Knit and Cluny Lace Dress Tutorial

by Destri on June 15, 2013

Knit and Lace Dress Tutorial

Hey friends!  I have a new dress tutorial for you today, as part of a the 30 Days Of Sundress Series hosted by the fabulous Melly Sews.  Melissa rounds up 30 sewing enthusiasts to create a dress tutorial for the entire month of June, and I was lucky enough to be a part of it.  I’ve wanted to tackle a crochet yoke style dress for awhile now and when I ran across some Cluny Lace at Joann Fabrics I new I had to give it a go for this series.  So glad I did!  I think this might be one of my most favorite creations.  And really so simple.


Before you run off to see all the other great dresses created, catch me after the jump to learn how easy it is to make this Knit and Cluny Lace Dress, plus links to all the other dress tutorials!

Knit and Cluny Lace Dress Tutorial

Knit Dress with lace yoke tutorial

Isn’t it fun?  It just screams Summer to me :).  The best part is that it comes together quickly – I love knit for that. I made this dress in a size 4-6 but it could easily be made in any size.  Just follow the technique and adjust from the measurements I provide. Let’s get started!

Fabric and Trim

Fabric and Trim Requirements:

  • 1 ¼ yard of knit fabric – I used a 4 way stretch polyester blend that had a great drape to it
  • Cluny lace in three sizes – I bought all mine at Joann Fabric in the ribbon and trim section

Lace size

  • 1 yard of 3 1/2 inch
  • 1 yard of 1 inch
  • 1 yard of 1/2 inch


  • all your sewing stuff
  • stitch witchery (optional)

Fabric Cuts:

  • two 18½ x 21 inch panels cut from fabric (18½ is the length, and you could adjust that to make longer or shorter, it would look awesome as a maxi!)
  • two 9 inch panels from the largest lace
  • two 10 inch pieces from the 1 inch lace – set aside remainder for arm straps
  • two 8½ inch pieces from the 1/2 inch lace
  • four 3 inch pieces from the 1/2 inch lace

Cluney Step 1

Okay, first layer the two fabric panels lining the edges up.  Position a 21 inch side at the top and cut off the corners at an angle as shown on each side.  Measure 1½ inches from the side, and 2 inches down from the top, make a line and cut.  This is for the armholes.

Cluny Step 2

Now take one of the 3 inch lace strips and place it with the decorative edge in on one of the corners on the right side of the fabric, then sew in place just along the edge.

Cluny Step 3

Turn it under and press.

Cluny Step 4

Then again sew just along the edge to hold in place.  Repeat on the remaining three armholes.

Cluny Step 5

Now take one of the panels and sew a gathering stitch across the top and gather to match the length of the 8½ inch strip of lace. Pin in place by pinning at the sides then middle working the to sides so you can adjust the gathers if needed.

Cluny Step 6

Sew the gathered top to the lace strip.  Repeat on the other panel.

Cluny Step 7

Now with the right sides together sew the sides with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, using a slightly longer stitch length or a stretch stitch on your machine – or serge.

You can hem the bottom at this point, I chose not to where the knit doesn’t fray.   Just fold under 3/4 of an inch and sew around the bottom – no need to do a double fold.

Cluny Step 10

Take the large lace that will make up the yoke, fold over each end a 1/4 inch and iron in place with the stitch witchery.  You might have to press a little longer than directed, just wait until the webbing has melted. Repeat on other piece.

Now you can sew this step too, I just like how the stitch witchery holds the ends of the lace together like glue.

Cluny Step 9

Your ends will look like this – nice and clean :).

Cluny Step 11

Now take a dress panel and center it on top of the lace piece both facing right side up, over lapping about an inch – making sure that where you sew will grab a good amount of lace.  Sew in place.

Cluny Step 12

Now take the 10 inch strip of 1 inch lace and and sew in place just above the 1/2 inch lace sewing on the large yoke piece.  Then sew a second row right on top where they all three are layered.  You can see in the image where I sewed by the black dashes – just stay about 1 1/2 inches from each side.  Repeat on the other panel.

Cluny Step 13

Fold the ends of the 1 inch lace over the sides of the arm holes, making sure to get the lace from the arm holes turned under a bit.  Sew in place along the bend of the arm hole just on the edge.  Repeat on the other three.

Cluny Step 14

This is how it should look now – almost finished!

Cluny Step 15

For the straps, I tried the dress on my little girl to measure how long I wanted.   I determined 6 inches to be good.  To attach, I just overlapped one inch on each side and sewed three rows across each end. That’s it!

Cluny Lace and Knit Dress Tutorial

Then I made a ginormous flower (I swear it looks bigger in the pictures :)) to match, put the dress on and she declared it was the “comfiest dress ever”.  Which is good – a girls gotta be comfortable.

Diy Flower Clip

You will find the tutorial for the Ruffle Flower here.  It’s my go-to hair accessory because it’s so simple to make!

Lace and knit dress tutorial

They’re perfect for clipping on hats too.

