Sunday, February 23, 2020

A Guipure Lace Shirt

I had an image in my head on how I wanted to look for a family party. I wanted a funkysexycool look where I was totally covered but gave the illusion of skin. A look that if I'm honest is buried way down in my soul but what my heart looks like! *LOL* 

I styled it with a spanx camisole on the dressform and I wanted to add my spanx leggings to wear with the shirt.

I spent the day cooking for the party and then decorating. 

Some of the guests had started to arrive by the time we were finished setting up and I still had to go home and dress. When I got home, I saw my Velvet Myosotis hanging and almost wore it. But I'd made the top especially for the party, so I womaned up and wore it. I have no pictures of me in the outfit because I was uncomfortable all night long. Tugging on the camisole, pulling on the spanx, shirt flopping around because no buttonholes, just buttons...basically a disaster.

So the pictures in this post are styled as I will wear it to work or out with friends...cause my funkysexycool look was a bust.

Supplies ~
Fabric - 
Cotton guipure lace from Fabric Mart's online store
Sparkly pleather type knit from the collection for the collar, cuffs & buttons

Buttons -
8 - 5/8" covered buttons

Black silk organza from Thai Silks for the front facing

Pattern Alterations ~
I wanted a longer shirt with a high/low hemline. My first thought was to use my Katie back pattern along with my TNT shirt pattern to get the high/low hemline. I was stopped by two things - one, my fabric wasn't very wide and two, I only had 3.5 yards when I thought I'd purchased five.

I ended up using the tunic length version of my back pieces and rounding them off to create the high/low hemline. Then I added a little to the front side seam so the front & back pieces matched at the side seam. These were the only pattern alterations I made to get the look I wanted.

Construction Info. ~
This is a TNT shirt so the construction information is particular to this shirt and fabric.  I used a Schmetz Universal Needle size 80 and a small stitch length (2.4) on my Janome. Because of the lace, I wanted to make sure that I put as much thread as possible in the seams.

1.  I used 3/8" seams for the construction of the body of the shirt
2.  For the front to make the facing, I normally press and fold over twice.
3.  If I did that the front facings would be too thick.  So I pressed it over once and then serged the first foldover off.
4.  Then I stitched a piece of organza onto the front seam and pressed it into foldover piece.
5.  I wanted a stabilizing piece in the facing to make the buttonholes and to help secure the buttons. Though in the end I opted out of making buttonholes.
6.  Finally this was hand-stitched down instead of machine stitched due to the thickness of the fabric.

I left the back facing off and serge finished all of the seams.  Even though it's not a very open lace there is enough space for skin to show through so I wanted the seam finishes to be simple.

A couple of other things to note:
o  Stitching through this was slow because the cotton guipure was thick. I also ended up breaking one of my serger needles and I haven't done that in years.
o  This was not a great fabric to add gathering to...don't know why I didn't think that through before I put the sleeves in!
o  The fabric had a scalloped edge. I carefully cut the pattern pieces out to avoid cutting into that edge. Then I could cut the scalloped edge from the fabric in one piece and sewed it to the hemline of the shirt. It's one of my favorite features of the shirt.
o  The collar was hand stitched down because of the finicky nature of the pleathery fabric. I also omitted the topstitching I normally do on the collar and undercollar.
o  I made two sets of buttons. One set of 1/2" covered buttons. Then another set of 5/8" covered buttons. Both were a challenge to make and I made the 1/2" buttons before determining they were a little smaller than I wanted.
o  The shirt doesn't have buttonholes due to the thickness of the fabric.

A Few Pictures ~

Because my look came from an idea, I used my TNT pattern to make it work. If you're interested in reproducing it, I would suggest Vogue 9360. All of the work has been done for you would just need to fit it.

I guess I could have looked for a pattern first. But I knew I could make my TNT pattern work and liked the idea of doing that.  This was an involved sew due to the fabric's nature so keeping the construction simple was necessary to showcase the fabric.  Adding the pleathery knit as the collar and cuffs finished off the look I was going for and gave the shirt a little ooomph!

This was a fun sew. I truly enjoyed the problem solving and bringing my idea to fruition. I'm slowly getting over the fact that my original idea didn't work with the RTW pieces... always more later!


  1. I love the look you created!

  2. What a beautiful, dramatic look. Have you tried other colors for the base layer to show off the lace and shaping of the shirt? I love this kind of interesting layering, where the look is multidimensional.

    1. R - I haven't tried other colors yet...probably will as I wear it more since it will be a great layering piece for spring & summer.

  3. hi, carolyn--you look long'n'lean in that hi-low hemline. it's very becoming to your figure.--anne

  4. The lace is beautiful and the shirt looks GORGEOUS on you! The pleather collar and cuffs take it from soft to edgy. Amazing concept, beautifully executed.

  5. The top is beautiful and the fabric you used for the collar and cuffs is perfect. Why put on buttons if no buttonhole?

    1. I added the buttons because I wanted a finished I have to decide if I want actual closures.

  6. No matter our age, weight, shape, and general condition ... we each need to find ways to express our funky/sexy/cool selves! 'Cause we ALL have that in us! :-)

  7. I LOVE that shirt! But even more I relate to trying to dress the inner self. One of the pleasures of my dotage is that my inner self and outer self are closer than they've ever been before - my newly revived interest in sewing has helped greatly with that.

  8. It's fabulous Carolyn! You always manage to take your tnt patterns and make them new. The fabric is beautiful.


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