07-2011-131: The Lace-but-not-as-you-know-it Dress

07-2011-131 Burda Dress 1

It’s lace, but not as we know it. And that’s why I love it!

07-2011-131 Burda Dress 2

I fell hard for this geometric styled lace when I saw it on the Tessuti blog (they also have it in black), back in January. I hot-footed it in there pronto to get some!

07-2011-131 Burda Dress 3


Totally inspired by the black lines in Chanel’s Spring Summer 2012 RTW collection, in which this lace featured (see here), I wanted to create a bit of an ode to this collection, using the #131 dress from Burda Magazine issue 07/2011 (also available as a down-loadable pattern here). 


Along with the lace at the front panel, I used a wedgewood blue stretch cotton from Clegs, and some black piping inserted strategically in the seam lines and also by cutting up the dress panels to get a diagonal line at the back. 

07-2011-131 Burda Dress 9
Lining, Underlining and seams finished with rayon seam binding

I wanted a dress that I could wear during the cooler months (of which there are plenty where I live) and also I didn’t want my stretch cotton to pucker and crease every time I wore it. This fabric is the same type as the one I used to make my Green Peon-y, and it rather likes to get itself creased! I underlined it in a baby-blue 100% cotton flannelette which proved a solution to both quandries! 

After using a thick silk satin fabric to line my Vogue Suit, I was hooked! I used the same fabric again in black (also from Clegs) which should also insulate quite nicely :) I used the mat side of the silk satin to create the piping by cutting bias strips (same way as you would for making bias tape) then using my regular zipper foot (it’s the only foot I have that lets you get the needle position right to the edge of the foot) to encase the cord in the bias strips. 

07-2011-131 Burda Dress 6

I really love the square neckline of the dress, and the split at one of the sides. My only bother with this pattern? No seam allowances. I would happily pay a bit extra for the pattern if it included these! I made the ultimate mistake when sewing my toile – I forgot to add them. My bad, but an annoying thing none the less.

As other sewists have discovered, the neckline on this pattern is low. I’m usually all for the occasional showing of a bit of decolletage, but even I needed to raise this a little! Using the selvedge of the lace to go over the seam edge also provide a bit of cover up. 

07-2011-131 Burda Dress 8

I used silk thread to baste the lace to the backing so it can’t move independently of the dress. I’m over the moon that I happen to have enough lace left to re-create the gorgeous top below I pinned a short while ago – sadly it will have to wait until I get back – as by the time this post goes live I will be in Ecuador!!! Even better – I made up Pattern Runway’s Sweet Shorts which I am over the moon about – they really are gorgeous! So all I need is some on location photos… coming soon! :D

I’ve even got enough left over lace to make something else… I’m loving the look of this triangular lace panel top!




  1. You've done a wonderful job of reflecting the lines from the Chanel collection. The lace overlay and black piping really make this a chic and unique dress. Have a lovely trip.

  2. This is so cool!! Clever design – makes the lace the focal point and the piping shows it off beautifully. I love this lace – still haven't started my project but this has given me inspiration – thank you. Oh – have a fantastic holiday!!!!

  3. Amazing! Love that lace and the piping looks so smart – the diagonal line across the back is a really interesting detail. Looks great!

  4. Melanie, this is such an awesome dress. The piping, the lace, that fabulous blue – it's all lovely. What you did with the seams in the back is such an interesting touch! Hope you're having a wonderful time in Ecuador!

  5. I love it! The color, the lace, the black contrast… Stunning! You have totally inspired me to make another version of this dress in lace… Also, I think using the flannelette to add warmth and prevent creasing is genius, and I will have to remember that trick for the future.

  6. Definitely not lace as I know it but just as gorgeous and you've done a brilliant job on this dress, it can come live with me anytime!

  7. The is amazing! I wondered what you'd do with that lace- this is inspired! It's unique, but wearable, very pretty and flattering on you. Have a great time in Ecuador.

  8. I'm really blown away by not just the design and materials of this dress (SO BEAUTIFUL) but your attention to detail. Construction looks amazing! I wish I was this exacting – I can be so lazy about what it looks like inside. AND THAT TOP IS THE CUTEST!

  9. That lace takes my breath away! Seriously beautiful and you've done a lovely job showcasing it!! Beautifully constructed dress too! Cotton flannelette underlining?!?! Super impressed. The top is just amazing!! I can't wait to see how you recreate it!

  10. Hooray! This is gorgeous! I love the diagonal lines, and the lace is exquisite! It's really a unique and flattering dress. Awesome job!

  11. Ooh, this is really neat. I love the piping lines and interesting effect with the lace. The whole dress is a nice shape, too.

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