We take our classic yet simple Ava pattern and add lace to the bodice, sleeves, and hem to make an exquisite look.
1. Create a "fancy band" by joining laces to run down the front of the bodice. When choosing laces make sure combined width does not reach square neck points on front bodice and buttons and buttonholes on back bodice.
2. Create a "fancy band" for the hem of the skirt.
Tips for creating "fancy bands"
Cut lace longer than is needed. Strips mysteriously shrink when joining them together.
Starch lace prior to working with it. Be careful not to stretch lace as you iron with starch.
Cotona thread is best for joining lace as the stitches will not show.
With an edge stitch foot, zigzag lace strips together placing headers on top of one another to create the illusion of one piece of lace. Always place edging last.
Skirt fancy bands are usually created in odd numbers of laces but there are no rules. Some sewists prefer the laces to all be in the same family, others like an eclectic approach. You might also choose an embroidered insertion for interest. Be creative.
3. Cut bodice "fancy band" the full depth of bodice template.
4. For bodice back, there is only room for maybe one strip of insertion and one strip of edging depending on size of dress. Another option is to leave back bodice plain. When choosing laces make sure the finished width of fancy band does not come too close to buttons and buttonholes.
5. Cut a rectangle of dress fabric and trace front bodice as a full pattern piece. Repeat with bodice back.
6. Center bodice "fancy band" on bodice front and attach using a zigzag stitch to center of drawn bodice front.
7. If adding to bodice back, center "fancy band" between center and just off square neck points. Attach using a zigzag stitch .
8. Cut out bodice front and backs.
9. Follow bodice construction steps 1-10 of Ava instructions.
10. Before step 11 trim one side of entredeux and sandwich between sleeve and sleeve lining. Stitch and trim seam. Trim remaining seam of entredeux. After sleeve is constructed, whip slightly gathered lace to entredeux finishing together ends of lace by hand.
11. Alter Ava skirt by adding width. This sample used a skirt width of 54". Decrease length of skirt fabric by width of fancy band minus 1/4”.
12. Follow placket construction steps 15-18 of Ava instructions.
13. Sew one side seam of skirt. Finish seam and press.
14 Trim one side of entredeux and roll and whip to bottom of skirt.
15. Trim remaining side of entredeux and zigzag fancy band to skirt caring to go in and out of the entredeux holes.
16. Sew remaining skirt side seam. Finish seam.
17. Attach skirt to bodice following construction steps 20 - 22.
18. Finish dress with buttonholes or beauty pins.
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