I decided to be a bit sensible and choose a simple style that I've made before, but in a special fabric. I used this old BurdaStyle sheath dress pattern, it's from 02/2009, but I can't find it available online.
I found some guipure lace just over the border in Shenzhen, China in one of my favourite colours and immediately knew it was the one, I also got some matching silk crepe lining.
While this is normally a very straightforward dress to put together, making it in lace is quite time consuming. I underlined each piece with the silk lining - I always prefer to baste them together by hand on a large flat surface than stitch on the machine. I also cut the fabric with extra wide seam allowances so I could have plenty of room to fit as I sewed, which added in extra time for basting, trying on, taking off, tweaking and so on for what seemed like forever.
When I was happy with the fit the seam allowances were trimmed, pressed and then slipstitched by hand to the underlining so they would stay nice and flat. I didn't add a separate lining so I also wanted the sides to look good and feel smooth. I used interfaced pieces of the silk crepe for the neck facings. The hems were also finished by hand. It was surprising how heavy the dress was when finished, it has a luxurious feel to it and I was really happy with it, but pleased to get it finished after so much handstitching and the deadline fast approaching.
This is the back partway through fitting, the dress form really helped me get pretty close actually.
And the finished dress which looks so simple from the outside!
The wedding itself was fabulous (obviously - you know the Irish are going to put on a good party) and the sun even made an appearance during the outdoor ceremony.
The whole trip was great, although I'm really stuck with my sewing now that I'm back. I think I have that trans-seasonal problem that seems to strike - it still feels far too hot to think about anything other than summer clothes, but I am also kind of excited to get stuck in to the recent brilliant issues of Burda. I can't seem to get my brain to focus on anything, I think a fabric shopping expedition may help don't you?!