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Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely LOVE bees! I love talking about bees, drawing bees, watching bees flit around the garden, and I especially love sewing any and all kinds of bee fabric! So when @tipstitched shared this gorgeous bee fabric that she had found on Fabric.com a few years ago, I immediately jumped in and purchased a few yards for myself!
And then, I let it sit. For nearly two years!
I often do this. I find a fabric I absolutely love, I purchase it, and then I can't figure out what I actually want to make, so I let it sit in my stash collecting dust. Surely, I am not the only one who does this... right?
It wasn't until just a few weeks ago that I came up with an idea for my prized bee fabric. The idea was sparked by this image I found while scrolling through Pinterest.
The sleeve in this image captured my interest. Not just the flounce of the ruffle, but the addition of the see-through lace bit. I think that is what had me most excited! I am not sure why, but whenever I am working on a project, I tend to default to finishing it as quickly as possible. This can be great when racing against a deadline, but when I am trying to enjoy myself and create a beautiful, long lasting piece, I tend to skip out on some special details. Such as adding random bits of lace to a simple silhouette.
Once I had an idea firmly in my mind, all that was left to do was to execute it!
I chose to keep things simple. I used my basic sloper/ block pattern and cut out the bodice + sleeve pretty much exactly as they already were. I shortened the sleeve to elbow length, but everything else remained the same, darts and all!
For the sleeve ruffle, I doubled the length of the sleeve's edge and cut out a rectangle that measured: ~5" (12,7 cm) X 2 times the sleeve edge.Before gathering the ruffle and attaching it to the sleeve, I basted a bit of lace along the top edge of the ruffle. That way the lace became a part of the ruffle and looked seamless once I attached it to the bottom edge of my sleeve.
I repeated the same thing for the skirt, making both pieces 2 times the width of the waist X tea length. I then attached both the top and bottom piece of the skirt together by sewing them each to the edge of a piece of lace. That gave me this really cool peek-a-boo, textural look that I absolutely love.
I was inspired by this dress' skirt for the lace bit of my skirt!
Once my skirt and bodice were completed and put together, all I needed to do was add a zip and finish off the neckline edge. I opted for a regular zip as I couldn't find a black invisible zip in the length I needed at the time. I think it worked out well and I can hardly tell that the zip isn't an invisible one!
As for the neckline, I did wind up cutting it down just a tad from what my sloper had been (it was so high up to my neck!). I finished off the edge mainly to protect my skin from getting too itchy as that tends to happen with me and tulle fabrics. I used some scrap fold over lingerie elastic to give it a nice clean finish! If I were to do it again, I would make my elastic just a smidge tighter as it gaped a bit when I was finished. A good steam press did wonders for shrinking it back up!
There you have it! This bee dress may have been two years in the making, but it turned out to be exactly what I had been waiting for. I even wore it as my reception dress at our recent backyard wedding! It was perfect for dancing the evening away in. 😊