NL6735: Latte and Lace


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!


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. 

IMG_4758 IMG_4765 IMG_4934


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.


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.

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)



  1. Wonderfully creative use of the lace! The fabric looks benign enough, clearly you whipped it into submission. Wooly nylon in the bobbin – ill give that a try. I love the stuff, but have only used it in the looper of my serger. Thanks for the tip. :-)

  2. Again, a wonderful top!! Love the use of that lace, of which I have some and haven't made that dress for Jess – oops!! Definitely wooly nylon always when sewing knits – I have most colours already wound on bobbins, in a clear container, ready for use – I love the stuff!!! BNW – love your pivot points – that looks difficult esp with lace – great job!!!

  3. This is gorgeous. The pivots are perfect. I also like your stats. It accurately reflects the real time that goes into making something really well. Still mulling over how to use your Tessuti lace pressie. But this is going onto the inspiration board as what to do with the left over scraps, when I get to that point.

  4. i love this! such an unexpected way to add some lace with all the pivots. so cool. i've only just heard of the wooly nylon stuff. so it's stretchy? hmmm… must track some down! also, a walking foot is definitely a good investment. i have mixed results, it really depends upon the fabric, but when it works it works wonders!

  5. Very pretty. I love the mixture of lace and knit. I too will give the wooly nylon a try in the bobbin. As for my walking foot, I barely ever take it off my machine. So worth the investment!

  6. Just lovely Melanie. I really like the top you found on Pinterest and you have made one worthy of the inspiration it gave you. Lace and knits have always gone well in lingerie, so I think you will be starting a knit/lace t-shirt craze. I have never used wooly thread in my bobbin, never ever thought about it or using the walking foot when sewing knits. You learn something new everyday. Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks! Do you want some of our rain down there in Melbourne? We have plenty to spare.

  7. Oh I've never tried wooly nylon in the bobbin before, I do love how it goes through my overlocker. I love using twin needles on knits so I shall give the wooly nylon a try too! :)Your top is beautiful, I love the squarish lace pattern with the triangle detail, it looks so modern

  8. So creative (even if spotted on Pinterest). I used silk organza to reinforce seams on knit garments in the past. But because its nature is less "stretchy" than knits I constantly felt tightens around the neckline and armholes. They sell special knit stay tape which is an amazing reinforcement for knits!

  9. I did think of you and this lace a time or two during sewing it up! It's such a gorgeous lace, I want to buy it all!!!I need to get some nylon in different colours – great idea. Thanks on the pivot points – I spent A LOT of time trying to get them right! Sometimes I'd get it first go around, one of them I redid about 4 times!

  10. Thanks Janelle – I sure did spend a lot of time getting those pivots to an acceptable point!All in good time, eh? No rush… when it's ready – the right thing will pop up!

  11. It is! It's a bit of a wierd thing actually. See if you can't hunt some down, then practise on some scrap and compare to your normal knit finishing technique. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised ;)Thanks for the tips on the walking foot!

  12. Hi Inna :DI only used the organza against the seams where I had the knit joining the lace – with all those holes, I was a bit worried how it would be supported! Not sure if it's the right thing to do – but it's the only thing I could think of. I just left the knit seams as is – thank goods they don't fray! I'll definitely have to check out the knit stay tape. Thanks :)

  13. Spectacular. That lace! Wow. You did a beautiful job with this top.And YES: "A mechanised inanimate object can only ever perform as well as the person operating knows how."

  14. Cute top! Totally agree with you on the twin needle – makes hemming knits a breeze! I'll have to try the wooly nylon – I've got a huge spool, so not sure why I haven't done this!

  15. Beautiful beautiful! Great idea using the wooly nylon in the bobbin for twin needle sewing. I always felt like my twin needle resulted in a slightly brittle hem – this looks seems like it would solve that problem!

  16. This looks fabulous! Well done with the time and effort with the pivot points! I would never have thought of the nylon option- thanks for the tip!

  17. This is lovely-although on my monitor both fabrics look a sort of creamy grey.. XD For hemming I generally pin and use the fake overlock stitch from the outside (i.e. with the folded part of the hem below) that stops it rippling/ turning out..

  18. That is a gorgeous improvement on a regular t-shirt! I love this pairing of fabrics and also love geometry in garments – this is giving me ideas :-). Walking feet are great… I often forget to take mine off…

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