Eyelet and lace croquet dress


My first love is historical costuming. In fact, that’s why I became a seamstress in the first place. I still remember being at the renaissance fair as a young child and falling totally in love with the costumes worn by the women who worked there, and subsequently being totally crest-fallen when the available rental costumes were rubbish. I then understood what sewing was about, well for me at least; it was a way to make beautiful one of a kind things that you couldn’t find anywhere else.


This dress really took me back to that childhood place of costume-y love. It harkens back to my favorite time period, the edwardian era, with soft glowing white dresses covered in intricately stitched lace insertions. *dreamy sigh*.


The pattern I used was Oliver + S croquet dress size 4 sewn in white cotton eyelet, dotted swiss, and cotton lace insertions. I mostly used view B but didn’t gather the top of the bodice, made the skirt fuller, added an inserted dotted swiss panel to the skirt front, and sewed thirteen lace insertions throughout the bodice and sleeves. Sound like a lot of work? Why, yes it was! If it had not been for Flip This Pattern I may have never had the nerve to undertake it. But I did, and now it’s done. WHEW!


Since I’ve been on a “real” material’s kick, I used a pearl button for the back closure. If you’ve never tried anything but plastic buttons you’re in for a treat! Glass, pearl, mother of pearl, wood, bone… there are so many wonderful and beautiful options to try!


I did the tie casing in dotted swiss, and the bow in antique pink silk. You can see the lace insertions make the dress sheer in that area, so it was necessary to sew a slip for underneath.


For the slip I used the Oliver + S pinwheel dress size 4 sewn in white batiste and dotted swiss. I modified the dress to be slim fitting, to have a waistline height matching the croquet dress, and made the skirt fuller and longer.


This dress pattern makes a great slip. Plus it’s quick and easy to sew!


Some photos of the lace insertion detail on the bodice.


A closeup of the silk bow. Love that color!


Sleeve lace insertions.


And now for a few action shots!



I’m so glad this dress is no longer just living in my brain! It was a challenge to undertake but sure is satisfying to finally have it made.

What lovely projects have you been sewing? Anyone else participating in Flip This Pattern?



25 thoughts on “Eyelet and lace croquet dress

  1. That does look like a lot of work, but I’m so glad you did it because look at the lovely results! The pinwheel dress as a slip was genius.

  2. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I was not a fan of this pattern until you shared this exquisite dress. You did such a wonderful job on every detail. The fabrics and laces are stunning. The dress is perfect on your gorgeous little girl. I made my daughter (now 20) an Edwardian styled drop waist dress when she was in preschool. I used a pattern from the Martha Pullen magazine “Fancy Work” (only one year of those magazines). The white dress had a sash of wide red silk that tied to the side like yours. She wore a velvet holly and berry broach under the collar. For Easter that year, I switched out the red silk for pink silk and a pastel ribbon rosettes broach. The loose fit enabled us to get two years out of the dress!

    • Thank you so much Karen! That dress you made sounds just lovely. And what a clever idea to switch out the bow/broach to update it for the season and extend its wear. When you put that much work into a garment it really just makes sense! I may have to try out switching the bow for a different color in the upcoming seasons.

  3. What a labor of love!! So light and summery…. just lovely! Thanks for linking up in the “Flip this Pattern” sew-along group and sharing your creation with everyone!! It’s beautiful!!

  4. This is just stunning! I am so impressed! I share your love for historic costumes, although I have very little experience in actual heirloom techniques, I sure do love them!

    I am thinking of making a croquet this KCW for Mags, but man, you have set the bar HIGH! Just perfect. Like something straight out of a Merchant & Ivory production. Amazing.

    • What a compliment! Thank you so much! I too don’t have much experience in heirloom techniques and really didn’t have any clue what I was doing with the lace insertions, other than what I’d learned from trusty youtube 😉 And I’m looking forward to seeing your version of the croquet dress for KCW!

    • Thank you so much! Finding the right fabrics was pretty time consuming in itself, and I floundered around for a while until I finally just bit the bullet and bought something. But isn’t that just how it goes sometimes ;). I’m so glad it turned out!

  5. Ahhhhh, right up my alley. I also made a dropped-waist pale green silk “Edwardian” dress for my now 27 year old daughter (who, btw will be making me a first-time grandmother late this year) (Wow! run-on sentence much?) when she was approximately 7 or 8 years old. I ALSO (I’m pretty sure) used a Martha Pullen pattern. I’ve taken MANY classes in Heirloom/”French hand-sewing by machine” and it looks like you did a very good job.

    • That dress sounds lovely and congrats! And thank you! I don’t have much experience with heirloom sewing but it sure is satisfying to produce something so lovely that will stand the test of time. I envy your taking classes; I would love to take a few someday!

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