Mood Sewing Network Lace Challenge

Ginevra dressWhile Tory Burch may refer to her Ginevra dress as the little lace sundress in the classic shade of navy, I’m calling my new navy lace dress my Easter dress, and it better warm up or I’m in trouble.


This is my completed project for the Mood Sewing Network lace challenge and I must say I’m pleased.

IMG_0995Inspired by the Tory Burch Ginevra dress, I ordered this navy cotton lace from Mood,


and was set to go until I saw –  and touched the actual dress in a store. I suddenly lost confidence fearing I could never make a dress that favorably compared to it….

Thank you, Readers and thank you Lynda Maynard for moving me past my apprehension!


 Since this was my first experience to sew with lace, I vowed to limit the risk factors by selecting an easy to work with lace, keeping the project simple and sewing a familiar garment style.

 The cotton lace was a delight on many levels. Hand stitching and tracing paper marks disappeared into the sea of navy flowers.  The fabric has good body and held up well when I attached the grosgrain waistband and inserted a hand-picked zipper.

  IMG_0897  IMG_1012
My only surprise lay in discovering how easily  lace can stretch.  Fortunately stay-stitching the edges solved the issue.

The dress is lined with a navy china silk from Mood Fabrics. I used an older Milly cotton lace dress for reference and decided underlining was unnecessary for this fabric. Since all of my adjustments were made in the muslin the sewing went quickly and a new dress was born!


 Sew the Perfect Fit Review Part 2

Weeks earlier I began Lynda Maynard’s online Craftsy Course, Sew the Perfect Fit. (blogged here).

 The course includes Vogue 8766, and View D reminded me of the Ginevra lace dress.


 In the 10 video lessons, Lynda Maynard demonstrates how to make the perfect muslin from this pattern on three different sized women. I quickly learned how to lengthen the too short bodice and lower the too high bust darts.

 Shortly after completing the Part 1 Review, I learned how to easily solve a fitting dilemma that has plagued my sewing for years – how to remove excessive length from the back. Linda offers a very easy solution!

 1. Measure the excessive fabric and mark.


2. Make a horizontal cut on the pattern piece all the way to the cutting line. The pattern will now have a hinge.

 3. Adjust pattern and tape. The hinge allows the side seam to remain the same length while allowing you to get rid of the excessive fabric. It also keeps the paper pattern piece flat allowing for an accurate cut.

 4.  H e l l o :)

IMG_0998 Where have I been?

 Lynda also fits the lower body and arms, but my lower body muslin was fine and my pattern version was sleeveless. By the end of the 10th lesson, the model is fitted with the perfect muslin!


Building on the skills I have acquired in previous classes combined with new fitting techniques in the Craftsy course proved for a great surprise:  trouble-free sewing.

That’s right –  I have learned trouble-free sewing does exist, and I’ll be back for another fix soon!



Online Sewing Class

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120 Responses to Mood Sewing Network Lace Challenge

  1. Gorgeous! Absolutely stunning…and fabulous that you had such a smooth time sewing it.

  2. Mrs. K says:

    Your dress is so pretty and you wear it well. Great job!

  3. Myra says:

    BRAVO! This is a beautiful dress! You have now mastered lace sewing too! Your creativity has soared!

  4. Meredith P says:

    Nicely done! And very inspiring!

  5. cjgal says:

    Beautiful! Lace scares me a bit but you clearly have it mastered! You look great

  6. Caroline Lazzara says:

    Just gorgeous!

  7. Julie Starr says:

    Oh Sarah it turned out exquisitely! This dress actually made me pulse quicken. The time and effort you’ve invested in the last two classes you took have honed your skills to another level entirely. Advance notice please if you plan to wear it in Charleston because I’m not going to be able to restrain my self from making a similar dress! Happy Easter to you- wear your dress proudly (with or without a sweater.)

    • jstarr4250 says:

      See- I’m so excited I’m making typos!!

    • What a sweet comment, Julie! I’m amazed at how much there is to learn in the sewing world. I’d like to take every Craftsy class! I have a feeling the dress may become a Mother’s Day dress rather than an Easter dress – goodness it’s cold in the Upstate :)

  8. Madeline says:

    Beautiful! You inspire me to get sewing!

  9. Carolyn says:

    Like I said before, GORGEOUS! love that last pic of you in the dress, too!

  10. Rhonda says:

    Really nice. Could you briefly state how you attached the lace to the lining? Thank you.

  11. lizzieblatt says:

    You’ve done it again! Fabulous!

  12. Lori says:

    Your dress is stunning and you look incredible. Great job.

  13. Jeyco says:

    It’s a gorgeous dress! The lace is nice too. Your first experience with lace went very well for sure!

  14. AncientElna says:

    This is exactly what I expected of you! Lovely. Frankly, I could not understand why you wanted to sew your tunic pattern when you had just finished Lynda’s fit class with this fitted dress pattern ready to go! Super!

    • Many thanks! What can I say other than I got scared when I saw the Tory Burch dress and thought I should make something that was I had sewn many times before. I love tunics too, however I’m so glad I took the advice of my readers and made the dress. :)

  15. Joyce Love says:

    Fabulous! I think this my favorite of all the things you’ve done so far!

