Lace and More Lace

Yesterday I stopped shilly shallying over which bit of stash could underline my lace knit, and abandoned searching for the holy grail of a perfect match. Final choices were the satin side of a satin backed crepe in a bluey -grey or a similar colour in a lightweight jersey. Jersey won. It feels more companionable to the stretchiness and flow of the lace, and  it gives a more casual look to counter the MOB vibe of oodles of blue green lace.

I wasted some more time dithering around my original idea for the rest of the outfit. First thought was a dress with a skirt and top look. On someone else, an under sheath in jersey with the lace gathered together at the waist as an overskirt would be nice. The idea kept nagging at me. I almost got as far as cutting it out when reality kicked in. Sack tied round the middle adequately sums up waist gathers on short waisted D cuppers with no abs to brag about.

Fantasies out of the way, the skirt was plain sailing. No pattern, rectangles of cloth, one in jersey, one in lace, slight shaping at the side with long darts, double stitched and trimmed back, a waistband channel made with the lace turning the fancy edge to the RS, a firm elastic threaded through in case gravity won.

Skirt in Knitted Lace

Skirt in Knitted Lace

How do you calculate negative ease for your jersey projects? You can draft jersey blocks, – useful if you use a lot of jerseys with a similar stretch. Most of my fabrics come without pedigree. I don’t know until it’s on the table how stretchy it is. A very simple, minimum maths technique works pretty well – taking the width and draping round the hips at about the right degree of snugness, then measuring it. By comparing that measurement to the woven block measurement at hip level, you get an idea of how much ease to take out of your standard blocks.

When it comes to the stretch waistband , a similar trial and error effort works. Take the length of waist measurement and check if you can actually stretch it over the hips. If it’s too tight a squeeze, add a bit and pull it in with elastic. Some jersey’s have excellent return and make great waistbands without elastic, but this one needed a helping hand.

The cardigan has the shawl collar and hem trimmed with the edging cut from the selvedge of the lace which has a picot effect, and gathered cuffs, also with the picot edging.

Cardigan Front

Cardigan Front

Cardigan Back

Cardigan Back

Cuffs on Cardi

Cuffs on Cardi

Edging

Edging

I bound the seams inside this garment, but rather wish I hadn’t. The finish I used for the inside seam in the skirt was a row of zigzag close to the stretch stitch seam, trimmed to 5mm turnings. It looks more delicate. Will I bother to unpick the seam binding on the cardigan? Open question.

The skirt was so quick I made a stupendously slapdash pattern for a top and ran this up in the evening.

Pattern for Top

Pattern for Top

It has a front and back yoke in lace, neck and armhole binding in lace, and small tucks from the yoke for bust shaping.

Top with Lace Yoke

Top with Lace Yoke

I probably won’t wear all of these together, but reckon they will work as separates. Jeans with lace cardi, jumper with lace skirt for example.

The weather here has been getting revenge for the hot dry summer. The dykes surrounding our drive have become rapids, and the lower land is mush. Its not conducive to lathering on fake tan and strappy sandals and attempting to model, I’ve kept to flat shots. Please use imagination. Stash has been reduced by about four and a half metres by my reckoning. Onwards!

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About jay

I design and draft patterns
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5 Responses to Lace and More Lace

  1. That’s a pretty lace fabric. Glad you were able to find a match for it. I imagine it will be lovely on you! 😄

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  2. fabrickated says:

    Good advice on jersey skirts and negative ease. I don’t have much experience with stretchy laces or jersey fabric so this is most helpful. I would love to see these on, and while three out of three may be too much I am sure two together would be great. Well done.

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  3. Aunt Mayme says:

    I’ll keep this marked for when I use jersey. You make it sound so easy!

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  4. mrsmole says:

    Love the picot trims and advice on negative ease. Funny how the background fabric can make lace look rich or cheap and we are always on the hunt for that right one.I agree a little lace goes a long way and wearing too many separates in lace can look well…dowdy or matronly. Life is too short to unpick everything…your cardigan seams will be better supported if you leave them bound. Can you share some photos once you start wearing these pieces, please?

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  5. Looking good – but I agree with your assessment of not all at once.
    Well done on diminishing your stash!

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