Ready to Wear: Something More

I am generally a very simple dresser. Jeans or yoga pants, and a tee shirt are my uniform when I am not at work. This project made me revisit a staple that most of us have in our closets: a plain black tee shirt.

I used a pinsperation that I knew I could wear. It was cute and I loved the detail.

I used a shirt that I liked the fit of (an inexpensive V-neck tee shirt). And I used stretch lace that I KNEW was high quality ( https://pheefabrics.com/9-lavender-stretch-lace-trim/ ).

Just prior to this project I had knee surgery. I was crutch bound and knew it was going to be difficult if I needed to try this on a million times and crutch to the mirror to check the fit.

To mitigate these issues, I decided that this would be a draping project as opposed to a flat pattern drafting project. This means I used a dress form and scissors and pins. There is a learning curve to draping, but it can be a lot of fun and gives you a lot of freedom if your sewing for someone who isn’t around and if you are sewing with finiky fabric.

Draping is also handy when sewing adaptations to ready to wear items or already constructed pieces.

This is Grace, my dress form. She lost her base in a move a few years back. This was the next best thing. As Grace is made of plastic, she has a basic knit sheath on so I have something to pin to.

I measured meticulously, marked with chalk, pinned the shirt in place, then cut off the shoulders and upper sleeves.

Initially, the lace created a shawl type collar. This was not really my jam, so I pinned the lace in place, maintaining the galloon lace edge, and trimmed the lace to resemble a conventional tee shirt collar line. I attached the lace with a basic stretch stitch (a zip zag in my case). I used fold over elastic, unfolded, as a neckline trim. I did a simple fold over hem for the sleeves.

In the photo, there is a little bit of pulling at the upper bust. Grace has a more endowed chest than I do, so I tightened the material a bit on the chest, knowing it would suit me when I put it on.

The project worked so well due to the quality of the lace. It was stable, did not warp, and was basically gorgeous and awesome.

The modified tee is comfy and cute. I will probably be doing a similar modification with several other Phee Fabrics stretch lace colors, because LACE!!!!

Blue hair, cute shirt, and crutches. Happy summer!

Are you a pinspiration creator??? Phee Fabrics is having a contest this August for all you pinspirers! Check it out! Phee Pinspiration Challenge

Tips for Sewing a Lace Bralette

(Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.)

Can I tell you a secret?

I was too afraid to cut into this lace! I remember browsing Phee’s website one late night. When I came across this lace, I was immediately captivated by its beauty. I HAD TO HAVE IT!

So I got it. And after holding it (and sniffing it because everything from Melissa smells like unicorns riding rainbows), I felt an overwhelming sense of intimidation.

Please tell me I’m not the only one that gets this way?

I wanted to choose a pattern that would maintain the elegance of the lace. I thought Madalynne’s free Sierra Bralette pattern fit that bill.

And after making the initial cut, I felt confident to continue with the project.

Although the pattern calls for powernet as a backing, I decided to use nude circular knit. I then used powernet to create pockets for inserts.

This project was my first time working with scalloped stretch lace. It definitely required finesse and delicacy, both with which my bumbling and clumsy hands struggled! lol

So, read on for some tips (and some lessons learned) for working with this beautiful lavender lace!

List of Materials

Fabrics:

Notions:

Note: I used 3/8″ picot elastic and strap elastic that I had in my personal stash.

Tips for Sewing Stretch Lace

First, use a small needle. When it comes to my swimwear, I pretty much use a Schmetz 90/14 needle throughout the entire project. For lace and thin pretty thangs, I recommend switching to 75/11.

Second, if you struggle with fabric slipping as it feeds through, use a walking foot. This really helped me with maintaining an even feed.

My third tip is more of a “wish list” thing:

I wish I had a second throat plate for sewing thin and delicate fabrics. My current throat plate has a wide eye (for zig zag stitches, moving the needle to the far left or far right, etc). But, what I would like is a throat plate with a small diameter eye for simple straight stitching. This would prevent fabric from being pushed into the machine and jamming everything up.

I didn’t have an issue with that, but if you do, you can feed your fabric through with paper or dissolvable stabilizer.

Tip No. 4: I don’t topstitch to secure the elastic; I bottom stitch (if that’s a thing). On the final pass for the elastic, try to zig-zag as closely to the elastic’s free edge as possible. This will prevent the elastic from flipping over to the front.

Also, I always use my standard presser foot when sewing elastics. It provides much more pressure than my walking foot. Finally, I switched to my 90/14 needle for this step, but that’s not necessary.

Something that I really struggled with was zig-zagging the scalloped edge to the circular knit. There were a bunch of twists and turns, which I wasn’t used to. When sewing the scalloped edge, I used my walking foot again. I was afraid of slippage. But, Madalynne’s pattern does recommend spray gluing your layers together (which I didn’t do because I didn’t have glue on hand), so I definitely think that would be the best route!

Last tip: Be very patient when you trim away the excess along the scalloped edge! And if you have duck-billed scissors, I highly recommend using them! If you’re not paying attention you can easily accidentally snip your lace.

Yes…I learned the hard way and immediately turned off Netflix after that one mishap. But, the beauty of this lace is that any mishap is easily camouflaged.

Conclusion

Overall, I’m happy with how my bralette turned out. There are a couple of changes that I will make to it once I am settled after my cross country move. One of those changes will be to make it a two-strap bralette rather than a halter bralette. There’s just too much tension around my neck with the way it is now. Also, I used strap elastic that I bought a long time ago from a Hancock’s out-of-business sale. I don’t like the ruching in the elastic. So I’m definitely going to get my hands on Phee’s strap elastic.

Other than that, this is a super comfy bralette that I’ll definitely be wearing! I’m usually in sports bras or bikinis. This is definitely a welcomed change! Makes my muscles and bitty boobies feel purdddyy lol

Talk to you later!

Monica