Sunday, 10 April 2016

How To: Lace Top & Pencil Skirt Set

 photo LaceTopPencilSkirtSetDIY5.jpg
When I landed in Finland on December 27th, the weather gods decided it would be appropriate to welcome me with a crisp week of constant -26°C. Considering I had just gotten used to the Dubai heat, the shock was pretty profound, obviously refused to leave the house. During my confinement I did a thorough inventory of all fabric I could find and transform in my parents' house (thankfully there was a lot of it. Not all of it was meant to be transformed..). This black lace I found in my sister's old room in particular saved me from cabin fever meltdown.

I'll also say that even though I doubt I'll ever get enough of a full midi, I've recently had a thing for calf-length pencil skirts. I won't include steps for the skirt here as I made it pretty much exactly as I did this one, only longer.
 photo 0 Tools_zpsaco4ceql.JPG
High-quality lace, 2 m  |  Thread & Sewing machine  |  Scissors  |  Pins  |  A small matching button  |  Zipper for the skirt & a small piece of thin elastic (not pictured here)

I. Here are the measurements for my cut out top pieces (size S or EU36/US4.. Sorry for making you squint..). Note that I cut the sleeves from the side of the fabric with the finished edge, for the hem I didn't mind not having that as I suspected to wear the top mostly tucked in. Something to consider when evaluating how much fabric you need - if you want the pretty finished edge on sleeves, the top hem, and the skirt hem, you might need more fabric to make it work. Note! I did end up adjusting my cut sleeve pieces for a closer fit (see step VI).
 photo 1 Cut pieces_zpslghmmgpx.jpg
II. Cut a slit on the back piece, in the center of the neckline.
 photo 2 Slit back_zps9rxyzex8.jpg
.. And finish the keyhole with a double fold of the lace, and a stitch to secure the fold in place. You can use your iron on low heat to press the fold first.
 photo 3 Finished keyhole_zpsh0uqwrwf.jpg
III. Repeat the same double-fold-and-stitch treatment to the back neckline, and do the same for the front piece.
 photo 4 Finished neckline_zps9nuleoy9.jpg
IV. Place the shoulders together, right sides facing, and pin together. Sew to complete the shoulder seams (you can finish the seam allowance with a zig-zag).
 photo 5 Pinned shoulders_zpscikmxhbt.jpg
V. Continue by pinning the sleeves in arm holes, right sides facing, and sew in place. Zig-zag seam allowance.
 photo 6 Pinned sleeve_zps5oge8k6x.jpg
.. And here's where you should be. photo 7 Done sleeves_zpsfegr4fzb.jpg
VI. As I pinned my sleeve under-seams and the sides of the top together and sewed to complete the top,  I realized my sleeves were a bit too pronounced for my tastes. So I did the alteration shown in the image below - essentially taking the sleeve in by about 5 cm from my original measurements.
 photo 8 Side seam_zps2zy7zpps.jpg
Another alternation I did after trying on the top was to give it some shape by taking in the side seams just a bit around the waist, as you can see in this flat-lay.
 photo 9 Side seam shape_zpst2ippgzo.jpg
VII. To complete the keyhole at the back of the neck, I added a small button on one side, and a attached a small piece of elastic in a loop on the other, hand-sewing both in place. You could also do a button hole, but I preferred not to disturb the lace. The final step was to hem the top with another double-fold and straight stitch.
 photo 10 Done back button_zpsglgyiakn.jpg
 photo LaceTopPencilSkirtSetDIY2_zpsogmnd0ed.jpg  photo LaceTopPencilSkirtSetDIY3.jpg
 photo LaceTopPencilSkirtSetDIY.jpg
 photo LaceTopPencilSkirtSetDIY4.jpg



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