I’m working hard on the hack for this month, March’s “Flutter-by Tee.” It’s a V-necked flutter sleeve top I will make with both lace fabric and a linen-cotton jersey with lace insertion. (As always with Design Inspiration posts, you can click on an image to find its source.)
The pattern-making is going swimmingly but I’m still undecided about the lace insertion positioning. I keep coming back to it as I’m working and can’t settle on how I want to approach it. Sometimes the best way to decide is to over-fill my imagination with images, then get out my scissors and let the fabric have its way while I’m working.
The first images that pop into my mind when I think of “lace insertion” include wedding dresses, christening gowns, Easter parades and nightgowns. Those are all lovely, but I don’t want my top to look like any of those garments.
As I dug around for inspiration, I became fascinated with tracking images of lace insertion through the 20th century. As far as I can tell from limited internet type searching (I’m not a scholar.. more like a magpie..) lace insertion as a design feature never left the scene in the 20th century, but morphed over time. In fact, it seems to me that lace and its use in clothes changed as women’s place in society (and the time spent around the home) changed.
My favorites made it into this post, but I couldn’t resist making a Lace Insertion pinboard with more images that didn’t make it into this post.
After I dug around in Victoriana and Edwardia long enough to satisfy myself I don’t want to go that direction with this project, I turned to the mid-century. I always feel most at home there, but I did take a fleeting glimpse at some of the pretty and innovative ways designers used lace in the 20’s. Again, not for this project, but I’m sure I’ll revisit use of lace in the 20’s and 30’s some time in the future.
These two, from the late 40’s and the mid-50’s, respectively, caught my eye for the same reason- back interest. I like this enough that I’ll probably go there regardless of what I do on the front. The late 40’s blouse reminds me strongly of the intricate heirloom sewing seen on blouses and dresses much earlier in the century, and it reflects a 40’s post war interest in that era. We look back at those times for inspiration, yet they were looking back too…
Here’s another strong V-shape- I like the use of lace around the neck and the way it echos down the skirt (though I’m not making a dress right now). It looks like the black version uses some kind of sequinned or perhaps metallic trim.
I have a soft spot for these “simple to make” type blouses from the 30’s onward. Somehow they manage to distill the style of an era- maybe even just a season or a year- into a simple, easy to wear little blouse. It’s the perfect thing to wear just about anywhere with anything. I like the horizontal lines of lace insertion, and I think the effect of lace extending into the flutters would be lovely.
This is lace insertion for the 60’s. I think it’s cute, especially with the gingham. I found plenty of examples of lace insertion from the 60’s that include wide bands of what is probably guipure lace on a narrow skirt or mod shift, but that doesn’t have anything to do with my Flutter-By. Neither do the lovely lace-inserted wedding gowns from the 70’s I found.
This 80’s treatment feels like a lace-insertion baseball bat between the eyes. BAM- You just got laced, sucka. It’s interesting, because the bands of lace and rows of tucks, though coarser, still obviously hearken back to the 40’s and earlier Edwardian treatments. Just… less artfully sewn.
I have lace on my mind all this week, including posts planned on lace care, types of lace, lace insertion techniques, using a lacy patterned fabric to its best advantage and cutting lace fabric. And there will be a lovely lace giveaway. It’s all lace, all the time. I can’t stop thinking about lace! In fact, I’m off to go finish the allover lace top.
Which are your favorites? Does anything stand up and shout to you “MAKE ME! MAKE ME!!”? How do you feel about the wear-ability of heavy lacy treatments popular around the early part of the century?
(I responded to comments on Megan’s Vendetta, but I just want to thank you all who commented so kindly again. It really means a lot to me, and keeps me going when some projects want to fight me to the finish. Thank you!)
Also- check this out… Emadethis is running a 12-month t-shirt sewing challenge… Very interesting indeed.