Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

A very special black lace party dress! (Of course it's good, it's inspired by Taylor Swift and Elie Saab.)

I'm super proud of this one. I made my own version of an amaaaazing dress, and wore it to a murder mystery dinner party over the weekend! I had so much fun coming up with the modifications of the patterns I used and variation I wanted to do on the original, because as you'll see below, the real one is much more runway than real party! I love what I came up with and it felt great to wear for a glamorous evening of glitz and champagne!

You may remember this one of Taylor's 21 outfits in the Blank Space video, this dramatic lacy lingerie-ey thing she wears with hair up and fantastic dangly earrings.

It's hard to see what's really going on in the video, but the dress is by Elie Saab and appears to be mostly sheer in the bodice, with bias trim down the center front and on the shoulder and neck seams, as well as under the bust. The skirt is long and tulip-shaped but with a miniskirt shape of cascading ruffles of more lace.

Here's the wonderful Blank Space video if you want to see it in action!

Looking at the up close runway photo, I gathered that the shoulder straps are probably part of a bra worn under the dress. The other solid black lines come from some kind of band (I used bias I cut from the satin of the skirt and bodice base)... and I did try to do a horizontal band under the bust but it pulled the lace too much and I took it off. Ha.

I used the bodices and skirt from Simplicity 1415 and added the sleeves from Simplicity 1913.

I had some extra lace that I cut into narrow strips and gathered and rather than put on the hip area like the miniskirt shape of the original, I put on the bottom of the hem. I was actually kind of conflicted about this part, because I liked the skirt a lot just as it was!

I took it apart several times to get the fit right (modern patterns are not flattering, usually) and cut down the bust so it was lower cut. I also added the sweetheart shape. It's not the bra shape of the original, but, uh, I'm okay with that.

Dramatic Taylor Swift video face.

The pattern I used for the bodice has princess seams in the lace overlay, which adds the seam allowances showing through. I'm not crazy about that part.

I don't know what the back of the original looks like but I love the V shape of this one!

I wished I'd had boning in the strapless bodice to keep it upright a little more... I might still add some before next time I wear it.

I don't have massive gems hanging off my ears like Taylor did, but a fancy occasion + hair up is a great chance to show off fancy earrings!

Patterns: Simplicity 1415 and Simplicity 1913

  • Added bias trim down center of lace bodice
  • Added full lining to strapless bodice (plus facing)
  • Shortened waist of strapless and lace bodices
  • Cut down for lower-cut (and sweetheart neckline) on strapless bodice
  • Made higher-waisted by deepening/trimming waist/skirt seam
  • Added lace ruffle at hem
  • Added sleeves from Simplicity 1913, but made them as long as possible and a little snugger fit

I haven't made a dress this fancy in a long time!

And if you don't have time to make your own before your New Year's Eve party... here are 14 very similar ones, most of them under $100! (Even two romper options!)

It was SO fun to wear such a special dress for a whole festive evening!

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