Tag Archives: Coco Chanel

Lace Shirt

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.

Lace Shirt Front image
Lace Shirt Front
Lace Shirt Shoulder seam inage
Lace Shirt Shoulder seam

 

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.

Lace Shirt Sewing image
Lace Shirt Sewing

 

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).

Lace Shirt Front image
Lace Shirt Front
Lace Shirt Back image
Lace Shirt Back

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Happy Sewing

Introducing the Lillia T-Shirt

Do you Know those days when all you want is to feel comfortable in your clothes? When you want to feel loose and free from any restrictions?

On my bedside table at the moment is a biography of the fashion designer Coco Chanel. An independent woman with drive and the determination to succeed. What interested me, when I read it the other day . was the that fact we have her to thank for the introduction of jersey fabric into women’s fashion. It is a fabric we take very much for granted now to give us the comfort and ease of movement we demand in our casual and leisure wear. I don’t know what we would do without it. So thank you very much Coco, along with the little black dress, shorter skirts and the perfect Chanel suit of course.

The Lillia T-Shirt is possibly the most comfortable top you will ever wear.

You will reach for it over and over again. It can be made from any colour or print of stretch jersey fabric, from light to medium weight as long as it has a two way stretch, so it stretches in both horizontal and vertical directions on the cloth. I included how to do the stretch test in the Red Body con dress blog.

The fabric I am using today is a medium weight jersey  lace with a good quality stretch to it. I thought that it would add a touch of femininity to the look, as well as function. So I am making the Lillia T-Shirt top in the longer sleeve version and also the longer length but without the side vent detailing. I’m making the neckband from the same fabric too, however you could choose to use a contrasting fabric for the neckband to add a bit of interest if you wanted. In the picture above I am wearing the cap sleeve option in navy blue light weight jersey, with the side vent openings.

Lillia T-shirt Pattern
Lillia T-shirt Pattern

 

How to make a T-Shirt

When you have downloaded and printed off your pattern, tape it together and cut out your chosen size and style. You can have the cap or long sleeve options with either the shorter or longer lengths, the choice is up to you.

I wear a US size 8 (UK 12) and I am a little taller than average, therefore I have chosen to make the longer style today.

 

When you are sewing with stretch fabric use a small zigzag or stretch stitch setting on your sewing machine. A ball point needle can also be a useful tool.

Lillia T-shirt Pattern Construction Layout image
Lillia T-shirt Pattern Construction Layout

When you have cut out your fabric pieces, the first step is to stitch the shoulder seams together. This is the same method for both the long and short sleeved style options.

Lillia T-shirt Pattern Neck Band Construction image
Lillia T-shirt Pattern Neck Band Construction

To make the neckband you first join the two ends together.

Lillia T-shirt Pattern Neck Band image
Lillia T-shirt Pattern Neck Band

 

Then fold the neckband in half with the right side facing out. Baste along the open edge to hold it closed.

Attaching Neck Band on Lillia T-shirt Pattern image
Attaching Neck Band on Lillia T-shirt Pattern

Pin the band to the neckline at the centre back, centre front and at the shoulders. Space it evenly. When you stitch the band in place, stretch it a little as you sew to make it fit.

Top Stitching the Neck band on Lillia T-shirt Pattern image
Top Stitching the Neck band on Lillia T-shirt Pattern

With the right side of the Lillia T-Shirt facing upwards, top stitch around the neck edge, about ¼ inch/ 0.6 cm under the seamline. Work slowly and carefully around the neckline to create a good finish.

Turn the garment so that the right sides are together again and stitch the side seams. Snip into the seam allowance at the underarm to allow for a neat curve.

Hem the sleeves and finally hem the bottom edge to your required length.

Long Sleeved Lillia T-shirt Pattern image
Long Sleeved Lillia T-shirt Pattern

Once you have practiced and mastered putting on the neckband you will be making this Lillia T-Shirt in all your favorite fabrics. You could play around with the design, for example, by adding an exposed zip at the back, making contrasting neck and arm bands or lengthening it into a tunic. Last summer I made this top from two completely different fabrics, using a silk on the front and a jersey for the back. If you try this, make sure you can still get it off over your head.

Lillia T-shirt Pattern
Lillia T-shirt Pattern

There are infinite ways to make and style this top. You can make it for all age groups and  for every season.

Please enjoy making your very own Lillia, I love all mine.