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Total T-shirt Transformation: Lace Edition

April 21, 2013

The latest in our T-shirt makeovers series is a relatively quick upgrade that results in a garment that most people won't even recognize as a T-shirt. This one just requires a T-shirt and about a yard of stretch lace.

I used a ladies cut shirt for my base on both my examples.

The firs step is the roughest part: Pick apart your shirt at the seams. Do not pick out the hems, though. This is a good time to catch up on television.

If your shirt is assembled like mine, one side (or maybe both) of the neck edge won't open at the seam because the neck binding goes over it. Just carefully snip that part open.

1-lace-transformation.jpgNext, iron your separate pieces, and then use them as the pattern for cutting your lace. I'm using fuchsia Copacabana Stretch Crochet Chevron Lace here. Be careful to align your shirt pieces and fabric so you get the most stretch across the width of your pieces.

2-lace-transformation.jpgCut carefully around your pieces, and leave a little extra fabric for turning under on any edges with a hem.

3-lace-transformations.jpgBaste your T-shirt to your lace, taking care not to distort either layer as you go. You're basically flatlining your lace with the T-shirt base pieces. The combination will be treated as one piece from here on out.

4-lace-transformation.jpgOnce you've basted all the seam edges, turn under your extra lace fabric at the hems and stitch it down. I just used a straight stitch and stretched the fabric gently as I went. You could also use a stretch stitch here if you prefer. I did the same exact thing at the neck edges, though you could also make a quick facing or binding.

5-lace-transformation.jpgClip the extra fabric under the hem fairly close to the stitching. You want to test the fray factor on your lace to get a sense of ravel potential, and base your cutting on that. You could also edge-finish your lace prior to folding it under and stitching it if you prefer.

Here are my two sleeve pieces layered, basted and hemmed -- ready for final assembly!

7-lace-transformation.jpgAfter all the pieces are prepped, you just put your shirt back together. It goes really quickly at this point, because your hems and the neck edge are already done. You just have to match up your finished edges carefully.

Here's the finished shirt -- the chevron lace has some body to it, so it's almost like a spring sweater.

9-lace-transformation.jpgHere you can see a little of the white of the T-shirt peeking through the weave of the lace.

10-lace-transformation.jpgI made a second version using plum Giselle Stretch Lace and a black tee. The Giselle lace was a little trickier to work with than the chevron lace, but nothing terribly difficult. It's just a little more prone to slip around, so you have to be vigilant.

Just think of the color combo possibilities with this project! You could layer almost any color over a green for a garden feel, or go with solid black for a sleek look. I like that these garments have the casual comfort of a T-shirt, but feel a little more dressed up. You could pair with a blazer for work, wear one with a full skirt for girly style, or combine with jeans for weekend style. I'm already digging through my closet to create new outfits based around these.

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1 Comment

What a brilliant idea. i have a couple of very pretty T shirts with stains on them. This is a wonderful way to recycle.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on April 21, 2013 6:30 PM.

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