Finished Object: Snowflake Top in Merino And Guipure

Remember last November when I wanted to pair this piece of guipure lace with some very fine merino slub knit and wasn’t sure if the lace and fabric matched enough?  I decided they did, and also to quit nitpicking and make the top.  I’m in love with this piece of lace, it’s not “lacy” but still very feminine.

I used Jalie 2794, a favorite.  Like so many of my tops this summer, I extended the shoulder into flanges rather than actually deciding to go sleeveless.  Do you see the problem here?  I unpicked, adjusted, and re-positioned the fabric as many times as I dared and the front lace trim still stood out like that.  I tried to convince myself it was a design feature but it wasn’t.  It was simply not working.

I had a brainwave last week- I’d simply trim away part of the lace.  I picked up my embroidery scissors and carefully snipped away the top “row” in the lace.  Guipure is like that- you can trim bits and pieces away to make another shape or width of lace without it coming unraveled.  (Sorry about the bed shot, I couldn’t get any good detail pictures of it on me when we did photos.  I don’t know what’s up with the fluted edges, either.  It looks fine on, that’s what matters.)

To attach this lace to the shirt, I put the neck binding on the top of the front piece as I would for any other version of this shirt.  Here’s the “tricky” part- I then positioned the lace on top of the binding and stitched it on with a loose zig-zag stitch.  Then I put the rest of the shirt together.  It’s a simple feature, but effective.

She’ll be a lovely layering piece come winter- but the lace kicks it up from “thermals” category to “pretty top peeking out from under a little cardi but it doesn’t look as flimsy as a regular undershirt.”  I suppose it’s my way of doing underwear as outerwear, though I could see wearing this alone on days I’m feeling “uber-femme.”

The best part?  I have enough of this merino left to make something dainty and delectable for a Blank Canvas Tee hack in the foreseeable future (but not Feb, I have something truly delightful planned for Feb…).  This fabric is ridiculously soft, when I reach for it I think “ooooh yeah, that’s the one!”

How do you work lace into your sewing?  Do you like lace?  What about “not lacy” lace?


  1. I love this top…. I like lace- you might have seen my pink lace dress with the dark blue lining making it sort of purple in essence. I’d love to make a white/off white lace dress with your white fabric as a lining. :)

    • It might come out a little “bridey…” Maybe? Maybe not, I suppose it entirely depends on the styling. I really want to work with some gorgeous black embroidered net or something over a nude sheath… ;) Nothing bridey about that…

  2. I love it, what a great idea!

    … I’ve recently shared my lace issues. Of course, if the lace I’m drowning in was as nice as yours, I might have less trouble. Or not. I’m definitely going to think about how to add it to tees, though. Something about the casualness of a tee makes it less over-the-top…

    Also, that knit is really, really yummy. :)

    • Yes… I think casual balances the “Lace” factor… Now I want to go make a pinboard for lace tees… No! I have work to do today…

      The knit came from my friend’s trip to NZ. She brings back the most gorgeous stuff, really her taste is impeccable…

  3. That’s lovely. It’s pretty on it’s own and yes, it will be a great layering piece. I like how a little lace like that leaves a hint of cleavage while being well covered.

    Between you and Tanit-Isis, I should do a post on some of the lace I got in the summer. Some of it will be fantastic when the right project shows up. Some, well, some will just be used like hem tape.

    • Thanks!

      I’m pretty into lace at the moment. Especially this heavy “not lace” lace… Can’t seem to get enough…

      I need to do more things with hem tape. Really.

  4. This is a beautiful piece – classy and delicate, and perfect for layering as you suggested. Well done!

    • Well, I had several things all at once that needed photographs, so we did a lot of photos all at once… It was much simpler than trying to do three or four separate “shoots,” we’re both (my husband-photographer and I) running around like crazy lately. :)

  5. The lace looks like fish! I love how delicate it looks without looking too…delicate. That doesn’t make sense, but whatever I love it and how you used it!

    I’m using lace in project that involves fabric, but not really much sewing. As much as I’d love to drape myself in lace, I don’t think I can really pull it off. I can dream though, and someday I may just try it anyways, just because I can. :D (I day-dream of a tiered light-grey or cream coloured cardigan made with a light-weight and soft knit and scads of lace)

  6. Pingback: Design Inspiration: Flutter Sleeves and Lace « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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