Lace All Day, Every Day!

When I think of lace, I tend to think of special occasions or intimate apparel, but you can use lace to add pretty details to your every day wear!

I love the patterns from Sew House Seven, so when they came out with the Merlo Field Tee, I knew I had to have it. “Casual, comfortable, and sporty knit tee”…”a slightly tomboyish vibe”…”wide, oversized body”…add all that together, and it sounds like the perfect shirt for me. In addition, the drop shoulder sleeves are usually flattering for my wide shoulders, and I don’t have to worry about making any adjustments.

The pattern comes with cute sleeve and shoulder insets, which makes for easy color-blocking and lets you use up some pretty scraps of fabric as accent pieces. They also recommend you use a drapey knit, so I knew that the Rayon Spandex from Phee Fabrics would be absolutely perfect. Phee also carries high quality lace fabrics as well, and I thought it would be fun to use the lace as my accent fabric.

I selected this gorgeous burgundy rayon spandex and mauve stretch lace.

MerloTee1

The stretch lace is 9″ wide, so I was able to fit both pattern pieces on one foldover. You need to cut 2 mirrored of each pattern piece – one will be the shoulder inset, and one will be the sleeve inset.

MerloTee2

As you can see in the picture, I had my pieces right up to the edge on top, as I wanted to save that bottom scallop. I decided I wanted to use that for my neckline. That meant I didn’t need to cut the neckband double width, as you usually do, but only about half. So I just took that leftover part, which was about 1″ wide, and cut it to the length of the neckband piece.

MerloTee3

Because I was using the lace instead of fabric, I wanted to make sure that my seam allowances wouldn’t show through. Therefore, when the pattern instructed me to press the SA towards the insets and then top-stitch, I did the opposite. I pressed all my SA to the fabric side and then top-stitched so that it wouldn’t “flip up” and show through the lace.

Tip: A walking foot is really helpful when top-stitching drapey fabrics like rayon spandex!

For the neckband, I just took my 1″ wide piece of lace, stitched the short sides together to make a band, and then attached it to the neck opening as you would usually do. However, I did take a bit bigger seam allowance when attaching the neckband – about 1/2″ instead of the normal 3/8″ as called for in the pattern.

And that’s it! I love the scalloped neckline detail, and it was so easy to do! As for the pattern itself, I used the wider neckline option and the 3/4 sleeve. The only other change I made to the pattern was to add about 2″ to the length because I prefer a little more length to my tops (helps cover up any squishy bits).

I definitely see more of these tops in my future! I’m thinking I’ll try the short-sleeve version next as I dream of warmer days…

Happy Sewing!

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