lace insert tutorial

Wow!  it's been a long time.  I've been having computer troubles. >:(  Oh well...Anyway, I've finally made a tutorial for you guys!  I think you'll like this one because you could use basically any lightweight woven for the main body.  I have it here in a crazy vintage fabric that I rescued from the reject pile.

 What you need is a piece of fabric that when folded is half your bust plus 10-12" wide and the length of which is what you want the finished length of the top to be, plus 1.5" for shoulder seams and hem.  You also need a small piece of lace for the insert.  If you had one, one of those pre-made vintage lace inserts would be great, but sewing it in would be a little different.  You would probably applique it onto the front and cut the main body out on the inside or something.  Anyway, here's the tutorial.

I have my piece sideways as you can see, which doesn't matter as long as patterns go the right direction.

you need two measurements: Half your bust, and the length from the shoulder to the underarm.  I just measured another shirt from the shoulder seam to across from the underarm, and added a couple inches.  You want to add 2-3 inches.

So here is a diagram for the measurements.  on the bottom, "a" stands for half your bust.  "b" stands for the measurement from the shoulder to the underarm.  The neckline is a smooth curve starting four inches from the center, cutting off maybe two inches in the middle.  The lace section is completely up to you, but here I show what I did.  The rest is pretty self-explanatory.  You need to add width to the bottom, for ease (especially with a woven) and SA.  Cut the bottom of the sleeve 2.5" in, and make the curve.

When you cut out the place where the lace goes, lay it over the lace to get the right size.  you need 1.5" around the sides.

On the body, baste around the part where the lace goes, and clop corners.

Fold over and press.

Pin the lace under the folded part, and topstitch close to the edge.

Sew the top of the sleeve, ending just before the curve starts for the neckline.  Press open, and extend the pressing to the neckline, opening it up.  Pin it, and using thread that matches your lace, stitch 3/8" or so around the neck.

Sew the side seams, clip curved part, and press open.

Fold the sleeve part 1.5" or so under, and stitch.  On right side, fold 1" and press.  Stitch right in the seam of both the top shoulder and bottom side seam to secure.  

Hem bottom.

So there you have it!  I hope it will work out well for whoever wants to try it, since it's really pretty basic and can be tweaked easily.  Good luck to you!


  1. This looks really cool!

    Ellie @ Mammy Made

  2. great idea! and i love the angled shape of the cut out.