Introduction: Easy Lace Front T-shirt (draw Your Own Pattern)
I recently picked up sewing as a hobby, and if you are reading this, chances are high that you did too! If you have never touched a sewing machine before, go check out the machine sewing class first, and try this instructable after following a few of their lessons!
In this tutorial, I will show you how to sew your own lace front T-shirt based on a pattern that you will draw yourself of a shirt you like. The lace front makes the shirt ready to be worn at fancy occasions, and no-one will guess you made it yourself!
The tutorial is very well suited for beginners and you dont need any fancy or expensive tools except a sewing machine. If you prefer, you can adapt the pattern to have only a section of the front have lace, or even add a skirt and create your own dress.
- Fabric in a colour you like. I used tricot which is the type of stretchy fabric most T-shirts are made of. If you decide to go for non-stretch fabric, make sure to make the holes for your arms and head big enough.
- Lace fabric that matches (or not) the fabric that you have. Since the lace fabric tends to be a bit more difficult to find in specific colours, shop for the lace first and then get some matching fabric.
- One of your T-shirts that has a fit you like
- Tracing paper (alternatives are baking paper or standard paper sheets taped together)
- Matching thread
- Standard sewing supplies: sewing machine, pins, chalk, fabric scissors, seam ripper, iron,...optionally you can use a serger for finishing the edges. I don't own one, so I will not show this step in this instructable.
Step 1: Making a Pattern
The pattern is based of a shirt you already own and like. Take a loose shirt if you want the result to have a loose fit, but here I took a slim fit shirt to draw the pattern.
Start by carefully folding the shirt in two symmetrically along the back. Place your shirt along an edge of the tracing paper and trace the outline of the shirt while keeping a few cm distance from the fabric. This will be your seam allowance, it is better to have too much seem allowance than too little as you can always cut the excess off after sewing.
Also try to copy the neckline you want on the front on the pattern.
Once you cut out your pattern, you are ready for the next step!
Step 2: Cut the Fabric
Get you fabric scissors ready! It's time to cut our pattern pieces out of fabric.
Start with the non-lace fabric, fold it in two and place the straight edge of the pattern on the folded edge. This way, you will cut a perfectly symmetrical back for the shirt. Make sure to fold on the grainline! If you don't know what I mean, just look closely to the fabric of the shirt and see how there are vertical lines, fold your fabric along these vertical lines. Pin the pattern on the fabric and cut along the edge of the pattern.
Next, cut your pattern along the front neckline you drew on it and repeat previous cutting step both for the fabric and for the lace.
Now you have three pieces, one for the back and two for the front.
Step 3: Sew the Front Pieces Together
Place the front pieces of the lace and the fabric on top of each other. Take the time to place them neatly on each other without any wrinkles. Pin them together around the edges and get your sewing machine ready. As you are working with stretchy fabrics, a simple straight stich is not suitable as this stich does not allow to stretch. Instead you should select a zigzag stich which does allow the fabric to be stretched along the stitch afterwards. Make sure to stitch a few times back and forward at the beginning and end to lock the thread.
If you have never worked with both and want to see the difference, you can do a quick test. Just cut a small piece of your stretchy fabric and sew both a straight stich and a zigzag stich on it. Do you notice how the zigzag stich allows the strech?
Step 4: Sew the Shoulders Together
Place the good sides of the back and front together and remove all wrinkles. Pin along the shoulders and sew them together. Make sure not to accidentally sew the neck opening, which is what we'll finish next.
Step 5: Finish the Neckline
Before sewing the sides, it is easier to finish the neckline first as you have now more room to work. Fold the edges double as shown in the image to have a nice finish on the inside as well. The top of the image will be the outside of your shirt.
Pin the folded edges together all around the neckline and sew them. If your sewing machine has a free arm, use it as this will make things easier here.
Step 6: Sew the Sides Together
A very easy step here: fold the shirt-to-be along the shoulder inside-out. Pin along the sides and sew together. Make sure to stitch a bit further from the side as the stitch holding fabric and lace together. Otherwise, this stitch will show on your finished T-shirt.
From this point on, you can already wear your T-shirt for the first time if you cannot wait!
Step 7: Finish the Armholes
Remember what you did for the neckline? You should do exactly the same for both armholes: fold double, pin and stitch. Since the armholes are smaller than the neck, this will be slightly more difficult.
Step 8: Finish the Lower Edge of the T-shirt
The final sewing step! Only the lower edge of the shirt is still left unfinished. Do the same as before with the neck hole and armholes. Double-fold, pin and stitch all along the edge.
Step 9: Enjoy Your New Shirt
Congratulations on finishing the shirt. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, let me know in the comments if you still have some questions or suggestions and feel free to share a picture if you made one yourself!
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