The “Slow and Steady” Dress
Fabric: A WHOLE LOT of eyelet lace and an old cotton, sheet: $6
Pattern: Skirt bottom, Colette Eclair; Dress bodice, Simplicity 6001
Notions: Invisible zipper, $3, Rit Dye in Fuschia, $4
Time to complete: 13 hours
First worn: September 2011
Wear again? Yes!
Total Cost: ~$13
I just have to say that I'm really really proud of this dress.
Ever since I bought a huge spool (about 300 yards of eyelet lace) for $6, I knew that I wanted to make a dress entirely out of the stuff. I actually started a different dress for the American Apparel challenge — the designer inspiration being Betsey Johnson. That dress didn't pan out for me but my dream of an all-eyelet dress didn't die. So when it came to think about this week's challenge, I immediately knew what I wanted to dye.
The eyelet started out a cream color — the color that makes up the majority of the bodice. Using Rit Dye in Fuschia, I dyed three batches of eyelet. The four fuschia color ranges were left in for 25 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute and 5 seconds. After I dyed them, I washed them in my washing machine and got a big tangled mess of pink. Untangling the lace was my least favorite part of the entire dress making process.
But once I was finished, I had four pretty colors (the lightest pink isn't pictured because I did that after this batch when I realized there needed to be a color between the lightest pink and the undyed eyelet.) I'm not quite sure how much eyelet I used because I just sort of eyed what I thought I would need.
After I had the lace dyed, I constructed the Eclair skirt out of a cotton sheet that I had also dyed pink. I left one side unstitched and then started the lace-stitching process. It wasn't complicated, just a bit repetitive. But a good sort of zen repetitive.
I ended up making the Eclair bodice but then I decided to toss it when I realized I'd get more use out of a sleeveless, but not strapless bodice top. So, I constructed the bodice from Simplicity 6001 and then, once those two pieces were finished, I attached the skirt to the top. Oh, I had to gather the skirt and that was a bit tricky with all that eyelet poking out. But it was doable.
So, yes, I love this dress!