Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lace Back Tee

Lace has been showing up everywhere in fashion this summer.  I love the lace backed tee.  It would be great as it is or as a beach cover up.  I decided to try to make one.  It didn't look too hard.

I started out by choosing a white tee shirt and a cotton lace fabric sold by the yard.  You want your lace to be made of cotton so it will be a breathable fabric for summer and it will take dye just like the tee shirt if you decide to dye it.  My lace fabric was provided by Wholeport.com.  You will want to pick a more tightly woven lace pattern too so it is easier to sew it onto the tee shirt and won't fray or ravel out after a few washings.

I first folded the back of my tee shirt in half vertically and determined the length of the lace panel.  I put the tape measure down my back and felt to about where I wanted the lace to end at and checked the measurement on the tape measure.  It was about 13 inches for me. 

I then took tissue paper out of my wrapping supplies and hand drew a pattern.  First fold your tissue paper in half vertically and you will draw half of the design.  I have my tissue paper laying right on top of the vertically folded tee shirt and I drew the neckline around the original shirt's neckline.  This way you know it will fit the shirt you have picked out to sew the lace onto.

Next, I cut out my pattern leaving a 3/4 inch seam allowance around the pattern when cutting.

Here is my pattern cut out and opened up.  This is what the lace panel will look like.

I then lay my lace down on a smooth flat surface and pin the folded pattern right on the fold of the lace.  If you lace has a pattern that needs to be centered you will want to press it and have the lace fold centered to cut before you pin this pattern and cut this panel out.   Then cut your panel out.  My pattern measures around 10 inches wide by 14 inches long.  This created a finished panel of around 9 inches wide by 13 inches long.

Now, take your tee shirt and fold the back in half vertically and iron a seam right down the middle.

When you open your tee shirt up it will have a fold that you can work with to center your lace panel.  I suggest you take the pattern off of your lace panel and press it down the middle also.  This will help you make sure the lace panel is centered down the back of your tee.

Open your lace panel up with the right side facing you and turn and press the edges down all the way around the panel.  You will want to turn under about 3/4 inch all the way around and press.

Now you are ready to pin the lace to the back of the tee shirt for sewing.  The existing neckline with the rib trim will remain intact on this tee shirt.  So I am starting to pin at the neckline and I am pointing the pin in this picture right where I want to sew this lace to.  I want to sew the lace right up to the seam of the rib trim and the tee shirt but not on the rib trim.  
Now, I have the whole lace panel pinned in place and ready to sew.  If I had my pressed seam down the lace panel here it would be matched up with the seam pressed on the tee shirt.  I didn't press a seam down the lace panel I just eyeballed it. 

Here is the lace panel completely sewed onto the tee shirt.  I used a zig zag stretch stitch to sew this on with auto settings for the width and length.  Check your machine manual to see the recommended stitch length and width for this type of fabric. 

This is the lace panel sewed onto the tee shirt.  Now, you could stop right here and not have a see through lace panel.  But, I want to see skin under my lace so I am going to cut away the tee shirt.

Turn the shirt wrong side out and place it over a work surface such as your ironing board.   You need to have good lighting too.

Make a small snip in the tee shirt fabric from the back side of the tee shirt and using a small sharp pair of scissors, very carefully, trim the tee shirt material away from the zigzag stitch where you sewed the lace on.

Once you have trimmed all the fabric away you now have your see through lace back.

You can leave your tee shirt like this, it is ready to wear if you like the color of the tee and lace.

My lace was ivory colored and my tee was a bright white so I have decided to tea dye mine to make it match.  To tea dye fabric.  I first wash the tee shirt to remove any sizing so it will take the dye more evenly.  Then I boiled a large pot of water on the stove top and added 4 strong black tea bags.  Turn the stove off and remove the pan from the burner.  Steep the tea about 5 minutes.  Remove the tea bags.  Place the tee shirt into the tea and submerse the fabric completely.  Leave it in there 20-30 minutes stirring a few times and submersing the fabric completely each time.

Here is my finished tee shirt!  Lacy, tea dyed, romantic, and ready for summer fun.
The fabric lace by the yard was supplied by my sponsor Wholeport.com.

I will link to;
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style 
Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters Stuff 
Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House
The Scoop Party at Cedar Hill Ranch  
Make It Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Rooted in Thyme Simple and Sweet Fridays
Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits at Stonegable 
Transformed Tuesdays at PJH Designs 
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts


Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

You are so smart, this looks GREAT!

http://decoratedchaos.blogspot.com said...

I love the way you added the lace. It turned out so cute!

Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos

boulderdamcottage said...

Oh WOW I love this and the look! Very cute! hugs..... =^.^= kat over at boulder dam cottage

Jeanette@Creating a Life Studio said...

Really cute, Sherry!

Schotzy said...

Great idea and you performed it to a TEE!

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I'm very impressed since I can barely hem. On the other hand, your explanation are very clear and I'll pu it in my list for the summer, since I want to improve my sewing.

Christy @ Our Southern Home said...

I love this and so will my 14 year old daughter!! So making this!