|Front and back views
I'm using a thick but soft plain purple cotton for this dress, and going for long sleeves. The pattern calls for 1½" wide lace, which is attached right across the front and shaped over the bust darts.
|Pattern, showing lace placement
The only lace I could only find that wide was nylon and unattractive, so I went for a braid instead. However it is only 1⅛" / 3cm wide, so I added a fifth row and changed the spacing. It took a bit of fiddling to get it so that the rows of braid don't overlap.
|Front with the braid attached
The braid did tend to gape away from the fabric, so I ended up sewing round each circle - fun! Then I decided that I needed to remake the front placket because I wasn't happy with it. Fortunately I had some fabric leftover, and recut the pieces with the front slightly larger than the back so that the seamline doesn't show when they are stitched together.
|Front, placket and buttons pinned onto Nancy
I've decided to go for the purple buttons rather than the cream, partly because the cream ones will look odd on the cuffs. The purple buttons do have quite long shanks though, and stick out from the placket a bit.
The collar pieces are sewn onto a band and then this is attached to the dress. I keep forgetting that the opening is at the back; I even cut the collar interfacing out on the fold as usual, and then had to split it!
|Collar and band made up
So far I feel as though I have been sewing this dress forever and not got anywhere, but hopefully the end result will be worth it.