  16. sosewlovely says:

    Absolutely beautiful! The fabric combination and fit are just perfect!

  17. lisa g says:

    glad you went with the dress, it’s so lovely on you! the dress looks perfect. well done!

  18. Wow! I like everything you make up, but this is just PERFECT on you – the colour, style and of course, especially the fit! Could I ask you about shortening your back length? Doesn’t that method throw out the grain line, and make a “wedge” at the back sea, or have I got the wrong end of the stick?! I ask because I have the same issue, and was told to adjust at the shoulders, which I find very difficult to then adjust the neck, then any collar etc – this method sounds do much better to me…

    • Thank you so much, Ruth!
      After reading your comment I took a good look at the dress and the grain line checks out fine. I don’t know how and I don’t know why but it worked for me. However I will be mindful of your comment next time!
      This method took about 5 minutes and is way easier than adjusting at the shoulders :)

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Really beautiful dress. Love the lace and the ribbon at the waist. The fit alterations look perfect. Congrats!

  20. gingermakes says:

    This is killer! It’s just so chic and flattering! Well done!

  21. Vivian says:

    Lovely dress. I love the style. I have a black lace dress made with a princess seamed pattern and a navy lace tunic for summer to wear with shorts or jeans. Hemming was a puzzle, until I just decided to hand sew a rolled hem. I also made a black lace tunic I had seen at NM with a micro pompom trim for my daughter.

  22. What a beautiful dress – it really looks elegant! Less is more is certainly true.

  23. artattack024 says:

    Beautiful work! Another great Craftsy class and the results show. I’ll pray for a warm front for your Easter coming out party in this lovely creation. ;D

  24. LindaB. says:

    I love this dress and it looks FABULOUS on you! You inspire me!!!

  25. Tia Dia says:

    Beautiful! I love a navy blue dress, and the lace with the grosgrain accent is just lovely.

  26. deborah says:

    Beautiful! I must admit I am not surprised. I purchased the Craftsy class in hopes of learning to fit my back properly also. Now if only I can find the time….
    You have made some beautiful garments…..enjoy your new dress!

  27. Cindy says:

    What a stunning dress! The navy-on-navy is a truly elegant look. And that is a “keeper” neckline for you — extremely flattering. It would also look good in simple tops with good lines.

  28. Sandra Wylie says:

    I love this dress, I have viewed all of Lynda’s 10 videos and I think this is a very exciting class. Can you please share how you attached the lovely grosgrain ribbon to the dress.

    • Thank you, Sandra!
      After attaching the bodice to the skirt I applied the grosgrain with the lower edge slightly covering the waistline seam. I used steam-a-seam on the upper and lower edges of the ribbon and pinned it in place before “steaming”. After the ribbon bonded to the fabric I topstitched on the upper and lower edges.

      • Sandra W says:

        Thank you, I love steam a seam but I would not have thought of using it for that application, what a great idea.

  29. Jacq C says:

    Your dress is stunning, I hope the weather improves so that you can wear it. I bought the Craftsy course following your recommendation – the pattern arrived in the post a couple of days ago so I’m keen to get going. I have a couple of pressing WIPs to finish then I’ll crack on :)

    • Thank you, Obi Mum Kenobi :) The weather is not looking favorable for the dress right now so it may have to wait until Mother’s Day. Good luck with the Craftsy course! I look forward to seeing your finished garment!

  30. Teri says:

    Wow, just wow! It turned out lovely Sara. I am so glad you went with the dress. What a classic!

  31. Heather says:

    What a beautiful dress!

  32. Gail says:

    Beautiful lace. You’ve achieved a great fit.

  33. Oh, you’ve realized your vision so perfectly. The color, silhouette and fit are all exactly right. Wonderful. I also signed up for Linda Maynard’s class after reading about it here and I am extremely impressed. I haven’t started on the Vogue dress yet, but I’ve been applying her techniques to some other garments and I feel as though her insights will help me make some great progress with fitting. Love seeing her work through the different fitting needs on different bodies and then transfer those to the flat pattern.

  34. Many thanks – the dress is a keeper for sure! Good luck with the class and look forward to seeing your Vogue 8766! :)

  35. danvillegirl says:

    Perfect fitting dress and I am going to take this class. Love the navy blue color and looks great for you!

  36. Pauline Droy says:

    such a beautiful dress- I signed up for this class and my pattern arrived last week, can’t wait to find the time to give it a go. We have had snow again in London – can’t believe its meant to be spring lol

  37. Almeda says:

    Love love the dress!!! The weather may be cold but you will be sure to warm up any room when you arrive in this classic dress. One question – how difficult is it to do these back adjustments independently. Seems like I would need another set of hands?
    Look forward to your next creation. :) You are an inspiration.

    • Thank you, Almeda for such a sweet comment!
      Another pair of hands will certainly help but I did the alteration by myself. Lots of putting on and taking off …. and measuring….. It’s not as difficult as you might imagine. :)

  38. Sandra says:

    This dress is truly lovely. I recent took Lynda’s fitting class which has given me much more confidence to make adjustments, rather than just guessing and hoping for the best. I have a very similar lace, but in black which I am doing to sew up for my daughter – I am thinking of using the same pattern but with some adjustments. Seeing your dress has convinced me it is the right pattern to use. Enjoy wearing it.

