Ok, so this dress is different than anything I’ve EVER done before, in skills and looks. It started with the fabric, most eyelets have circles but this one was slightly square, and the cream color just screamed to me to buy it. Read below to learn about the fabric and pattern and to see the full look!
Eyelet fabric is woven fabric that has holes or “eyes” embroidered into it creating a unique textile. The closest comparison I can make to it is lace. Sewing with eyelet can be a little tricky because of those holes, especially if you’re making a full fledged garment. Thankfully eyelet doesn’t usually fray much so it can be freely manipulated.
This specific eyelet was purchase from LA Finch Fabrics and is now sold out. I love it because the eyelets are slightly square instead of traditionally circular. The cream color was different as well. The slip dress underneath is made from a rayon challis also from LA Finch. Read below for some tips on working with eyelet fabric!
The pattern is Mccalls 7948 which was the easiest pattern I’ve ever made. The silhouette is boxy and the whole dress is full of simple straight lines and straight stitches. I used the selvage edge of the eyelet for the trim around the sleeves and waist. If not for manipulation of the eyelet, this pattern would have only taken about 2 hours for me to make. It’s an easy sew and a great beginner pattern for those reading who are just starting out.
I paired this dress with some simple cream earrings and went barefoot across the park. Underneath the eyelet shell is a mustard slip dress that can be worn separately for an easy date night look.
Paired together the mustard and cream bounce off each other in a smooth fashion making it easy to accessorize and add pops of more color. I could also put any other color slip dress underneath and style it accordingly. The peeks of color that show through the eyelet add a subtle yet stylish contrast.
The gathered tiers add movement and body to the dress without taking away from the easy look of the garment.
Tips For Working with Eyelet Fabric
There are two ways to work with eyelet, with or without a lining. If you choose to line your eyelet, a simple way to do it is to cut your pattern pieces on both the lining and eyelet. Lay your eyelet on top of the lining piece matching notches and/or edges and machine baste around the edges of the pattern piece using a 1/4-1/2″ seam allowance (depending on the pattern), creating one single layer, then follow the serging tips below (optional, but this tip will provide more stability to seams). If you’ve opted to make a slip or removable lining separate from your eyelet garment (or shell), refer to all of the following tips.
The tips I have for eyelet boil down to two things: 1) line up your holes 2) serge all your seams.
Lining up your holes is a tip primarily applicable to if you have facings. If the facing pieces overlap, it will not look natural on the outside depending on how spaced out your eyelet holes are. When cutting facings, place the pattern piece on top of the eyelet fabric and then place that fabric over the main bodice that the facing will be used for (keeping in mind seam allowances). This will make sure the holes are not crooked or the fabric overlaps, but will ensure that the holes all line up.
Serging your seams is essential and for me worked best. This dress is supposed to be more boxy and less fitted so I skipped the seam allowances altogether. That being the case, I didn’t use my actual straight stitch machine for anything except the gathering of the skirt for the dress. Serging the seams will depend on the kind of eyelet you have. Mine had more holes closer together with little fabric in between to be sewn securely so sewing the full garment with my straight stitch machine would have been tedious and difficult. Using the serger makes sure the seam is fully sewn and covered holding the seams tightly together and preventing fraying. Sometimes I even serged twice. If you need to include seam allowance, just activate your knife on your serger and measure you seam allowance to be cut as you serge. Note: if you do not have a serger, a zig zag stitch works fine too. Just sew along the edge.
Hemming Eyelet Fabric
Full disclosure, I did not hem this dress for this photo shoot, you can see it if you look closely, I wanted a raw edge to capture its full feel. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t. We just talked about serging. If you have a serger or a machine that does zigzag stitches you can finish the edge by serging or zigzagging the raw edge. When folding the hem, line up the holes first, then align the fabric part of the eyelet closest to the raw edge with the fabric part on the garment, sew along the zigzag or serger stitches on the fabric part as best a you can, avoiding the holes. This works because even if the fabric part isn’t wide enough for stitching on, the stitches from the zig zag or serger will catch and can be stitched on.
Thats all for today! Leave questions and comments below! I’d love to hear what you thought of this dress!