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NL6735: Lavender Lace Tops

I wear my latte and lace top a LOT. So when Helen unexpectedly dropped a whole stack of really gorgeous lace offcuts from her pink linen and lace dress into my lap at social sewing in April – I knew exactly what it had to turn into.

Another lace yoke tee, using my TNT New Look 6735 pattern of course! Sadly, my first go around the merry-go-round with the lace produced a result I’m really not keen on. Mix in lousy weather and a killer hangover and you get this…

IMG_5863This knit fabric is an oyster-coloured ponti from Clegs – I had to modify my pattern a bit by allowing for a bit of extra breathing room as this ponti doesn’t have the stretch a normal knit does, so I needed less negative ease! Problem is, there’s ponti, and then there’s ponti. This ponti is really, really stiff. I’m actually a little sad at how this creation turned out… it feels very straight-jacket-y to wear. This is yet another lesson in the importance of correct fabric selection, it would seem.

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Rather than staying with the triangular design of my original Latte and Lace top and pulling my hair out with all those pinpoint turns, I decided this time I would simply baste the lace – this would be a top for winter with 3/4 length sleeves, so I didn’t really want somewhere for the wind to blow through! With some matching silk thread, I pinned the lace where I wanted it, basted it down, then cut out some of the lace at the front to get some shape to it before then prick-stitching the edges in place. I rather like lace that continues around the sleeves as well, so to get it perfectly matching:

I pin the sleeve into the armscye first

I pin the sleeve into the armscye first, marking where the lace meets the seam

Then place the lace so it matches at the front and back

Then place the lace so it matches at the front and back

Lying the sleeve flat you can strategically baste it in place

Lying the sleeve flat you can strategically ‘prick-stitch’ it in place

Followed by basting along the selvedge so it doesn't stick out.

Followed by basting along the selvedge so it doesn’t stick out.

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The sleeves and hem are finished with a twin needle, but I used some hot pink store bought bias binding to finish the neckline. Due to the ponti being seriously thick and unrelenting, I had to prick-stitch all around the neckline to help hold the seam fold in place.

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Unsatisfied with this latest creation, I actually went back to Tessuti and bought some more of the creamy-latte coloured knit (a viscose/spandex poly blend) I used to sew the original Latte and Lace top.

So you know what? I ended up tearing my hair out again over a few pin-point turns anyway:

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I reinforced the shoulder seam and finished the neckline with bias strips of silk organza, all other seams were left ‘unfinished’.

Unfortunately I stretched out the neckline a bit when sewing the organza binding on… to the extent that even a serious steaming couldn’t save it. I ended up running a hand-basted gathering stitch on the inside of the organza which I pulled until the bubble lay flat, then secured with a knot. Not that you’d ever know it now. Phew!

Organza binding hand gathered to pull the neckline back into shape.

Organza binding hand gathered to pull the neckline back into shape.

No more sagging neckline!

No more sagging neckline!

I do love a happy ending!

The Stats: Ponti Lace Top
00:00  Pattern Preparation
00:00  Toile (cutting/sewing/fitting)
00:25  Fabric Preparation (cutting/basting/interfacing)
07:15  Sewing
07:40  hours

The Stats: Triangle Lace Top
00:00  Pattern Preparation
00:00  Toile (cutting/sewing/fitting)
00:40  Fabric Preparation (cutting/basting/interfacing)
03:15  Sewing
03:55  hours

Fabric Utilisation = 1.0m, due to both gifted and bought fabric.
Stash total remains = 79.9m (Goal = 50m)

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NL6735: Latte and Lace

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Ethereal geometric lace, some coffee coloured knit and a whole lotta pivot points. Mix them all together and you’ll end up with something that looks a bit like this!

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I’ve been wanting to make another version of my loversandhaters tee for what feels like forever now. It’s been ages since I’ve sewn with a knit though, and it really showed! Whilst sewing up a few test pieces I was wondering why it kept jumping stitches and snowballing my bobbin – duh – you need a ball-tipped needle specially for knits, Melanie. Your micro-needle really isn’t going to cut the mustard with a knit fabric. This is just proof that if your sewing machine isn’t doing what you want it to do, it’s most probably your fault. A mechanised inanimate object can only ever perform as well as the person operating knows how. 

