill Level: Intermediate
Lace is so chic! Make this elegant children's dress for a flower girl debut or classy event. Use a serger and some fun sewing accessory feet to make the job easier. Download printable instructions.
Cut out McCall 6786 dress pattern “D” for the front, back and sleeves.
Cut out the cuffs or the extra dress hem pieces and tape them to the sleeves and main dress pieces to add extra length to the sleeves and dress hem. (We are not blocking this dress as the pattern does).
Using your patterns with the added length, cut the sleeves out of the lace fabric only. Then, cut your dress front and back from the lace and 2 layers of lining.
So, you’ll need 2 layers of lining for the front (each cut on the fold) and 2 layers each for left and right back. Before you remove your pattern, mark the end-of-zipper point on all back dress layers.
Note: In this tutorial, we are using a serger 4-thread overlock stitch to stitch most of our seams and to finish the edges simultaneously. Make sure the serger stitch width plus the amount you are cutting off equals a 5/8” standard garment pattern seam allowance.
Serge the center back seam with a 4-thread overlock stitch on all 3 back layers separately below the end-of-zipper mark. Clip your seam allowance at this mark nearly to the seam
Tip: Serging lace blends the seam allowance into the semi-sheer garment, while finishing the edges at the same time. You can barely see the seam below.
Serge your lacy front to your lacy back at the shoulders and side seams. Repeat with both layers of lining. At this point, you should have three separate “dresses.”
Line up raw edges and evenly baste a lining layer to the lace at the armholes, neckline and along the zipper seam allowance. Make sure the seam allowances are facing in
Placing pretty sides together, take your remaining lining layer and pin to the outer lacy dress at the neckline. Stitch a seam around the neckline only. Trim and clip at the neckline.
Turn the lining to the inside and press then topstitch a 1/4” from the neckline to keep all layers in place.
Serge together all 3 layers of the zipper allowance.
When you get to the bottom of the zipper seam allowance, make sure you don’t clip the dress with the serger blade (fold your fabric to ensure it clears the blade). You might even lock down your blade as extra precaution.
Tip: When you reach the bottom, take your last stitch on the zipper seam allowance end, lift your foot, move all fabric to the back of the foot as best you can, put the foot down and continue stitching off of the zipper seam allowance end (where you had clipped your seam allowance).
Baste the additional lining layer at the armholes to hold all 3 layers together.
Try the dress on your model and make the appropriate adjustments. Take it in if necessary.
Cut the length for the hem (don’t forget to take the added scalloped lace into account). Hold up the sleeves and adjust the length as well, remembering the scalloped lace.
Insert your invisible zipper using the invisible zipper foot. Stitch the zipper to all three layers; this zipper is exposed on the inside.
To apply the scalloped lace, put your free-motion transparent foot on your sewing machine and lower your feed dogs.
Overlap and pin your scalloped lace onto the hem edges as desired (leaving a good amount to stitch to) and free-motion stitch your trim to the sleeve ends and dress hem avoiding any beads (if applicable). It’s like hand-sewing but quicker! Make sure that the overlapping ends of the trim on your dress hem start and end at a seam, camouflaging their overlap as much as possible. The nice thing about lace is that it blends well with more lace!
Hem the 2 lining layers with a rolled edge. Serge with a 3- or 4- thread overlock, press that edge up, and straight-stitch it down for a really quick, easy, flat hem.
If there are beads on your scalloped lace sleeves, remove any that may be within the sleeve SEAM ALLOWANCE ONLY. Tack down beaded ends where threads were cut to avoid losing more beads.
Ease the shoulders of the sleeve, as described in your pattern and stitch your sleeves to the 3 layers of the dress armhole.
If you are comfortable, serge all 4 layers of your very curvy armhole seam allowance down to 3/8” or less.
If you are not comfortable with maneuvering the curve through the serger, trim your armhole allowance down to 3/8” or less and apply bias tape to cover the raw edges.
Admire your work - you’re done!