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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43 thoughts on “NL6735: Lavender Lace Tops

  1. I do love the colors together. I am so copying this technique, much more informative than Burda, thanks for the help.

  2. wow these looks great! i don’t know how you manage to make those hairpin turns look so flawless! i really need to get with the lace on a tee thing, cuz i love it so much!

    • Thanks Lisa! Actually… lace lends itself really, really well to hairpin turns, because you can pull it out of its normal shape and the distortion won’t show up like on a tightly woven fabric, for instance. The gaps in the lace make it friendly too. Oh, and basting of course! :)

  3. What a fabulous job you have done on these. The ponti looks fine in the pics, not heavy at all – could you put a skirt on it if it feels funny as a top? It would make a great dress too.
    The second top is lovely and the colours compliment each other well.

    • You know it looks so much better in the photos that I ever thought it would. Makes me wonder if the apparent stiffness is all in my head?!? You’re totally right though, it would convert quite well, I think. Thanks Liz!

  4. Very pretty lace tops! I love lace added in a modern way like this. Too bad the first top feels like a straight jacket, lol. I can assure you it doesn’t look like one. Those lace triangle points look difficult to achieve.

    • Thank you so much! It’s practically annoying that the straight jacket ended up looking half decently good in the photos… like it is mocking me! hehe. Actually, the lace triangles are super easy because of all the gaps in the lace – means you can pull/push it in place and not see any of the fabric distortion you’d usually get with a tightly woven fabric. It’s handsdown my favourite top to wear :)

  5. Boo, that is very disappointing about the Clegs ponte because the lace detail on that version is soooo pretty! Both tops are beautiful anyway- the colour of the lace really suits you & matches your eyes perfectly!

    • Thank you so much Anna! I know, I’m still stoked to think she was happy to give them all to me. There’s still enough to eek out a few more creations as well… such beautiful lace!

  6. Fantastic photos…you make it all so possible and easy for the rest of us! Makes me want to go out and buy some cool lace and go nuts! Great job!

  7. Melanie! A pretty seamstress just cannot have a killer hangover! These two are killer t-shirts :-) Thumbs up! Looking at the time you spent working on it I am not sure I would ever sew a t-shirt :S You should wear more blue/gray-blue garments because they match your eyes so beautifully!

    • That’s purely the sole purpose of lipstick and mascara, as far as I’m concerned. Hiding the evidence of a big night! hehe Thanks so much Inna :) I think I’m just a slooooow sewist…

  8. They look so cool – I love the way you can take a basic top and make it look extra special. If I tried it I’m sure it would look like someone’s doily loving grandma threw up on my top :)

  9. The second one is awesome. Sorry about your bad luck with the ponte they really do vary in quality and stretch. Carolyn has some good overviews on using those and seems to do really well with fabric substitutions in ’em as well.

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