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Apr 16, 2014

Lace Shirt, DAY 2 + When You Have to Do It Over

My shirt is coming along slowly.

The lace is remarkably easy to work with.  The challenge has been mixing the various fabrics I'm using: figuring out what looks good where.  In addition to the black lace, I'm using black and white cotton gingham and a light gray and green floral.  They're primarily in back and on the sleeves.

I've used the sleeve-attaching technique I learned in my menswear sewing class, as well as the nearly-identical method for closing up the sides.  This has resulted in clean inside seams with no bulk.  Since all the trimming takes place before the two sides get attached, once you've sewn your first line of stitching, you're all ready to topstitch (with a bit of pressing).

I decided to do the collar by using black cotton sateen on the inside band, and overlaying the lace on my gray floral for the outside band.

This worked well except for two things: 1) The interfacing I used was too stiff so the collar felt too bulky, and 2) I didn't like the mainly-black look of it.  The lace-covered outside band in particular was too dark.

So before the collar was edgestiched closed on the inside, I removed it and started again, making the collar and both bands out of the light gray floral fabric.  The difference might be subtle, but when it's your shirt, you notice.  Michael thought the first version looked fine but I decided it was worth the extra couple of hours to get it just how I wanted it.

I've been using Fashion Sewing Supply interfacing lately,  primarily Pro-Sheer Elegance Medium.  I generally don't like stiff collars but this time I decided to try ProWoven Light-Crisp.  It was too heavy for my fabric, especially with all those layers.

For my second collar I returned to the Pro-Sheer Elegance Medium.  I love the result.

Meanwhile, I trimmed the front hem down to the scalloped edge of the lace. 

Next up is buttonholes and buttons and then I'm finished, more or less.  I had this crazy idea to mimic the lace scallops in back by adding a shaped facing.  The back is already hemmed straight across but it looks too long next to the scalloped lace.  I'll come up with something.

And that's it.  Next up is pants to go with this outfit -- something light so it shows through the lace hem of the shirt.  No rest for the weary, as they say.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. I love seeing your workmanship. So perfect. A feast for the eyes. Thank you.

  2. I'm loving everything of this project that I can glean from your photos. In my mind the finished project looks great already!

  3. I always thought that was "no rest for the wicked" ...

  4. Wow! This is coming along fantastic!

  5. looks great. can't wait to see it. which machine are you using?

  6. My Mom always said "No rest for the wicked" too.

  7. Maybe you could try one of those tiny little triangle gusset thingys at the hem between the lace and the back...possibly in your gingham. I have noticed these on some of my blokes shirts and kbenco put one on her blokes's shirt recently (

  8. Oooh I love that floral collar. I am always so impressed with how neat your work is. Thanks for the notes on the interfacing. ;-)

  9. I think this is going to be a stunning-looking shirt!

  10. Oh my gosh! Love LOVE the second collar!

  11. I am so excited to see this shirt. It looks amazing!

    The little gingham gusset thing that Katherine suggested above sounds like a cool idea, too.

  12. The finished collar looks amazing!


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