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Apr 14, 2014

Lace Shirt, DAY 1 + New Pattern!

Today I got started on my lace shirt.

The reason you see the left front piece draped over my bare skin is because I have decided, on this attempt at least, not to use the lace as an overlay.  (I have plenty of lace so I can try other versions.)

Fans of the purple paisley fabric I bought last week will be relieved to know that I'm not using it in this lace shirt project at all, but will probably save it for my 100% lace-free final shirt for my menswear sewing class.

The fabrics I'm using (in some combination -- I'm still figuring out what goes where) on this shirt are these:

What changed my mind?

I found photos of this Comme des Garcons shirt online, and it doesn't look racy in the least, even though skin (and black bra) show through the front.  In fact, it's positively demure.  Since I don't wear a bra, a patch pocket can always cover up a peek-a-boo nipple.

I cut my lace for my two fronts this afternoon.  I added a covered button placket on the left side.

I placed the pattern so the I can use the scalloped edge of the lace for the hem (trimming away those extra threads).

I hope to finish this up soon since it's going to be a short-sleeve shirt, which means no cuffs or sleeve plackets.

In other news, I'm 99% sure I'll be taking a draping class at FIT starting at the end of May and running through mid-July.  The summer semester is short so this class meets two evenings a week.  There are no menswear sewing classes being offered over the summer and the only other thing I was considering was flat patternmaking, but draping sounds more fun, don't you think?

Speaking of flat patterns, I received a new one in the mail today: overalls!

Butterick 3571, which dates from the mid-Seventies, is so authentic that it even includes an embroidered radish decoration.  I hope to whip these up sometime soon.

And that's it.  A big lacy day awaits me tomorrow so wish me luck.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. That radish is too funny. What a strange era in fashion. Can't wait to see the lace shirt!

  2. I love the artwork of these patterns even though it is hard to see the actual proportions. and draping your way through the summer sounds delightful!

  3. I wore overalls in college (1975) and I loved them. I don't remember anyone wearing the radish, but for some reason they make me picture the Hager twins from HeeHaw.

    1. You made me laugh out loud! I hadn't thought of HeeHaw in years!

  4. Very clever idea for the lace! Looking forward to seeing the finished item. I am sort of tempted to steal the idea for me :-)

  5. There was definitely an "embroidery on overalls" fad in the early 70s. It was that James Taylor folk-y, hippy "back to the land" look. I think I made a Betsey Johnson Butterick "Young Designer" pattern with knee patches back then as a teen. Guys would have patches on their overalls, too, probably sewn on by their girlfriends, who learned to sew in Home Ec.

  6. I understand that these are what is known as "dungarees". And yes, embroidered denim WAS big in the Seventies; I still have a vest I embroidered from back then.

  7. When you whip up those "overalls" (we call em dungarees) please please please include the radish embroidery...want to see it in real life super bad!

  8. I like this new version of the lace shirt much better than the original idea. Are you going to use the gingham for the sleeves, etc or a pinstripe.

  9. I am anxious to see your lace shirt. The embroidered radish, reminded of a time my mom embroidered denim shirts for all my cousins one Christmas! They were amazing shirts.

  10. Yup, embroidery was definitely in in the 70's but we used it to cover up holes in our jeans. Now they buy the jeans with holes!

  11. Nothing wrong with a peek-a-boo nipple (through the lace)... but if you were worried you could always strategically embroider some radishes..............

  12. I love lace, but I had never thought of putting it together with a shirt. I can see a refashion in the making. I worry about peekaboo nipple but I guess if you choose a good lace pattern that covers up certain areas well then you're good to go!

  13. I love that little radish - and the 70s!
    Can't wait to see what you whip up with the lace. Frankly, I think the world could do with more peekaboo nipples...

  14. I started sewing back in the mid 70's during the denim revolution, and I remember that overalls pattern well as all the other designer patterns from that era that Butterick produced. They just don't make 'em like they used to. A few years later, after getting a BS in Biology, I decided I like sewing and designing so much, I went back for a degree in Apparel Design. And even though now (over 30 years later) I can easily draft my own patterns, I still have those 70's era patterns recently renewed through Etsy purchases.

  15. Is there room in your sewing queue for lace overalls?

  16. Draping is FUN! Enjoy! Not a bad idea to take flat pattern making after draping.

  17. White overalls were all the rage in the mid-70's. We even wore them as a uniform in pep band.

    They're still the rage at my house -- we have farm animals, and overalls do an excellent job of keeping us (and our clothes) clean!


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