Skip to main content

Summer of T-shirts: Lace-backed Casual Top

This week's blog is by Julie, the moderator of the Fabricistas blog. 

If you've been following the Summer of T-shirts Event since the beginning, you know that I started this event after being inspired by the vast amount of t-shirt styles out in stores and in pattern lines. Something so simple, like a t-shirt, can be transformed into so much more. 


I love combining different fabrics when I make t-shirts. And many of the ideas I had for this event were to combine lace and knit for a boho chic look.

For this post, I'm going to share with you how to turn a basic t-shirt pattern into a high-low hem and loose fitting lace back.


I used Pamela's Patterns Perfect T-shirt. I know it fits me well when made as is and I've pattern hacked it a number of times with success. Pull out the front and back bodice pieces and let's get started!



Front Bodice
1) Starting with the front bodice piece, trace the top portion on to pattern paper. Stop tracing just after the dart. (If you have one on your pattern.) If you don't, then trace about 2-3" from the top of the underarm seam.


2) At the base of the front piece, make a mark 1/2" from the edge of the pattern. Using a ruler, grade in from the 1/2" mark on the bottom edge, to the mark near the dart where you stopped tracing. This will make the shirt have a little less shape, creating a looser, more casual look on the front. I didn't want the hemline to be curved up, so I straightened it on the side seams.





Back Bodice
3) Making the top back pattern piece - Figure out where you would like the seam on your back. After you have that figured out, draw a line across the back bodice piece. This line should be about 2" below the underarm. This pattern piece will replicate the back bodice piece exactly, except that it will be shorter.






4) Making the bottom back pattern piece - Lay your pattern piece on blank pattern paper. Trace seam line onto the pattern paper. (The seam line is the line you made on the pattern paper that separates the knit top piece to the lace bottom piece.) Measure 1 1/4" from the side seam, all the way down to the hemline. This will create the loose lace back piece. Mark the end as shown in the photo. (This will help when you make the curve from the hemline to the side seam.)



5) Measure 4" from the hemline. This will make the back piece longer in the back for the high-low look.

6) Using a french curve, find a curve that you like and connect the hemline marks to the side seam marks.

Pattern Comparison:


When I made my back piece, I wanted there to be a fold in the back, like you see in the back of buttondown shirts. Since I was creating my own pattern, I needed to mark that fold on my pattern piece.

7) Lay the top back and bottom back pieces together. Your bottom piece should be 1 1/4" wider that the top piece.

 Match up the side seams to see how much you have to work with.


8) Make a mark 3/4" from the fold line. Fold the pattern piece so the side seams match and the pattern is laying flat on your cutting board. Make a mark where the fold was made. You will then transfer these marks to the fabric. (If you don't want to do this, you could also baste the seam on the bottom back bodice and pull the thread to gather and match the top back bodice piece.)


Close-up of the back fold.
You've now finished the pattern making process! 

Sewing Tips:
- Sewing this shirt together is really easy! Sew the top back and bottom back pieces together before sewing the rest of the shirt together per the directions. You may also need to fuse some woven stay tape to the knit portion of the back seam. It will stabilize the lace and knit seam so it doesn't stretch when sewing.


- Try the top on before you sew the hem. I ended up cutting off a little bit to make it the length I desired. You may also need to make a smoother transition from the front bodice to the back bodice.

- Try a different kind of neckline! Pamela's Patterns Perfect T-shirt comes with 3 different necklines. She also has a pattern of New Necklines and Sleeves which can be used with this pattern. I selected the v-neck, but did something a little different for the neck -- I took strips of black knit and sewed them to the neckline with the right side of neckline strips to the wrong sides of shirt. Knits do not fray so it's a quick and easy finish to a fun, casual top. When they are washed, the raw edges roll in on themselves giving it an even more interesting look.



- Other fabric options: I personally really like mixing lace with knits. But if you're not into lace, I could see this made with chiffon solids or prints. You could also use a contrasting knit fabric for some colorblocking. How would you combine fabrics for an interesting t-shirt?



As you can see, I am wearing a cami underneath. You could be daring a wear it bare! (I'm not that daring and do not care to share it with the world! It would also be fun to wear a different color cami to help highlight the lace even more.

Don't forget you can sew along with us at home. Share you t-shirt pattern hacks (new ideas you have and ideas that we have shared with you) on Facebook and Instagram using #FMSummerofTshirts. At the end of the summer, we will compile all the people that used the hashtag and you will be entered into a random drawing for $75 gift certificate to Fabric Mart!

Comments

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: ITY Dress

Hi sewing friends - Andrea here from Happy.Things.Here over on Insta with this week’s post – I’m sharing about a favorite fabric and pattern today!  So… the last two months have almost gotten the best of me. We made a somewhat unplanned decision to move homes and life has been just insanely busy and hard to find time to sew. But sewing  is such a joy and a stress reliever for me, so I fit in this fun and easy sew amidst the chaos and it made me sew very happy! Sneak peek – how could this print NOT make someone happy? First, let’s talk fabric. ITY , or Interlock Twist Yarn, is one of my all-time favorite fabrics for sewing clothing. Fabric Mart did an Instagram post with a video on this fabric and I highly recommend you check it out if this fabric is new to you. Three things I love about ITY – 1) it’s easy to care for and rarely wrinkles, 2) it’s easy to wear, great for drapey pieces, and works all year long, and 3) Fabric Mart gets great deadstock prints and colors from fashion design

Made By A Fabricista: Summer Separates in White Eyelet

To me, eyelet fabric suggests warm weather and sunshine.  I can envision myself sipping lemonade, while swaying on a porch swing with a gentle summer breeze on my face, all while wearing a lovely eyelet dress.  Hello Sewing Friends! It’s Sharon with Sharon Sews here sharing my latest Fabricista make with you.  This time I sewed some separates using a summer staple, eyelet fabric.   A quick search online revealed eyelet being used in more than just dresses this season, ranging from romantic dresses to flirty tops to wide-leg pants and matching camp shirts.  I even saw a man’s white eyelet top on a high-end shirt designer’s website.  There are so many options for using eyelet fabric, but I liked the look of eyelet pants with a matching top. Both fabrics were designer fabrics – I LOVE that section on the website! A white 100% cotton geometric floral embroidered eyelet lawn, and a baby pink/white 100% cotton embroidered pinwheel floral voile.  Both are so, so lovely!  I also took advantage

Made By A Fabricista: Breezy Summer Style with Rayon Challis from Fabric Mart.

Hey there my sewing friends!  Summer is here and I am all for it.  It has been exceptionally hot here in Southwest Florida. We have had temps in the high 90’s.  I want to keep cool and comfortable and still look pulled together this summer.  That’s why I chose rayon challis for this month’s summer make.   Rayon Challis is lightweight, flowy, soft and extremely comfortable to wear. It’s an excellent choice for summer outfits.  It has a beautiful drape making it an excellent choice for maxis, tops, dresses, and shorts. The fabric is lightweight and depending upon your sewing project you may need to use a lining with this fabric. Also use a lightweight interfacing when working with rayon challis.  If you are a beginner at sewing, you may find the fabric a bit fiddly to work with, but the end result is so worth it.  Fabric Mart has beautiful challis fabric to choose from. I chose this fun tropical print on an off-white background. This summer season vests are in.  I love the ease of wearin