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I don’t have many New Look patterns, but I really like this one. The main reason is that it’s got a centreback seam as well as side seams – meaning I can get a good fit around my waist and not have it pulling tight across my bust at the same time. I’m often 2+ sizes bigger at the shoulders and bust than at my waist/hips, and this pattern caters for that wonderfully. As I wasn’t sure of how this fabric would fare, I got enough to make a basic tee out of it to test size and stretch first.

The neckline, shoulder seams and back yoke are all seam-reinforced with some bias cut silk organza strips.

I also learnt that twin needles are twice as nice as normal needles – especially when paired with some wooly nylon in your bobbin! Using a twin needle for stretch fabrics to finish off hems has been on my to-try-list for quite some time – it works wonderfully! I hand basted first so my knit didn’t distort all over the place (a walking foot is next on the to-try-list), and it worked beautifully. You don’t have to use wooly nylon in your bobbin, but from testing out that and normal thread on some scraps first, the nylon definitely gives you extra stretching room.

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That milky-coffee coloured knit is of an unknown composition – I completely forgot to take a picture of the tag when I bought it like I usually do. I’ve nicknamed it the Charlie Sheen of the fabric world though. It made me mad, behaved like an unruly child, my pins/scissors and my machine all hated working with it and somehow it got lucky enough to co-star alongside that gorgeous Chanel Lace. Instead of dumping it by the wayside like I should have, I just kinda ignored all that, pushed on and despite itself, it ended up being a success against the common sense odds.

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With Belle, mere moments after completion at Social Sewing

The Chanel Lace is of course left overs from my Lace-but-not-as-you-know-it Dress. I’ve had the remnant set aside for this project even since I saw this utterly gorgeous blouse on Pinterest…

The Stats:
01:50  Pattern Preparation (tracing/draft changes)
01:10  Toile (cutting/sewing/fitting)
00:40  Fabric Preparation (cutting/interfacing)
11:10  Sewing
14:50  hours

Fabric Utilisation = 1.6m
Stash total now = 79.8m (Goal = 50m)

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NL6735: The loversandhaters Tee

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The idea for this little t-shirt has been slow-cooking in my imagination for quite some time… so I’m glad to finally see it come to fruition! These pictures were taken on the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia on an incredibly amazing 4 day 4WD trip across the desert and over into Chile. Can I just say – San Pedro de Atacama (a little city in the desert at the top of Chile) has completely stolen my heart!

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I‘ve been searching for a TNT knit tee pattern to call my own, and I think New Look 6735 is it. I love the Renfrew for its simple construction techniques (those banded sleeve and hems – which I totally stole for this tee – as if you wouldn’t!) but this pattern has a seam at the back as well as at the sides – this appears to allow the top to be better fitted, especially across the waist. I often find stretch tops to be too tight across the bust and then loose and floppy around my mid-section – this back seam allowed me to get around this in a quick and easy way!

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The stunning backdrop – a volcanic lagoon with Flamingoes

A long while ago on Burdastyle I favourited this lace and knit tee-shirt by fellow Burdastyler loversandhaters. I loved the idea of mixing the two differently textured fabrics together, and went about trying to find something to replicate it – ending up with a black broderie anglaise and a dark grey (wool and polyamide) jersey knit.

Yup, it‘s wool from Tessuti again. Another very travel friendly top! Taking the well celebrated basic tee from New Look pattern 6735 (a great co-ordinates pattern which I originally bought for the cardigan – still to be made as I’ve yet to find the right fabric), I went about changing it to suit my purposes.

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The main Plaza in Sucre, Bolivia – a gorgeous colonial style town.

I kept it simple by adding in an inverted triangle of the broderie anglaise to both the front and back of this tee. Just before I started to cut up this fabric, I did a bit of a house tidy-up and came across some black silk habotai scraps. On impulse I thought they’d be great to do a bit of a border linking the two (just included in the seam, ironed then topstitched down). 

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I finished the neckline with a self-made bias binding with some black cotton voile to match the broderie anglaise. My one little boo-boo was trying to make the sleeve cuffs a bit smaller than on the Renfrew – not such a great idea. They have the habit of rolling up because of the bulk of the seam. In future I’ll stick to the Renfrew width!

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Feeling a tad guilty that I may be standing on somebodies table salt…

The result is a super comfy tee (I love the freedom of movement you get with a stretch top) with a bit of visual interest that takes it beyond your standard block colour knit top. I m definitely going to try this modification again but with a different shaped panel of woven fabric. 

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Lets make it official shall we? Im a maneater!

Perfect to go with spending the weekend in denim. On the Bolivian Salt Flats of course. Love!

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