Little white dress - a new favorite! With eyelet lace ribbon inset

I love a good little white dress (LWD). Always have! If you scroll through my DIY dress archives you'll see several versions in previous years, usually involving lace and sometimes piecing for interest. A couple years ago I made this pieced eyelet bodice LWD and loved the versatility and simplicity of the pure white cotton. This year it was time for another one, although a very different style!

I used this Offray eyelet lace, which comes on a spool like a wide ribbon but can also be used like strips of fabric. I gave this dress a full lining (longer than the bodice, so the lining is a plain sheath while the outer dress has the gathered skirt) so I used the lining as a guide when slicing out pieces of the main bodice before I pieced the lace in. It also took some seam allowance math.

I used Simplicity 2584, which I use a lot (see all my versions of it here). It's now out of print but you could replicate this with any basic sheath dress pattern (the side bust darts are important for keeping it flattering when you want a flat front).

To do the eyelet lace ribbon inset:

  1. Cut bodice front from pattern, being sure to mark center front at top and bottom edges of bodice piece. (Cut lining and outer fabric pieces).
  2. On outer bodice piece, avoiding bust darts by at least 1/2", choose symmetrical points for lace insertion rows. I centered mine on about 5/8" from either side of the center front, and based on the width of my lace and bodice piece I had room for another evenly spaced lace piece on each side.
  3. Measure distance of lace strip plus seam allowance; cut strips of excess bodice pieces. I.e., my lace was bout 2" wide and I had about 1/2" seam allowances, so I cut out about 1" of fabric for each strip.
  4. Cut lace strips slightly longer than distance from longest top to bottom edge for each inset row.
  5. Sew right sides together, lining up bottom edges of bodice piece and lace pieces.
  6. Press seams open.
  7. Using lining bodice piece as a pattern, even out neck edge and re-cut neck shape on lace strips, which will be rectangular.
  8. Assemble dress as usual, sewing front to back, skirt, etc. for both lining and outer pieces (as applicable).


I'm all about basics and neutrals, so I think it goes great with brown leather accessories and a classic jean jacket!


It's so comfy and easy to wear, but still cute! Easily could be my new favorite dress!!

Thanks to Offray for sponsoring this post!

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