Consciously creating a beautiful life.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Little lacy miracle dress

One of the books I ordered from Germany is this one:

Like the title says, it features 25 cute dresses. I love most of them, and had a hard time deciding which one to make first (darling Esther gave me one more week with the sewing machine!).

After some back and forth I settled on the title dress, mainly because I kind of understood the description on how to do it - apart from something called 'notching and mitering the corners' (?):

Then I went to the fabric shop.

It took me longer to decide on a fabric than to make the dress.

They didn't have the pretty lace from the picture.

What they did have were hundreds of rolls of fabric, all colors, all patterns, heavy ones and light ones, glittery ones and checked ones.
I was completely overwhelmed, especially because I had no clue as to which fabric would work for a dress like this.

Finally I settled on a brownish one and some equally brownish lace, and my faithful companion and I set to work:

The book doesn't have patterns (one of the reasons I bought it :-) ), but gives you little drawings with measurements
which I more or less managed to duplicate on the fabric.

These dresses are made for Japanese people, meaning they are rather on the small side:

Then I cut the parts. It is a kimono cut, where the arms are cut as part of the body.
I cut one piece for the back, two front pieces and a panel for the front to put between the pieces:

The most difficult part of the dress came right at the beginning. They call it: Attach bias-strip edging to back neckline.
I fumbled my way through it:

Then you have to attach the lace to the front panel, easy peasy that one:

Then sew the front panel to the two front sides:

Next up is closing the shoulder seams, attaching lace to the end of the arms, and sewing the front and back parts of the dress together:

I actually made the whole thing without having to use the seam ripper!
This is a first and very exciting :-).

When I was finished I was so fond of the dress that I even ironed it (another first).

My photographer has a birthday coming up and is busy planning an elaborate party.
This envolves VERY long telephone conversations with her best friend.

So she couldn't really be bothered with taking pictures.
She quickly snapped two and run off again:


And now I am actually looking forward to making the next dress!

Lots of love to you,


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  1. How pretty! Any sewing book that doesn't require you to use a pattern is my kind of book! I'm going to have to get that one! Thanks for sharing about it!

  2. Dear Jutta, it looks lovely! Don't you just love projects without seam rippers!!!! :-).

    Don't worry about the sewing machine, the children have three more weeks of holiday, and I won't be doing much sewing with them around. Enjoy her a little bit longer :-)

    Love, E

  3. Jutta, you are absolutely adorable in every way. I love your work space, I too use my floor for nearly all my projects. I equally love that you would rather figure it out as you go than work from a pattern. The dress turned out lovely! Your photographer obviously doesn't need much more than 2 shots because both are great...I can't wait until my little one can act as my photographer!!!

  4. Hi Jutta, you look amazing in your lovely dress! I'm amazed how good you are at sewing! Wonderful! Lots of love to you & Eva! HUGS! :)

  5. Very, very, very cute! You and the dress and your writing! I enjoyed this blog post very much. I saw it over at "Success U Party".

  6. Great job! I have a copy of this book at home but have yet to make anything from it. It's interesting to see it in action. Congratulations on all your 'firsts'~ lol

  7. You made one beautiful dress! I love it!


  8. Hmm, quite a charming dress despite the reasonably simple cut!

    Yet, could I kindly tempt you to just try some little tiny wee bit of 'getting it a bit closer to figure' with some temporary stitching in the side seams for comparison (just for yourself), please?
    To me it looks a little wee bit tooooo oversized on your fragile, skinny figure (= cute 'bag of bones; not much 'upholstery' ! ;-) ! )
    1/2 sorry yet 'pink envy' ! :-)

    (yes, ash on to my head since I'm known as the one with a definite liking for 'tent-style' sizes - YET: I've definitely a fair bit of 'upholstery' to cover as well ! :-)

    1. :-)
      since reading your comment i keep on picturing the dress more form-fitting...
      yes, would definitely look much better!
      but some deeeeeeep waters to cross here for somebody who fakes her way through sewing. how to do that?
      will do some research!
      or please, should you read that, could you give me some pointers as to where to sew what?

    2. Who says, you're the only one doing so? :-D
      Don't worry, quite some of us started this way and I even still do so: without pattern and all CAREFUL try and error ;-)
      Just give it first a go with a longish flat crescent line with some contrasting running stitches behind the current existing seams from approx. under the armpits down to where your hip starts; only 1/2 to 1 cm max. deeper at highest 'bend'.
      Similar you can do with the seams of the lace panels. You've to indeed experiment - don't overdo, since the casual relaxed cut is the actual charm of the dress. Give it a careful go - might improve with just the tiniest smitten in all seams.

      Ah yea, just abide to rule no. 1 in sewing which you've probably learnt for sure already: don't fix things to a never ever undo-able stage since you might have to wish yourself to hell if you have to work 'after some too solid workmanship of your own' ;-) :-)

      (can see you right in the 'overtaking lane' in very due time :-D ! )

    3. Btw., you explored 'DIY bias tapes' already? Mighty handy stuff - especially when in colour(s) one actually wants!!! :-)

    4. lovely, will give it a try once i am done sewing the party dresses for the kids!
      thanks so much for the bias tapes tip! had to google it first as i had no clue what it is. now i know and i can see why it would come in handy! i can also see why it said: 'iron your bias strip' in the japanese book :-).
      bist du vielleicht aus Deutschland?
      lg zurück

    5. Jaaaa - aber ich 'sitze' in Australien (Melbourne) :-D and yes, my grammar is still as wrong as wrong can be when I'm in an excited stage and my English won't ever get up to scratch to compete with any native speaker YET I'm daring and not frightened to take them on - even the entire world of 'Blessed English speakers' (thanks god, it was English and not Chinese, chosen for business-language; by counting head they'd won ! ;-) ;-) :-D

      lg noch mal/once again,

      I pushed to towards the 'bias tape' since it's a mighty handy thing to get some colour into kids garments without having hell of a lot of material on hand; let's face it, other countries aren't as densely 'stocked' as Germany - at least not over here ;-) (yet most of the 'rest' is fine!).

