Eyelet and lace croquet dress

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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.

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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*.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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Some photos of the lace insertion detail on the bodice.

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A closeup of the silk bow. Love that color!

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Sleeve lace insertions.

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And now for a few action shots!

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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?