29 November 2011

The Lace Trim Baby Dress

Note: Measurements vary based on baby :)  This dress can also be up-sized for a toddler, child, or even an adult.  The finished measurements of this dress are about 17 inches (but stretches) around the chest and about 14 inches long.  Before shirring, this dress is about 34 inches around the waste.  Take your chest measurement and you're going to about double it for the shirring.

- Fabric: I used a 38" x 14" - then I cut 3" off and used them for straps (3" x 7")
- Lace trim:A lot of it. I used around 15 yards of 3/4" trim. You don't have to put as many rows as i did, and you can dramatically cut down the amount of lace you need!
-Elastic Thread

 Fabric Choices.  You need to choose a relatively light weight fabric for this because shirring does not work on heavy fabrics.  I am using a pale green matte poly satin that i had laying around (Free, thanks craigslist!)
The lace is a $3 spool of thread I bought at a mission thrift store.  So, after everything, this dress will cost me less than a dollar to make. Yea, really!

 Attaching the lace: Okay, as you can see I actually started with 15", but I ended up cutting at inch off and one of the rows of lace pictured in this trial didn't end up happening at all haha. So, I made little clips of the lace and carefully laid them out on the fabric to decide where everything would go.  The lace is 3/4" and each row has about an inch of space, leaving around 1/4" between them.  You can determine for yourself how much lace you want and then lay out where to put each row. It might help to use chalk or a fabric pencil to draw your lines, but I am using poly satin so that wasn't a very good choice for me. haha So, I carefully pinned each and every row 

Before I stitched all the lace on, I carefully folded  the fabric over in order to
make sure that the lace lined up.  It did. Yay. So then I sewed it all on, row by row, carefully removing the pins as I went.

Then, I finished the top edge of the fabric.  The bottom edge is selvage and hidden under lace, so I left it the way it is. 

Next: Shirring.  I did two rows of shirring under each of the top four rows of lace.  The amount of shirring you do really just depends on how much of the dress needs to be a bodice for you or whoever you're making this dress for! :D

The shirring stitches are more or less hidden by the lace.  This is good, because I have having a lot of difficulties with the thread that matches the fabric so I used the thread that matches the lace. Either way, if you keep the stitches under the lace it won't be too obvious.  While you're shirring, push the lace out of the way to stitch under it. Don't stitch over it.

 Don't: accidentally sew over the lace trim.  If you do, carefully cut the top thread and use a seam ripper to undo the problem without ripping up your lace.  Fortunately, I only made this mistake once at the end of a row :D
The stitching is 1/2" and 3/4" apart

Tips: I have a Brother with a drop-in bobbin.  It turns out that for some reason the brother drop-in bobbin doesn't work well with shirring because the bobbin case tension mechanism doesn't pull the elastic thread tight the way most bobbins do? I'm not sure. But, I do have two bobbin cases.  I didn't think I could adjust my tension on the one and then put it back to normal. So, I just have two of them.
Straps! I used two pieces of 3" x 7" fabric.  Right sides together, stitch on one side. Turn right side out, press.  I then added one row of lace to each of the straps for some extra detail

Then, attach your straps to the dress at the fourths.  I put the straps so that the lace opens outwards.

 Last seam: Stitch the back seam. Do your best to line up the lace when you're pinning it down.  Straight stitch. Clean up the seam. Finish it however you prefer.
Last anything: Steam the elastic thread to finish off the shirring.  I used a polyester fabric, so I had to be very careful not to melt my fabric aahhh! Yea.  So, I steamed the fabric, finished off the gather. and.. done! Congratulations! We made a lace dress!

Abbey Memphis in her Dress

Don't miss out on the tutorial for the matching bonnet.

Special thanks to Megan over at MeganMakesCute for the pictures of Baby Abbey :)

Questions? Comments?  Post them! Seriously! Let me know what you think.  I could definitely use some feedback on my tutorial style, if anything doesn't make sense let me know so I can fix it!! If you use this tutorial, comment with the link so that I can see your work :)
Thanks for reading and don't forget to follow me so that you don't miss next week's Lace Your Way Through Anything tutorial!


  1. SO so cute! Great job! I'm your newest follower and i'd love if you followed me back!


  2. This is beautiful! Thank you for linking up and sharing.

  3. Lacy trim baby dress is the good idea to create baby dress which will lost nothing and it looks best and the work you had done really must be appreciated.