Does anything scream Fifties glamour more than a sheer lace overlay cocktail dress? (Yes, Liberace comes close.)
My cousin needs a dress like this and she needs it soon -- big party next Saturday night! I hightailed it to the fabric store yesterday. They don't call me "Two-Bucks-a-Yard Pete" for nothing.
Voilà! Five yards of emerald poly taffeta. Five yards of black nylon lace.
Originally I was thinking something like the Simplicity Designer's Pattern I showed you on Thursday, the black version.
I really don't want to pay $20 for that pattern, though, especially because it's the wrong size and not quite the right style (that detachable collar -- too daytime). It wouldn't arrive in time anyway.
I'm going to cobble something together working with pieces of patterns I already have. It's a slip with a lace dress over it -- no boning in the bodice. There are a lot of photos of this kind of thing online, some more stiffly structured than others. Often the overlay was attached to the bodice and the darts sewn through both layers together, but not always.
In the version below, the lace overlay is removable -- it's called a redingote -- and not attached to the dress itself.
Here's something designer Helen Rose whipped up for Grace Kelly at MGM (for the film High Society, her last). Not quite the same thing but close. There was so much of this look out there at the time.
The overlay movie to beat all overlay movies is Paramount's White Christmas. There are more sheers in that movie than in Martha Stewart's entire Home Collection.
So there you have it, kids: ten yards of frou-frou and a week of hard labor. This is my kind of fun, what can I say?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns. I also sew for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!