Romance really seems to be in the air at this time of year. At my local church down the road, there is either a wedding or a child’s christening every other day this month. So with the sunshine in the blue sky and love in the air I thought I would try to capture the romantic flavour of some of the light and easy bohemian styles around this season with my romantic lace shirt.
I adore lace and this pale peach coloured lace has been in the fabric stash for a while now. I realised that I only had just over a yard of it and have taken it out and played around with different ideas for garments several times recently. To make this shirt I had to experiment with the layout of the pattern pieces to be able to squeeze enough fabric to make it. The lace does not have any stretch to it, unlike the jersey lace I used for the Lillia T-shirt. It drapes quite nicely and has enough body to create a defined shape, especially at the cuff where the sleeve is gathered. In fact it is a similar cuff to the alteration I made on my Rosie Shirt recently. I like a three quarter length sleeve for everyday wear.
For this shirt I wanted to see if I could sew it together using just my serger/overlocker! I am fortunate enough to have a machine which converts to have a cover-stitch function. I had only ever used this for hemming before and felt that I needed to come to grips with it as a proper sewing method.
The raglan sleeve in this shirt pattern seemed very suitable to being assembled using the cover-stitch, which leaves a decorative, visible detail on the outside of the fabric.
The underarm and side seams are stitched together with the regular four thread serging technique and in the end I only had to get my sewing machine out to topstitch around the neckband. So I am very pleased with having made a whole garment which is not stretch jersey, exclusively with my serger machine. This had given me new confidence using this machine.
A word of caution though, if you are new to making clothing with your serger, If you are assembling your garment by serging the seams closed and so cutting off your seam allowance you must make sure that it will fit you and not need alterations as these will not be possible. There are two methods I use to get around this problem.
1, serger /overlock around the raw edges of the fabric pieces before sewing any of the pieces together. This way all of the edges are serged and can not fray while you sew the garment and you still preserve your seam allowance for any alterations. I do not serge on neck edges which will have a facing attached as I find this becomes too bulky.
2, The second method I use is to sew the basic body of the garment together for the fitting. Then I make any alterations within the seam allowance and sew the seam back together with my conventional sewing machine. When I am happy with the fit I will serge the seam allowance off, being careful not to cut or stitch into the seam line. This way I encase both fabric pieces together into the serging creating a neat and tidy finish. This can also be used as a neat finish on the sleeve/armhole seam which can sometimes be a bit thick.
When I took the pictures for this blog I had great fun with the costume jewellery, my little homage to one of the greats (Coco Chanel, of course).