Stylearc Amber Woven Top in Guipure Lace

This is my entry into the sewing with lace competition over at PR.

Really, I'm not sure why I even bought the lace.  I'm not a lace sort of person.  I guess I just like trying out new sewing techniques.  Perhaps that is why I have a wardrobe full of clothes I never wear :)

Well, there were a bunch of new techniques for this.  Here are some notes from my entry.

Cutting out.

- I traced my pattern in full, without seam allowances.
- I placed the pattern on my lace to best use the lace pattern. I decided to use the finished edges as the hem of the top. My lace had two finished edges, but they were not the same design. I did not have enough of the lace to lay both the fronts and backs on the one edge, so the hem design changes from front to back. I would have liked to have had symmetrical motifs on each side of the centre front strip, but my lace did not lend itself to this feature. This is my first time working with guipure lace, and I did not think of these things before I bought it. 
- I hand basted my seam lines
- I cut around the basting, to the nearest motif. Where possible, I avoided cutting through motifs

Darts and seams - floral lace to floral lace
- I lay the basted seam lines on top of each other, and then decided whether to use the motifs from the underneath panel or the upper panel, changing as required, up the length of the seam. I cut away the motifs I decided to discard
- I pinned the seam to tear-away paper
- I stitched the underneath and upper motifs together, using my sewing machine, with a zig-zag stitch of 2.5 width and 0.5 length
- I pulled away the tear-away and trimmed the motifs from the wrong side
- where required, I filled in any gaps with a small motif, again using tear-away to stabilise the lace during stitching

Seams - floral lace to mesh lace
- again, I lay the basted floral seam on top of the basted mesh seam on top of tear-away paper
- I think it would have been too difficult to zig zag around the floral motifs to attach them to the mesh lace
- instead, I put my free motion foot on my machine and stitched around the floral motifs with small stitches

Seams and darts - mesh lace to mesh lace
- I sewed the should darts as regular seams, using tear-away to stabilise the seam as I sewed it.
- For the sleeve seams I experimented with different fagoting stitches on my machine, but none of them worked as well as I hoped. Instead, I lay one strip of the mesh dots on top of another strip of mesh dots and sewed a straight stitch in a line down the middle of the dots. Again, the seam was backed with tear-away for the stitching.

Lace to denim
- sewed as a regular seam

The neckline edge was finished with a double fold bias strip made from a silk charmeuse that I dyed to match.

The hems of the sleeves and top were left as the finished edge of the lace.

This was my first time working with lace and I enjoyed it. I find the lace a bit scratchy to wear, and I don't normally wear such frou-frou garments, but it's always good to try something new. I'd like to have it as a wear-often garment, rather than as a save-for-special occasion, so I will start by wearing it to book club this week! I want to try it with different coloured camisoles and see what works with the lace best.  I have a nude camisole under it for the photos...that is not my skin!  The nude one does look a bit weird around my bra.  I think a pink one would dull the lace.  Maybe black? White? As always, photos around here are taken in a hurry, so I went with the first option.

The pattern used was the Stylearc Amber Woven Top.  This is the third time I have made up this pattern, and each top looks very different.  You can see my cotton version and silk version in earlier blog posts.

The lace is from EmmaOneSock.  (The little circle mesh lace is still available in pink and blue, and there is a black version of the floral lace).


  1. Gorgeous and just the sort of finicky project that can be so much fun when you're in the mood to experiment and be truly challenged! I love your top! What pattern did you use? I couldn't see that mentioned anywhere - I think maybe a black or navy cami would really set it off - a navy similar in colour to your jeans even.

    1. Thanks Kathleen, the pattern is the Stylearc Amber Woven top. I like your idea of camisole to match the jeans....I'll add it to the queue!

  2. It's a very nice top. I love that you are not going to save it for 'good'. Good is very day. It is clever to use a nice simple pattern and really highlight the lace. It looks really good with jeans and the nude cami. It's one of those items that can really look different with what you wear with it..

  3. The lace is beautiful and you handled it really well. I have some lace I could use for this competition, but I think I need to take a break from contests this month. I'll be cheering you on!

  4. Your top is really gorgeous! The lace is so pretty

  5. I love how you used both laces in this top. So pretty.