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Monday, March 12, 2012

Sew it lovely: lace overlay top...

Hello to you and hello to sunshine!! Wow, Mondays are SO much easier to deal with when it's sunny. I unfortunately didn't get to make the most of the sunshine over the weekend due to a 'certain' rugby tournament that is ruling our roost at the moment...I did however get to crack out my sewing machine so all is well :)

I've been on the lookout for a lace top for a while now. So when I found a long forgotten bag of black lace I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. It was just big enough to make a full length top...I'd like to think that it was meant to be :)

This is the perfect way to upcycle an old t-shirt, I love how it turned out! It was impossible to photograph the hems on the lace but I would recommend a narrow hem if you have enough fabric. If, like me, you're short on lace then I settled for a single hem. But I'd recommend a zigzag stitch to secure the hem.

What you need:

1. The length of lace required will depend on what top you're using underneath. While the t-shirt is still intact measure the length of the t-shirt and cut double that measurement plus 2 extra inches of lace.

2. Turn the t-shirt/vest inside out. Measure the centre and mark. From there mark out a sweet heart neckline.

3. Mark a straight line across the back of the's really up to you how low you want it, I kept mine about armpit level. Cut out the t-shirt. I'm sorry about the photo...occasionally blogger likes to rotate my photos for no reason what so ever when uploading...anyway you get the idea!

4. Put the t-shirt to one side. Take your lace and fold in half width ways. Measure the centre point of the folded edge and cut a line across the edge to form the hole for your head (it's quite a helpful thing). Just keep cutting until it easily fits over your head! Sew a 1cm hem around the neckline.

5. Next sew the hems of the two bottom edges of the lace top. Oh look, it did it again...grrr!

6. Fold the lace right sides facing with the neck line on the folded edge. Place the original t-shirt on top of the lace (the t-shirt will not be pinned at this stage, it is just acting as a guide) and pin the lace together. It will need to be at least 4" wider than the t-shirt purely because jersey stretches but lace does not! Taper the pins in to meet the arm pit of the t-shirt.  Next I'd recommend trialling taking it on/off before stitching and adjust widths as needed. Sew the seam from under the arm to 2" short of the bottom hem. Repeat for both sides.

7. To finish off the side seams, take the bottom open part of each seam and sew two hems. (I'm so glad I have photos, I feel like I'm just saying seam, hem, hem, seam, hem!) This makes it even easier to remove the top without the hassle of fitting a zip or buttons!

8. Next, the sleeves. Trim the seam and the cut horizontally at the top to create the sleeve.

Fold the corner in to create a triangle and pin. Ideally then pin a 1cm hem all around the sleeve. However I really liked how the sleeve sat prior to making a hem so I simply sewed the corner and then just sewed around the sleeve to make it as neat as possible. I actually quite like the rough edge.

9. The lace top is now complete. Take the lace top and t-shirt and turn both inside out. Place the lace top inside the t-shirt and pin the two tops together across the sweetheart neckline.

10. Next sew the two tops together along the neckline of the t-shirt. If the t-shirt is a jersey material (like mine is) then you might find that the t-shirt material stretches as it is sewn resulting in the shape distorting. I overcame this by sewing in 1-2cm sections along the neckline (remembering to backstitch to secure).

11. And finally wear to your sophisticated hearts content! It looks great tucked into a skirt or just simply paired with jeans :)

This is my first foray into making clothing, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! Let me know if you have a go or if you know how I can stop blogger turning my photos round the wrong way :)

Happy Monday!


  1. Super cute! I'd love it of you linked up to Crafty Cousins!


  2. way to go! very chic! thanks for linking up to make it monday! I've shared your link on the Brassy apple FB page!

  3. I love this, it's a really wonderful idea. I'm new to making my own clothes as well.

    As for the pictures, I started a Flickr account to upload my photos, and copy & paste them from Flickr onto Blogger. It is super easy to do, and you can keep all your photos in one place. Hope it helps you out!

    If you need anything else, feel free to let me know.

  4. Looks gorgeous! I'm definitely going to try it out, Thank you!

  5. I just stumbled upon your blog by seeing your button on the side of the This Lovely Little Day blog. I absolutely adore your blog! Your sewing and craft projects are so fun. This lace overlay tutorial is one of my favorites, can't wait to try it! I'm following you now via blog lovin!

    1. Thanks Kimberley for following along and for your sweet words! Your blog is so lovely too!


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