I'm pretty sure it's polyester (boo) but I'm not too picky with lace. Silk lace is ridonculously expensive, and I surely was not prepared to spend over $100 per yard on a material I have never worked with previously. This lace will be more than fine.
I was flip-flopping on a dress pattern for about a week. But after mulling it over and talking to some girlfriends, I decided on Vogue pattern 8766:
I'm going to change the sleeves a bit. I hate having sleeves that hang just below my elbow because I find myself constantly pulling my sleeves up so I can have full use of my arms. Not good. I am shortening the sleeves a few inches to remedy the problem. I am also going to line the sleeves with my silk/cotton lining. I love the idea of bare arms under the lace, but my lace is brown, my lining is black, and I think nude arms would just look really awkward and incomplete. Polyester silk is kind of scratchy to boot, so I think lined sleeves are a win-win.
I also adjusted the waist and hip proportions of the pattern. I'm technically classified as an "athletic figure", i.e. I have little to no discernable waist, so I adjusted the pattern accordingly. The pattern is a 6-8-10-12 and my waist/hip is more of a 14 according to the pattern measurements, so I extrapolated a bit to hopefully get a better fit on my bottom half. Before starting pilates I wouldn't have had a problem with the hip measurement, but I can thank all the booty busting exercises for giving me a larger, perkier derriere. (thanks, Drea!)
I'm not sure about using a ribbon as a sash...it looks a little haphazard to me. I have a feeling I'll like it better without the ribbon, but we'll see.
I've cut out almost all the pieces; all I have left is the lining for the sleeves.
I (hand) basted the lace to the lining, per the instructions. I'm an avid Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing reader, so I have been using her sewing tips. My machine can make long stitches, but when basting, you want reeeaaaaallllyyy long stitches so it's easier to pull out the basting later on. Hand basting doesn't take long at all, and it helps give you a very professional result.
Since all the basting will eventually get pulled out, I used magenta thread just to make it a little easier to see.
I spent this evening after work doing all the basting, so the next step will be to sew in all the darts, but I'll save that for a different day.
I'm really amped for the final product. I have a feeling the dress will end up looking really "Mad Men" given the pattern of the dress, but that is more than okay with me. I'm still trying to decide what kind of shoes to wear, but I'll probably just end up wearing my Gentle Souls ballet flats. They're cute and sooooo commmmfortable.
I also need to make a petticoat because I want a little bit of flounce to the skirt instead of it hanging straight down. I guess that means another trip to the silk shop is in order!