February 25, 2013

How to create your own lace dress: My manual cut lace project

I recently made this dress as an experiment. As evidenced below, I am happy to report that it was well worth the time and effort. PLUS a heap of people on Fickle Sense & Burdastyle appreciated it, so I thought that I would share my process with you! 

More photos of this dress by my man (Michael) before post



I was initially inspired by laser cut lace clothing. The laser cut technology has enabled many designers to create their own style of lace... so I thought I would give this a try minus the technology. 


 Some other inspirations here 

WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR THIS 'MANUAL CUT LACE' PROJECT?
  • TEXTILE PATTERN DESIGN - You need an idea of the textile pattern that you want to create. I chose a jacquard style 
  • THIN & THICK TRACING PAPER OR CARBON TRANSFER PAPER - I use water proof tracing paper for all of my stencils. You don't need it to be water proof, but I use stencils for printing and this paper is thick enough to use it as a stencil. If you can find a large piece of carbon tracing paper or use a few smaller pieces, you could draw your design straight onto the fabric without needing to use a scalpel or cut out the thick piece of tracing paper. This is probably much easier, but I wanted to make a stencil. 
  • SCALPEL  - If you want to create a stencil make sure you have a SHARP scalpel
  •  A SLIP DRESS PATTERN - I chose this pattern as it is simple and has minimal shape & darts. I utilised the pattern from Burdastyle- Jamie Shift Dress. 
  • FABRIC - 2 x metres of course tulle; 2 x metres of a finely woven fabric which does not fray much. 
  • SCISSORS -Some sharp scissors which allow precision cutting. 
  • FABRIC MARKER 


1.Design your lace pattern. Perhaps take inspiration from textile patterns. 
e.g. 

 












2. Sketch out your design. If you want a symmetrical design draw only half of the design lengthways. 


3. Cut out your Shift Dress pattern pieces and make sure that the front piece is traced onto tracing paper (put this tracing paper front piece aside). Now cut your Tulle. When cutting the back omit the zipper and cut the dress on the fold so that the back looks like the image below. Sew the darts for the front piece. 
 

 

4.When you are happy with your textile design, have a look at where the darts lie. (please refer to image number 8 below to see where I placed the darts, I have marked them in yellow). Make sure that when you draw out your design on the tracing paper, draw the textile pattern to work WITH your dress pattern. 

Now transfer the 'half' design onto thin tracing paper. Once the entire design is transferred, fold the paper and draw the other half. This ensures that it is all symmetrical.

5. If you are using a stencil, transfer the final design onto the thick tracing paper and scalpel away!

 

6. Now that you have cut out the stencil, draw the pattern onto your cut out fabric.
7. Lift away the stencil and get those scissors out! Now start CAREFULLY cutting. If you want the inverted version for the back.... you need all pieces to stay intact! So be careful


8. ALIGN CUT OUT LACE PIECE TO TULLE. 
Now that you have your entire lace cut out. Pin and sew darts. Next you need to match up the tulle front pattern and the cut out lace darts. By matching these darts, you are able to align the garments together. Now pin, pin, pin!




9. Now carefully, starting from the middle top section, start sewing the black fabric onto the tulle. Sew close to the edge to prevent the fabric flapping away from the tulle. Sew from the middle out to the edges. Then move down the bottom section in the middle outwards. This hopefully ensures that your black fabric lies as 'bubble free' as possible.  This does take a while and feels a little tedious, BUT remember it is worth it in the end! You can hand sew some of the small pieces

 10. BACK SECTION
Now for the back section. Place your textile design next to the back section of the tulle and place the cut out pieces correctly on the tulle.


11. Pin and sew the back section. 
Once the whole back and front textiles are complete, match and sew the front section to the back. 
Now roll the edges of the neckline and sew it down. Cut the back of the neckline tulle piece so that it matches the front section. Cut the many threads. And you are finished! FINALLY!
 

12. Don't forget to make a slip. I used the same shift dress pattern, just made it smaller along the sides so that it clung to me more.

FERTIG!

30 comments:

  1. Good god woman. So. Much. Work. Granted, the final product makes me want to cry... Any estimates how much time this beauty took to make?

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    1. It didn't take me THAT long actually. It was a few days of solid work. Maybe 3 days or so. I am glad you appreciated it! Thanks for the feedback:)

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  2. wow you are too cool! i would never have though to make my own lace, but now that I see how i want to try (on a smaller something of course!).

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  3. I looks like the results were well worth the work! It's gorgeous!

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    1. It took a while, but I am glad I had a go! Thanks for the encouragement!

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  4. Great tute - This dress is quite an undertaking!

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    1. A few days of work, all worth it. Thanks!

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  5. Amazing! You really thought this through. Just the idea of sewing along all the edges... That is dedication!

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    1. Thanks for the encouraging comments. It did take a while, but it was nice to challenge myself!

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  6. That lace dress is gorgeous! You are so awesome! :)

    Take care,
    Daniella xox

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  7. Oh wow, that is incredible!! Definitely going to try and find the time to give this a shot.

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  8. I love this idea! And there was so much attention to detail to sew all of the pieces of lace to the tulle. Congrats, it's really beautiful!

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    1. Thanks so much. It did take a while, but turned out ok. So I am happy with the results!

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  9. Whaaaat!! This is so insanely cool!! It looks so amazing! If I had any sewing techniques to speak of, I would try this in second. I have to share this with my sewing friends :)

    xo inventedromance.blogspot.ca

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    1. Share away! And have a go at sewing too! Thanks for the lovely feedback.

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  10. Waouh ! It's really spectacular !!

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  11. oh wow! That seems like so much work, but the dress you created is absolutely stunning :) I wish I was skilled enough to make my own couture(yes i call this couture!) like you :) I'd never have to shop again and I'd definitely never have to look for things I want, I would just make them all myself, haha! x

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    1. Oh thanks so much!... and thanks for using the word 'couture' :) I encourage you to have a go at sewing! I started to sew as a teen as I could never find the garments that I wanted, so I decided to have a go at designing and sewing them. It is not as difficult as it seems.
      Thanks again!!!!!!

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  12. That is BLOODY AMAZING! You look fantastic, the instructions are fantastic, your patience is also evidently fantastic...I'm definitely inspired to give it a crack.

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  13. this is so gorgeous! such a unique dress!

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  14. wooow u r realy brillinat , never taught of it.
    thank you sooooo much

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  15. That's so nice! The dress looks just amazing! Congratulation! I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to do something that pretty!!

    fashionfixeshearts.blogspot.com

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  16. THE BEST EVER! love u!
    i follow u!:>
    come and visit me, if u like follow:))

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  17. WHHHHHAAAT! This is so damn cool. I think I will try this but on a smaller piece of material (maybe just a shirt for now?) to start off with, hehe.

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  18. Mahaila this is stunning. I'm planning a top inspired by this and was wondering what the type of fabric you used over the tulle?

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