LACE SHIFT DRESS TUTORIAL

A couple of weeks ago I share my blush lace dress that I made myself for my birthday. Today I’m back with the tutorial! This my first time making a dress with full lining, so there was a little trial and error, and a fair amount of unpicking and resewing, but I’m thrilled with how it turned out. 
You can see the original post and all the photos of the dress here!
dress made by me (similar here and here)
rock and republic heels, similar 
lulu*s bag, similar here on sale!
FIND THE FULL TUTORIAL AFTER THE JUMP!

MATERIALS:

  • 1 1/4 yard lace (more or less depending on your height and your desired length)
  • 1 1/4 yard lining (more or less depending on your height and your desired length)
  • Matching thread
  • Button
1. Cut your pieces as shown so you have two dress pieces (FRONT and BACK) of the lining, and two dress pieces (FRONT and BACK) of the lace. If your lace has a scalloped edge, like mine, make sure you cut your lace dress pieces along that edge. Then cut two lace sleeves and two lining sleeves. 
2. First let’s do the necklines for both the front and back of the dress. Take the BACK lace and lining dress pieces and cut identical slits down the back, about 5″ long. This will be for your keyhole so you can fit the dress over your head. If you choose to do a wider neckline, you can skip this step. 
3. Before you sew your keyhole, you need a button loop. Use a piece of ribbon, cording, or some leftover lining fabric made into a strip, and cut it about 4″ long. Tuck it in between the lace and lining, pinning it at the top corner of the keyhole (as shown). With right sides together, take the two BACK pieces and sew around the neckline and keyhole, securing the button loop in place. Trim your seam allowances, and then turn right side out, pulling out the sharp corners of the keyhole so they’re nice and pointy, and press.
4. Now take the FRONT lace and lining dress pieces and, with right sides together, sew around the neckline. Trim the seam allowance and then turn right side out and press. 
5. Take your FRONT and BACK dress pieces and, with lace sides facing each other, sew all four layers together at the shoulder seams. 
6. Now let’s move to the sleeves. Lay your lace pieces on top of the lining pieces and attach them with a basting stitch. 
7. Open your dress and lay it flat on the floor, lace side up.  Lay your sleeve on top of it, lace side down (right sides together). Match up the top of your sleeve to the shoulder seam, and pin the sleeve to the arm hole. 
8. Sew across the armhole with a straight stitch, attaching the sleeve to the dress. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for the second sleeve. 
9. Before you sew up the sides, hem the lining of the skirt. Once the front and back lining have been hemmed, put the right sides of the dress together and sew up the sides of the dress (from the end of the sleeve to the bottom of the dress). 
10. Hem the sleeves (I did not hem the lace and lining separately here), and hand sew a button on the back so the keyhole can close. And you’re done!

29 Comments

  1. Natali says:

    Aww, what a beautiful dress!? Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial, I hope to find time to make this at home myself.

    http://lartoffashion.blogspot.com

  2. Christina Storm says:

    Love this! Gorgeous dress! Hope you have a great weekend!
    The Style Storm
    <3, Christina

  3. Ohh I might have to make this! I want one in mint. You look gorgeous!

    Nightchayde

  4. Great tutorial! You look beautiful 🙂
    XO Kelly
    http://www.dettecakes.com

  5. sandyalamode says:

    seriously, how are you soo talented and gorgeous all in one!?

    xo,
    Sandy
    Sandy a la Mode

  6. lex says:

    You should take pictures of the sewing process for us who learn visually 😉

  7. Jet Skidmore says:

    So Beautiful! What type of fabric did you use for your lining? I can’t wait to make one!

    • Merrick says:

      Mine is kind of a lightweight silky satin — I don’t know exactly what blend it was. But it was right next to the lace, sold as a lining for this particular lace (they had matching lining for each color of lace). Hope that helps!

  8. Sara says:

    Amazing! I love your tutorials. You have great style

  9. Mads | Its a Mads Mads World says:

    Gorgeous dress, such a nice silhouette !

    Madeline | Its a Mads Mads World

  10. Naomi Weima says:

    My sister introduced me to your blog a few months ago, and now I check almost every day to see your posts. I love your sewing style – its always super simple and quick. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. tacy says:

    How do you figure out how much more or less fabric to buy depending on your size?

    • Merrick says:

      I’m 5’6″ and the 1 1/4 yards was enough for me to make it knee length. If you’re taller than that, I’d go for 1 1/2 yards just to be safe. If you’re shorter, 1 1/8 yard should be good.

  12. Hannah says:

    This is incredible! Just bought pretty light blue lace and I’m gonna try to make something similar!! But question — I live in the LA area, would you ever think of giving sewing lessons? (I can sew basics, but I’m not nearly as good as you are!)

    • Merrick says:

      Oh, light blue would be so pretty! And unfortunately there’s no way I could fit sewing lessons into my schedule. I’m so sorry! But I think many local craft/sewing stores teach lessons — you might check that out! Good luck!

  13. Hi Merrick! I love the dress. So elegant! What site do you use to make your drawn sewing tutorial?It’s so much simpler than taking pictures of every single step. Thanks!

  14. this dress is gorgeous! cannot believe it can be so easily made!

    ladies in navy

  15. Susan says:

    Is there a place to print the pattern for this dress?

  16. Angelica Cuevas says:

    I’ve been wanting a lace dress for a very long time, but couldn’t find a good step-by-step tutorial. This tutorial is awesome, so clear and concise, thank you for uploading. First time on your website, love the little drawings and photographs. Will make this dress very soon!

  17. Jessica Tate says:

    I am a bridesmaid for an upcoming wedding and really want to make this dress. I have a shift dress I bought from old navy would I be able to use that as an outline and what’s the best way to use it as a pattern for a shift dress? Do you have a tutorial on how to sew sleeves on a dress. I am a little nervous about that part.

  18. Very interesting blog! Many thanks for the article.

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