Simple Blouse Variation: Knit Lace Dot

2:14 AM

This is our first variation to supplement 

This is one of my favorite variations, a lace t-shirt you can dress up or down.
FABRIC: stretch lace in ivory dot
(purchased at Joann years ago)
Base: white knit
Trim: stretch velvet 5/8" wide for neckline

-using stretch knit rather than woven fabric
-neckline higher and wider
-added trim on neckline rather than scant hem
-double layer fabric with lace and under layer
-longer sleeves


Because knit has stretch, you will most likely prefer a smaller size than the chart provided with the pattern.
If your knit is really stretchy (50% or greater) you may want to go even 2 sizes smaller.
With knit fabric, don't cut it on the bias as the pattern recommends for woven.
You'll cut your blouse with the stretch of your knit going around the body, side seam to side seam.
Same with the sleeves, cut knit with stretch across.

I wanted more of a boat neck scoop for the neckline, so I traced the pattern on paper.
For my neckline, the front of the blouse went up 3/4" from the pattern, and out 3/4" on the shoulder.
To connect the points, make sure the beginning of both lines are perpendicular to the original line:
draw out perpendicular from fold in center before curving up
draw down from shoulder seam perpendicular for at least the 5/8" seam allowance then curve down to new higher front.
For the back I just went in the same 3/4" to match the front and curved down to original height.

Lengthen the sleeve according to pattern instructions.
I extended the sleeve 12" for my arms + seam allowance. 

Cut out knit base and lace overlay.
To help keep layers together, I basted them together right along the edge 

5. Sew Blouse according to standard instructions in pattern
Because you're sewing with knit, be sure to sew seams with stretch stitch to allow it to stretch.

6. Baste on Trim
Measure around neckline and cut your trim 1" less than the whole neckline.
Draw a center line on the wrong side of the trim with chalk.
With blouse right side out, pin trim to blouse's wrong side.
I sewed the trim back first to anchor it to the blouse.
Sewing on the right side of the blouse allows you to center it on the trim easier.

To lay flat, the trim has to be shorter than the measured neck edge.
An easy way to ensure the trim is stretched throughout neckline evenly is to mark the center front, center back, and side seams as quarters.
Mark trim quarters as well.  Pin trim to blouse at quarter marks.
Sew trim with stretch stitch and be sure to stretch the trim as you attach it.

Sew around the blouse, leaving the beginning and end of trim open to connect as shown in pattern under SLEEVELESS section, steps 3 and 4.
Use 1/4" seam allowance to connect trim raw ends.
Be sure to stretch the trim evenly to the blouse as you sew!

7. Finish Trim
With the trim sewn together at the ends and basted on the wrong side of the blouse, fold in half onto the right side. 
Top-stitch with the stretch stitch right along edge of trim.
Once again you'll have to stretch trim as you sew it to blouse.

8. Hem
For the sleeve and bottom hem, I serged (you could also zig-zag) the two layers together, then did a single fold hem.
I thought two layers folded twice in a regular double-fold-hem would end up being too thick with 6 total layers in the end. 
You could also use a twin needle for a regular double seamed t-shirt hem.

Hope you like some of these variations!
It's nice to have the lace top that's just a fancy t-shirt to layer under cardigans and blazers to add texture.
In a neutral you could wear it with so many different looks!

Next week we'll have 3 more variations on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday!

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  1. This is fabulous! I hope I can find an interesting knit like this one someday. One question... When you sew the trim onto the neckline do you use a regular straight stitch? Or is it the special knit stitch? Because I can never get my knit stitch to work (it always eats the fabric in a big tangle!) Yet being a neckline I really want it to have that ability to stretch. Any advice? Thanks :)

    1. You're right Amy, you need to sew the stretch stitch for both the back basting and top-stich on the trim. If your stretch stitch setting doesn't work well, just make your own with a narrow, short zig-zag. I'd say keep your width and stitch length around 1.0 or less.

  2. I love the higher/wider neckline and the lace dot. Lovely! =) I didn't know there was such a thing as stretch velvet trim. =)


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