Knit and Cluny Lace Dress Tutorial

I hope you try this out, it really was so simple!  I think it would be super simple to make in an adult size too. Let me know if you give it a go.

Questions?  Just leave them in the comments and I would be happy to answer them there :)

Now you ready for some more?  Just click on over to this post for all the tutorials!  There are some fabulous dresses for women too – I have my eye on a couple of the maxi dresses.  Also, the rest of the month will be filled with more giveaways and tutorials so be sure to follow along.  Here is a list of all the bloggers participating:

GoTo Sew Kitschy Coo Occasionally Crafty Naptime Crafters Sew Country Chick You and Mie Flamingo Toes Googiemama Delia Creates Melly Sews The Mother Huddle sewVery Alida Makes Sugar Bee Crafts Seamingly Smitten Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy! Sumo's Sweet Stuff Craftiness is Not Optional Elegance & Elephants Sew A Straight Line Kojo Designs Caila Made Family Ever After Mama Says Sew Simple Simon & Co. Little Kids Grow A Couple of Craft Addicts Image Map

Thanks for reading, and a big thank you to Melissa for including me!


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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn June 15, 2013 at 10:18 am

Thank you! This is great! I think I may enlarge it just a bit (or a whole lot) to make a women’s size medium for my beach coverup for this summer!


Maria June 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm



Melissa June 15, 2013 at 3:42 pm

So beautiful! I think I might just have to make a top for myself like this. Thanks for participating!


Rachel June 16, 2013 at 8:38 am

Thanks for the tutorial.


Ross June 16, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Está genial y bastante comodo, gracias por guiarnos con el tutorial esta bien explicado.
hasta pronto.


BizzyMom June 17, 2013 at 11:15 am

BEST sundress in this series yet!!! :)


KRRMOM June 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Do you pre-wash the lace? Does it shrink?


Destri June 20, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Yes, it will shrink a bit. I did not pre-wash (I’m a rebel:)) but when I did wash it, I made sure to wash cold on delicate and hang dry. It washed up perfectly and still fits great.

Let me know if you make one, I would love to see!


Margaret Lane June 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Hi, have you ever crocheted cluny lace? I happened across a pattern for cluny lace a long while back. Found it in an old time crochet book. I believe the pattern was from the early 1900′s. You have to use the English crochet system to make them. I have made many items to decorate household things and recently to decorate the bottom of a half cotton slip. I enjoy crocheting, the only problem with cluny lace you make is you have to have an exact meausrement for it, but it looks really nice.


soha June 25, 2013 at 3:17 am

Its lovely! I made some thing similar with lace a couple of months back would be glad if you checked it out.


Gypsy Wools June 26, 2013 at 5:18 pm

That is super cute! I keep finding these super cute dress tutorials but I have little boys, but thankfully I have a niece ;) Thanks for sharing!


Sharni June 29, 2013 at 1:07 am

Hi. I’m new to sewing and was wanting to make the Cluny lace dress but was unsure of the knit fabric. and what it actually is. I’m in Australia and was wondering where to purchase it. Any help would be great.


Destri June 29, 2013 at 10:48 am

Hi Sharni,

The knit I used was a polyester nylon blend – but really any stretchy fabric will do. Four way stretch would be easiest (stretches all directions when pulled) but if you do use a two way (like interlock knit) make sure you sew it with the stretch going from side to side.
Let me know if this answers your questions!


Tiffany July 1, 2013 at 3:54 am

Such a cute dress, I’m hoping to make this for my daughters second birthday. I’m doing a shabby chic garden theme and I think something like this would be darling. Do you have an estimate about how many inches you would take the dress in for a 24months size.? Or a way of determining how much to add from a chest measurement? Thanks! Tiffany


Destri August 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Hi Tiffany,

I am just seeing this comment, so i am hoping I am not too late. The best thing to do is just use a shirt or dress of your daughters for a guide. Try to use one that is knit so that it’s accurate for the stretch.
Does this help? Let me know!


Sharni July 2, 2013 at 8:25 am

Thank you Destri. I will now search for something similar.


Debbie August 16, 2013 at 9:05 am

Awesome! My granddaughters would love these. I was imagining using a pillow case for the body of the dress – it’s already hemmed! Thanks for the great idea!


Karen Castro Castro August 27, 2013 at 12:40 am

esta hermoso!!! ojala pueda hacerlo yo algun dia para mi bebe,gracias por compartir :)


CassTheCoolest September 12, 2013 at 7:16 am

Hi Destri, it’s gorgeous, thanks for sharing. How do you get it over her head? I was thinking of making one for my 8 month old but I think I’ll need a button?


Destri September 16, 2013 at 11:23 am

Where the straps are on the side, and the body of the dress is knit – you should have no problems getting it over her head. My daughter has a pretty big noggin, and no problems! Let me know if you give it a go!


Beatriz Azuara May 6, 2014 at 9:00 am

What a lovely dress fits well and your daughter is gorgeous and the flower in her hair I love.



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