07-2011-131: A Chanel Ecru Lace Dress To Be

Ecru Lace, via the Tessuti Shop

How amazing is this lace? I may not be the biggest fan of the dress below (unless I wake up tomorrow with a hankering to look like a toilet roll doll), but I can definitely appreciate the lace.

Chanel Dress, RTW Spring 2012 via style.com

The lovely ladies from Tessuti and I are convinced this fabric is the real deal… The dress above also making the front page of Vogue Australia’s February edition:

February edition of Vogue Australia

Unfortunately my fiscal reasoning doesn’t allow me to make an entire dress from this lace, but I do have enough to make a feature panel and some little cap sleeves. Enter #131 from Burdastyle Magazine 07-2011, also available as a downloadable pattern on the Burdastyle website:

A few other bloggerette’s are making (or planning to make) this little number at the moment – and I’ve heard the fabulous square neckline that I’m loving about this pattern is scandalously low, but it’s a silhouette I keep seeing popping up:

Elie Saab Spring 2012 Resort, via style.com    

Unfortunately I made the ultimate Burda downloadable pattern mistake – and forgot to add seam allowances to my toile! So it’s a take two on that note.

I had originally thought to stick with the Chanel colourscheme of black and white (I loved the black geometric lines featured throughout their SS/12 collection), but considering I already have a white ‘day’ dress and that I’m a colour fanatic – I’m leaning towards a wedgewood blue possibly with a small slash of another colour, or maybe a hint of black piping as well?

I can’t remember when or where, but I recall reading at some point that a famous mid-last-century’s  actress once wore a skin-tight dress that was underlined in flannel to give a smooth appearance even when moving. Possibly the slip Elizabeth Taylor wore in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? I really wish I could remember. But I love the idea of this, especially as we are heading into winter! Most ‘going-out’ dresses I have are light-weight and summery, so if I have a fancy occasion on in the winter, my options dwindle drastically. Seems like a perfect opportunity to give this flannel underlining business a whirl!

Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – via classicmoviestills.com


  1. I'm in love with that lace. And the blue. And the idea of lining with flannel to smooth the line. I cannot wait to see this dress.

  2. So happy that you bought this lace!! Your dress will look amazing. I just had to buy some too for Jess (she would like a top instead). Flannel – hmm, what a great idea and underlining is my favourite method of lining. Would love to find out your opinion of the flannel when it's finished and also the type of flannel – is there a difference i.e. quality?

  3. Oh man that is going to be amazing! I am a total lace fanatic (it doesn't show up a lot in my finished garments lately, but I have a hefty amount of yardage in the stash), and I love blue, so I really can't wait to see your finished design! Also that pattern is fab (wink wink), so one you get a good muslin I am sure you will have a knock-out dress!

  4. Wow – I love the lace – a nice change from conventional lace designs. Nice pattern choice. From the pics looks like peplums are back in. Despite the doily effect, I also love the Chanel dress – not easy for the average gal to pull off but still very pretty. Looking forward to seeing the dress and hearing about the flannel underlining.

  5. It's amazing isn't it! Ive actually got a top in mind with which to use up the left over lace – no mm of this will be wasted! I'm researching flannel as I type. It could be an interesting process…Can't wait to see what you make for Jess :)

  6. If my dress can look half as good as yours – I will be a very happy lady! Seeing yours made me want to hurry up and get sewing on this pattern. So off I go!

  7. Underlined in flannel, I'm intrigued! I'm hoping you do that so you'll share how it goes now! Also I love these Elie Saab dresses, now I think I'll have to make one for my Spring wardrobe challenge!

  8. Hey poppykettle, I drew your name so the blade is yours! Please send your mailing address to me; csmith (dot ) australia (at) gmail (dot) com

  9. Gasp! I love this lace! Your dress is going to be fantastic!And I think the flannel underlining was possibly Marilyn Monroe's famous pink dress in her "Diamonds are a Girls best friend" number from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" ?? However I think this was a pretty common practice for midcentury, curve-hugging looks – so I wouldn't be surprised if Lovely Liz (a.k.a Maggie the Cat) had some flannel going on underneath that slip!Good luck! Can't wait to see it!

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