So in Australia it is wedding season. It’s also party season, Christmas, New Years. However my precious baby boy is still breastfeeding. So when you receive an invite to a family wedding on New Years Eve, how do you discreetly get the boobs out for baby and dress appropriately for a wedding. Easy, you find the perfect pattern, the perfect fabric and you make a dress, in limited time, while still feeding a baby. Gee I really need to try that sleep thing!
Anyhow my basic plan was find something with buttons down the front, bonus points if it’s also pretty. Butterick 6412 by Gretchen Hirsch from Gertie Sews did the trick. In the way of prettiness it’s perfect. In the way of practical it was pretty close with definite potential. My only real issue was getting the girls out to feed. The potential was there though with the cross front and seam at the waist.
Next off to the fabric store where I was a bit limited, being in a small town, I however had a partly made tutu at home for miss 12 with a pretty pink lace, and they still had some of that in store so I went for that. 3 metres of lace and 3 of lining, some cute little buttons and 3 zips and I’m on my way to a pretty dress.
This dress is pretty simple to do however I wanted to use the scalloped edge of the lace on the neckline and sleeve edges as well. Plus have the button front as fully functional. So instead of just overlapping the fronts, I actually interfaced them. Then the lace was sewn to the lining which acted as an underlining as well and all necessary fitting was done as I’m weirdly small at the top of my back and in a few random spots. I normally have to take at least a few inches out up near the back of my neck. I also tried to ensure that this dress was not too fitted on the bust as my cup size obviously changes by the hour. the scalloped lace was added to the neckline, the zip was then partly inserted in the back and then lining attached. The button placement and buttonholes were next. Sew far sew good!
Next comes the tricky part, why exactly did I buy 2 extra zippers? Well…… they were then attached on the waist seam, so instead of sewing the button overlap and underlap together and joining to the skirt, I actually attached an invisible zip on each side of the button front so that when they zippers were done up the zipper tabs were both at the button closure. If that makes sense. However once done up, the zipper attached to the button overlap actually covers the tab of the zipper attached to the underlap and you actually only see one zipper tab.
The next part was the skirt. I actually had the lace as a separate skirt for this dress so instead of attaching the skirt to the zip and have it sit funny, I did a placket on the lace at the back, then attached the zip to the underlining and lining. I did two layers of lining as due to time and weather conditions I wasn’t planning on a petticoat. (New Years Eve was predicted to get to a hot dry 38 degrees Celsius) How cute would this dress look with a petticoat though, maybe a later project.
So once the skirt was made, lace layer, underlining layer and lining layer, I sewed the lace to the underlining, and attached to the waist seam matching side seams and notches all the way to the zipper ends. Then the front skirt was attached to the zippers with the overlap and then the underlap. Picture 3 demonstrates this. The skirt lining was then added, and then the hem marked and finished. I also used the scalloped lace on the edge of the skirt which was done with a tiny zigzag then to save time, hemmed the lining and underlining with a rolled hem on my overlocker. Viola!
Picture 1 is Butterick 6412 which you can find at https://butterick.mccall.com/b6412. Picture 2 is my version of this dress. Picture 3 is the zipper tab that would be seen with the dress done up, picture 4 is with one zipper undone and picture 5 is with both front zippers undone. Picture 6 and7 show how the 2 zippers come together and picture 8 is the placket at the back of the lace skirt.