      Hearya (Austr. version for "hear you" later)

    6. oh wow, didnt know that about counting heads! interesting.
      germany might be (ok, is) pretty densely stocked, but Namibia, where I live, is not :-). The the bias tape tip is highly appreciated!
      still havent done any 'abnäher' on my dress, but working up the courage
      hugs to you

    7. Btw., have a look into the blog of 'sewinggalaxy' as well; might come in just as handy for the future.
      Further have a look into the MMM (memade 'Mittwoch') at '' you might find helping friends there for all sorts of your life; means incl. kids sewing.

      Btw., parts of Australia seem to be 'rather Namibian' as well. Some of us might reach a close by charity- or else 'second-hand-shop' easier than an outlet with original and 'fresh' items. Yet, as I said, most times it's really o.k.
      The only thing I'm checking more careful in the future will be: where 'sweetie-pie' (hubby) is intending to fall for a tempting job since this was the reason why we ended up here originally (and I do not really wanna change) ;-) :-D


    8. Great, will check your tips out!
      I know quite a few Namibians and South Africans that moved to Australia, it is apparently quite similar from the landscape too, although you have real cities down there :-)
      Where do you live?

  9. Your dress turned out lovely and it looks very nice on you. I wish I could sew.

  10. That is such a cute dress!! I need a pattern and then I still cant sew properly!!! I need a seamstress - fancy a trip to NZ? lots of love Nat

  11. The lace is a very pretty touch to the dress. I'm not sure I could sew without the pattern, but you did a lovely job. And your assistant is adorable!

  12. How cute! Good job for a beginner seamstress (:

  13. Wow, that is so impressive. I think your fabric and lace choice was very pretty. Thanks for sharing at our party this week.

  14. That is super cute! I am impressed! I *always* need an actual pattern that I can pin out. If I don't have one, ha. Don't even try it...the end product is awful, and we all laugh like lunatics! Looks fantastic!

  15. Fantabulous!!!!! definitely are a pattern maker an seamstress and you make me want to make a dress but I want it to look like yours!:):):) You look beautiful in it!

  16. ps...forgot to say how nice to have your cute companion!

  17. WOW, another beautiful and comfy looking dress. I totally want to get sewing now. Maybe after Mother's Day I'll have time before the next holiday and creative rush. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday this week. I can't wait to see what you link up next week. Have a wonderful weekend.


  18. That color looks fabulous on you. Love the lace.

  19. I'm so impressed! The dress is lovely and looks great on you! Well done!

    Thanks for sharing on SOS!


  20. That looks fancy! You did an awesome job!

    There is a link party going on in my blog today. I would LOVE for you to share this :)


  21. Wow, it is lovely. You are so talented. Thank you for sharing at the blog hop. Hugs P.S.I invite you to stop by and enter the May Days Giveaway and get your summer started with some great accessories.

  22. Hübsch! Innen wie außen!

    Alles Liebe


  23. Great Job. Thanks for coming and sharing this with us at The Sunday Round Up.

  24. This is SEWWWW fantastic! You look gorgeous in it and I just adore the fabric. I would be tickled Pink if you would share with my Pink Hippo Party @
    I am your newest follower~

  25. Wonderful creation ~ love the style and the lace ~ glad you have a little doggie to help ~ ~ thanks, namaste, ^_^

    PS ~ So glad to have you at Magical Monday Meme ^_6

  26. Wow! I'm so impressed! That dress turned out darling! Looks great on you too! Thanks so much for linking up this great creation at my link party! Hope to see you this Wednesday for more wonderful inspiration!

    Kaitlin-The Not So Simple Housewife

  27. You looks so beautyful!!!!

    Ganz zauberhaft - das Kleid und die Trägerin!

    Sonnige Herzensgrüsse

  28. please link your post on tanoshii

    on CREADIENSTAG only stuff from tuesday ;-)


  29. How nice! I love the lace. I know what you mean about it being an accomplishment to not have to use a seam ripper. I'm still in the seam ripping stage myself :)

  30. This is so cute...the lace adds so much. It's just beautiful! Thanks for coming to our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We would love to see you again next week!! -The Sisters

  31. Very pretty! Thanks for linking to Handmade Tuesdays.

  32. I love this dress and the colour looks great on you! Jutta, thanks for coming to Natural Mother's “Seasonal Celebration Sunday.” I would love to see you again next week!! Rebecca x

  33. Thank you for participating in Show Your Stuff Blog Hop, You are invited to come back:

  34. You did an amazing job, it's beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

  35. Jutta!!! What a LOVELY dress!!!!! I just LOVE the lace!!

    Thanks for sharing at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!
    I can't wait to see what you link up tomorrow :)

  36. Jutta, such a beautiful dress! Sounds like a great book with unique and chic fashions. I love the color your chose for your lacy dress!

    Thank you for sharing your creativity at Rook No. 17!


  37. You did such a great job! I love the lace and the color of the dress!

    Take care,


  38. Well, it is beautiful. Cant' wait to see the other 24.

    Thank you for linking it up at our link party: As always, I love your ideas, and look forward what you'll bring us this week, as a brand new party will open today!


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