  39. LOVE the dress – it turned out beautifully and looks fabulous on you! So lace stretches? I’ll remember that as I wouldn’t have thought that would be a problem unless, of course, you are using stretch lace :)

    Thanks also for the great tip on the fitting class! I’ll have to look into that post home sale.

    • Thank you, Cheryl! My bodice stretched and I recut it then quickly stay-stitched everything. The stretching surprised me initially but I can understand how it happens. Good luck selling your home :)

  40. sewruth says:

    Catching up here – but Sarah, gorgeous! You were right to choose the navy lining – I always knew your decision would be the correct one. A perfect Easter dress, if the temperatures ever rise enough to be spring-like.

    • Many thanks, Ruth! I have a feeling it may become a Mother’s Day dress :)….. I’m glad I went with the navy lining too, but I have a little left over and might make a skirt for my daughter with the white lining. :)

  41. jackie says:

    EH……navy blue lace, just reminds me of old ladies, talc, and lavender scents. Sorry – this one just doesn’t do it for me. Just as long as you enjoy wearing it, that is what matters.

  42. This dress seriously took my breath away! WOW! I’m glad you decided to go with the navy lining. It looks beautiful! I found a brown lace tablecloth at the thrift store the other day, I had visions of bleaching it white, then dying it to make a dress for my niece’s wedding this summer. But the brown held fast and now I’m trying to figure out just what to do with yards of brown lace….
    You look absolutely stunning in your new dress!
    Have a beautiful Sunday!

  43. Thank you, Beth! What a bummer about the lace….. but if anyone can turn lemons into lemonade, it’s you :)

  44. Judi says:

    It’s the most beautful lace dress I’ve seen!!! I’m soooo glad you used the navy lining. And the pearls are perfect with the lace!

  45. CherryPix says:

    Another stunner! Navy on navy was definitely the way to go. Really appreciate your reviews on Craftsy classes…I learned a lot via Kenneth King’s cloning one and Linda Maynard’s is very timely! Thanks!

  46. Jacqui says:

    Beautiful lace dress – the craftsy course looks like a good one and the adjustment really works on your dress. Hopefully Easter will warm up for you – we need it to rain as drought here!!!

  47. Velosewer says:

    This is such a beautiful dress and it’s great that you’ve conquered trouble free sewing. It gives us all new hope!

  48. Evelyn says:


  49. Mary Carmen Sànchez says:

    Muy lindo!!! gracias very nice thank you

  50. Janine Whisler says:

    Hi Sarah, I love your blog & your projects and this latest one is so beautiful. I have a Mother of the Bride dress that I am making (not for me) and you have inspired me to take the Sew the Perfect Fit class. The MOB dress is also in lace and I am making Vogue 1108 with with some style adjustments to the top. Did you think that class was helpful?

    • Hi Janine and thank you for your nice comment!
      For me, the class was immensely helpful. I’m 5’2″ and a RTW size 4 so patterns rarely fit me without alterations. I found Lynda’s video lessons more helpful than reading instructions or looking at illustrations and she is accessible to answer questions. The class only addresses the muslin – not sewing with lace.
      Good luck and I’l love to see a pic when the dress is complete!

  51. Sarah Jo says:

    This dress is lovely and you certainly nailed the fit. I’m a beginning sewer but I’m finding that I patterns are not deigned for my small, narrow frame. Tailoring and adjustments are almost always in order. I’m inspired by your fabulous work. Staying home with three small children, I can’t invest as much time in honing my skills as I’d like, but I can see from your garments that its worth the effort! Let’s face it–with three little boys in tow, the last thing I need are frumpy and ill-fitting garments! Thanks for taking the time to share what you’re learning.

    • Hi Sarah Jo, and thank you for your nice comment! I wonder who patterns are designed for because nearly everyone I know has to make alterations :)
      When my children were little I did not sew for myself – no time and no desire, although I sewed for them.
      You’ll sew one day when and if the time is right. In the meantime have fun with your boys and many thanks for writing!

  52. Zurenda says:

    Beautiful dress for Easter. Think warm thoughts. I cannot fathom being able to sew something so beautiful.

  53. AJW says:

    The dress is beautiful and fits perfectly. You’ve given this sewist a little dose of confidence with your experience and your devotion to the Craftsy class, which is on my list of “birthday gifts to self.” Thank you for sharing this experience and your results!

  54. lbrundage says:

    GREAT dress great fit! I’m going to order the class!

  55. Great lace dress. I hope you get to wear it this Sunday.

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  57. Victoria says:

    Gorgeous dress Lady!!! The color, style, and fabrication are just exsquisite. But I never expect anything less from you (wink)! Btw, I always have to make a short back adjustment. Isn’t that an awesome alteration. And I love how it tapes to the side seams so you only take out where you need it. This little issue is the main reason I can’t wear many RTW dresses—the mid back length is too long. Glad we can make our own;)

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