Lately I’ve been seeing lovely lace tops around the internet, and it occurred to me that I could make one using this lace I’ve had in my stash. It’s actually lace I bought to use on my wedding dress, but I ended up not liking how it looked, so I’ve been trying to decide what to do with it ever since. It’s a thick lace made of cotton thread, but if you don’t have a similar fabric I recommend looking for crocheted lace tablecloths in thrift stores. Try to find one with a finished border, so you don’t have to worry about hemming the lace. To do this project you’ll also need a woven (not stretchy!) sleeveless top that fits you to use as a pattern, but if you don’t have one already I bet you could adapt this free pattern.
Thick lace with a finished border, about a yard
A sleeveless top to use as a pattern
Matching bias tape
1. Lay the top you’re going to use as a pattern face-up on one layer of the lace. Cut around it, leaving about a half-inch seam allowance. If your neckline is lower in the front, trim down the neckline after you cut out the main area.
2. Flip the shirt over and do the same thing with the back.
3. Cut a little slit in the middle of the back for the keyhole closure.
4. Pin the lace, right sides together, at the sides and shoulders. Sew up the shoulders, then the sides, using a narrow zigzag stitch and a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew the side seams a second time, 1/4-inch in from the first line of stitching.
5. Iron the seams, then add bias tape edging to the neckline and arm holes. I used these instructions for the decorative facing version, and this tutorial helped me with the corners.
6. Add a little loop for the button closure on the back, and hand-sew on a pretty button on the opposite edge.
For now I’m wearing it with a nude tank underneath, but when the weather cools down I can’t wait to wear it peaking out from under a sweater, like in the example I showed above.
My name is Rachel and I live in wonderful Portland, OR. Transient Expression is about fashion, style, and DIY. I love to share craft projects, cute outfits, recipes, and inspiration for living a handmade life.