Navy Lace Alston Dress

I wrote this post ages ago and just now got around to taking pictures of the dress! I wore this dress to another wedding this past weekend though, so just swap out "New York" for "St. Louis" and it basically all holds true!

Last weekend, one of my dear friends got married. It was a whirlwind trip to St. Louis and back but it was so, so worth it to see all my college roommates and, of course meet the brand new Mrs. Alston for the first time! She looked beautiful, the party was fantastic, and I wore a new navy version of the dress named in her honor.

This whole dress started back when I wanted a new dress to wear to this season's weddings and was feeling uninspired by my pattern collection. (I even looked on Rent the Runway before realizing that it's not slightly embarrassing to wear non-me-made things now, because everyone asks if I made xyz and I hate having to admit that no, I didn't! Do you have this problem? Just me?) After a while looking around at all sorts of patterns and fabric--did I want to do something body-con? maxi? embroidered tulle?--I ended up using my party dress dilemma as a great excuse to try something I had wanted to try for a while and spring for some pattern drafting classes on Craftsy. You can see more about my process start to finish here, and you can see my first, more casual(-ish) version of  the Alston here, and now here is the wedding-guest-dress as intended from the very start!

I used two fabrics gifted to me by my mom on separate occasions that just happened to match perfectly--she knows I love to wear navy! I still have tons of this lace left over, definitely enough to make a sheath dress or something, and also lots of the cotton, a Ralph Lauren stretch shirting. I'm thinking it will become a shirtdress, and I'm thinking I'll use the Granville for the top... but those are all just thoughts, of course.

Besides the fabric choice, I did make a few slight changes from Alston #1. The white eyelet Alston has sleeve bands, which I feel is a nice design detail that echoes the neckline and waistband. For this version, however, I just used the scalloped edge of the lace on the sleeves, which I think makes it a little dressier. Which do you prefer? I also took it in at the waist by 2" total since I felt the white one was a bit loose and the navy cotton I used here has some stretch. The bodice is still not quite fitted enough for the formality of the dress, in my opinion. It's very comfortable, but I don't mind a slightly snugger dress for a fancy night out. I may add a waist stay, since I feel like it's slightly long in the bodice (like 1/2"), and I suspect it's due to the heavy lace skirt pulling everything down. That's it! Otherwise, it's just the same. I felt amazing wearing this and totally like myself--that's the beauty of making it yourself, right?

I still have at least one more Alston up my sleeve... actually, a sleeveless hack! (Can you hack your own pattern?) I have no idea if it will work, and, like, don't hold your breath. In the meantime, I'll be trying to find the time to do more pattern drafting--this first project was so rewarding, I'd love to get back into it... then again, there are so many gorgeous patterns already out there just waiting for me to sew them!


ps: for transparency, all of my blog posts are written at the time of making the project... which isn't always the time of photographing them! just in case you were wondering.

this post may contain affiliate links.


  1. Stunning dress as always Allie - that lace is gorgeous and it is set off so nicely with the design of this dress. I'm a navy fan too :)

  2. Wow, so pretty and looks beautiful on you!

  3. Really beautiful dress and it looks great on you.

  4. This is gorgeous! The two fabrics go so well together.



Back to Top