Maybe Matilda: Lace Embellished Tee

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lace Embellished Tee

Want to know the recipe for a lame weekend? 

Lose internet service.
Spend about 5 hours on the phone with tech support (none of whom speak English very well, but feel the need to explain to me where to find the "start" button on my screen).

Spend a few more hours with tech support in India. I especially enjoyed Liam., although I doubt that was his real name.

Finally get the internet working again on Wednesday, no thanks to Liam. Kind of pathetic to learn how isolated and bored I feel without the internet.

It was not the most fun weekend ever, but at least my stress and boredom hooked up and made a cute baby:

A lace embellished tee!

I found this plain, boring, army-green tee while doing some spring cleaning (and by spring cleaning I mean making a huge mess in the bedroom by going through all my old clothes but not actually putting anything away again . . . that's what your spring cleaning consists of, too, right? Right?) and knew I'd never wear it again unless it got a whole lot cuter.
Cue lace and sewing machine!

(Click read more for the how-to!)

You'll need:
- an old tank or tee
- some lace (mine was $2.50 at Joann and I have a TON left over)
- some pins

I started by pinning the lace into a curve about 3 inches below the sleeve, tucking the raw end of the lace underneath. I pinned it about an inch away from the sides seam--I figured that lace would be pretty scratchy sitting right beneath my arm.

I tried it on to make sure I liked the placement, and sewed the strip of lace down close to the edge, backstitching a bit at the start and right before hitting the neckline.

When you get to the end of that strip, lift your presser foot and cut the threads, rotate the shirt in your sewing machine, and just fold the lace so it's overlapping a bit with your first layer, then stitch that layer down.

Here it is in pictures . . . when you get to the end of a row, turn the shirt:

And fold the lace so it overlaps with the previous row:

Keep folding and sewing, backstitching at the start and end of each row, until you get to (or near) the shoulder seam--I stopped about an inch below the seam.

Oooh, look at all those pretty ruffles! 

There you go--a simple, cheap way to spruce up a boring, neglected top. Now go lace-ify some plain tops, enjoy your hopefully-reliable internet, and if your connection has a stroke, tell Liam I say hi.

And while you're here . . . have you entered the giveaway from Pretty Much Dana? Do it!

Linking up here and here!


  1. Very cute! Good use of a forsaken tee-shirt. You should thank your mother for teaching you to sew!

  2. Oh I love all of your tutorials! They are so easy to follow and beautiful! :) I'm going to try this out someday. haha-- when the time permits!

  3. love the way the shirt turned out! funny, i picked up some lace from the craft store the other day because they were cheap but i didn't know what i was going to do with them. i will have to try this!

    glad i stumbled upon your blog. happy to meet you. looking forward to checking out your tutorials. now following and will be visiting again and again.

    have a loveLee day!

  4. a.dorable! seriously love all your projects...

  5. I like this idea. Very cute. Love your shop. I will have to come back for the cold weather crochet hat with the flower. Super cute!

  6. Cute! I've been looking at various kinds of lace online with the intent of doing something very similar to this. I'll have to let you know how it goes...

  7. Love your new turned out great! Talk about "when life hands you make, er ah...a tee-shirt!" ;)

  8. Pretty, pretty!! You crack me up with your stress and boredom baby, haha! Thanks for linking up at The Little Birdie! I'm your newest follower! :)

  9. I love it! I'm all over any shirt with some sort of embellishment! Love your blog--I'm your newest follower and have just entered the blogging world. If you get a spare moment, check out my blog at

  10. This is so cute! I always end up with plain t's and this is a fun way to jazz it up some. :)

  11. I love this idea! Thanks for stopping by. Newest follower.

  12. How cute! You always have all these great ideas. At least the weekend was not all that lame

  13. I just found your blog and am your newest follower. Thanks for creating such a great blog that is overflowing with fab inspiration!! I love it.

  14. Rachel - thank you SO much for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment! So nice to meet you!
    I'm loving your blog. WOW - you are one creative gal. You really help the creatively-challenged folks like me..LOL. So many good ideas! I'm one of your newest followers :)

  15. OH wow! I'm just starting to get into sewing and this looks like just the sort of thing I ought to master - very pretty and so simple!

  16. I am not a sewer yet. I am hoping to get started. This looks like something you'd find at Urban Outfitters or Anthropology. I'm really impressed!

  17. What a darling tshirt and great tutorial!

  18. That is too cute! I'm a new follower btw!!

  19. Love it! I'm not a lacy kind of girl, but I think I could work this.

  20. wow thats awesome!!! :) love it and love the blog!

  21. I love this!!!! I love you blog!!!! I love your style!!!! You're one of my new favorite stops!

    I'm following you from the Creative Itch bloghop..

  22. SO VERY PRETTY!I'd love it If you linked up over at the glitter party!!!

  23. *gasp!* I LOVE this and know my teens will too! tfs!

  24. this is so cute and feminine! i love it!!

    I'd love for you to link this up to my new link party, Your Whims Wednesday!

  25. Wow that's so neat! I bet you don't have one boring shirt. Your clothes are so cool.

  26. Hi! I featured you this Week on the Running With Glitter Friday Spotlight.
    Thank you for linking up with us!

  27. This is such a great idea!! I'm not a huge fan of lace but this one is so beautiful!!Look how this tee now is transformed!!!Thank you so much for sharing:)

  28. That is ADORABLE! I wish I could sew! You did a great job! and thanks for stopping by my blog today ;)

  29. I LOVE this! And so simple...if only I had a sewing machine.

  30. Love the tee! and the one with the crochet at the top in a later post. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog so I could find you! I'm a new follower and have added you to my blog roll.

    I always have good intentions of Spring cleaning, but what mine usually consists of is starting the process than getting waylaid by finding something interesting. Then I gather all the loose stuff and bring it in to my studio. Which means my studio always looks like a cyclone has gone through. Or as my dear hubby calls it: my hovel.

  31. So cute your tee! Like it sooo much!
    I´m writing a post about the embellishing project you can find on the web and if you don´t mind ˆwant to write about your tee too!
    Great job, simple but so particular!


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