Pattern Review/Hack - McCalls M6893 Skull Lace Applique Dress

Now anyone that follows me on Instagram or Twitter would've seen my many posts about a bridesmaid dress I've been making.  The only remit for the dress was that it had to be black.  As the wedding was in October I decided that I wanted a long dress to suit our British weather.  And then, of course, I played with the idea of getting skulls into it to create an 'alternative' bridesmaid dress.  Not everyone's cup of tea I know, but I was thinking more Alexander McQueen style than teenage goth. 

I decided to start with McCall's pattern M6893, using the long full skirt and bodice D for the elbow length sleeves. 
 





I also had a vague plan of a black skirt and a black lace top over a nude bodice but that was as far as my planning went. 

After searching around and failing to find some black lace that I really liked I decided to look into lace applique and opened a treasure trove of possibilities, there is so much out there!

I ordered an awful lot of lace applique pieces, my main choices were butterflies, flowers and yep skulls.  I also ordered some white lace appliques - like the two doves holding wedding rings  (how appropriate, right?) and dyed them black using Dylon's fabric dye for hand use in velvet black.  The instructions on the packet are super easy to use so don't be intimidated about dying your own fabric to suit your needs.

After knocking together a quick toile of the bodice piece I set about pinning the lace pieces to my mannequin to try and build up what sort of pattern I want.  This took me a long time, I'm talking weeks here, of putting some pieces on then leaving it to see how I felt about it after a couple of days.  I actually really enjoy this sort of thing, it's kind of like a puzzle trying to get all the pieces to fit together and also to follow the natural body shape.  The large skull piece on the back meant that I had to move the placement of the zip from the back to the side seam.
 

















































Then it was on to making the actual dress.  I made the bodice out of some nude satin fabric.  I ordered multiple samples to make sure I got just the right colour to suit my skin tone. 

I made the tulle overlay using double seams rather than a French seam and trimmed close to the stitching. Then I lined both top pieces up on my mannequin and pinned them together matching the bust darts and side seams.












I hand tacked every piece of applique in place onto just the tulle not the under bodice so that the top would have some movement.  Then started the long process of hand stitch each in place.  I wanted to do it by hand to make sure it was absolutely neat, stitching around the outer edge of each piece.


  







I even found some gorgeous lace ribbon with skulls in it to put around the bottom of each sleeve.  So pretty!  Once everything was sewn into place a trimmed away the excess tulle and any lose threads.










































I had originally planned just to have a satin skirt, but with the tulle bodice I decided to add a tulle over lay skirt to bring the whole dress together.


So the fully finished dress.  I don't have any good quality full length photos at the moment as trying to take good photos in winter light is impossible.  I'll update them when the weather is more co-operative! But you get the general idea.




This was probably the biggest project I've done so far and took me a good couple of months to get finished.  Has anyone else made a bridesmaid dress or used McCalls M6893 for a project?

Update: Got a couple of photos from the big day, gives you a proper idea of the final lace effect :)



Love F*2DIY4 x
@fashiontodiyfor #fashionDIY





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