Lace in fashion

I still have a subscription to Stitches magazine and there are issues that I flick through and never absorb. In Vol 18 no 10, there is a story about Lace in fashion showing at the National Gallery in Victoria until January 2011. What caught my eye was a dress by Pierre Balmain made in 1966.

After doing a bit of thinking, I found two knit fabrics in my stash. One is a black net with lace outline and the other is a plain poly knit with a some texture. I think these were remnants from Pitt Trading years ago.

The photo doesn’t really show the texture on the solid knit. What this did give me was the fabric to make a similar styled dress.

I decided to keep the neckline the same and the dress body sheath was easy to do with this knit fabric.

The next step was to find a similar pattern in my stash to use for this pattern.

I chose Simplicity 2615 as the basis for the dress. You can see the a pencil drawn yolk line that starts under the sleeve and curves up to the center front. There is also a roll shoulder adjustment and I took out some fullness after making up the dress yesterday.

Once I traced the design lines onto the pattern I cut out the pieces and sewed it up. 
To overcome any slippage I used a walking foot.
This is one of my latest foot purchases since coming back from convention. I saw how people use the different feet on their machines and how this improves the quality of their work, so I’m really happy this my new foot. The foot was good to use on the lace netting because it kept the fabric together and the french seams were easy to produce.
At Rhodes yesterday Sharon and Wendy tidied up the fit. Simplicity 2615 has tons of ease because it has gathering, so we easily took out at least 5 cm off the side seams.


Here is the finished dress and below are the finished pattern pieces that I traced off the finished dress.

As you can see from my design, I have only included one layer of lace to keep the emphasis on my face. I still love the original Balmain version and would have loved to be tall enough to carry it off confidently.


  1. A beautiful dress and it looks so much better in real life as you can see the texture in the knit. Great inspiration and you have done a wonderful job in intpretating it for you.


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