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Denim shirt with recycled lace

Added Jul 29, 2015

by lincatz

Kitchener, Canada






This shirt is an original design developed from a one piece dress sloper. I wanted a longer length fitted shirt in a light wash denim with a corset-like back and a peplum effect at the bottom to showcase some old batterburg lace I cut from various sources. The light wash denim was laying in the bottom of a remnant bin at my local Len’s. It had fading along the fold line and more fading in other places. I thought it would be perfect for a denim and lace shirt design I had in my “must make” pile or sketches and the fading made it even more perfect. The lace came from several sources: Some came from a couple collars on girl’s dresses found at a thrift shop and some came from an old discarded tablecloth that I did not find in a box at the side of the street. Okay, I found it in a box on the side of the street. But I washed it several times!

I sewed up the shell of the shirt without facings, collars or even seam finishes and played around with the placement of the lace. A few piece needed to be snipped apart and re-joined with lace tape bridging the gap. This also required some more extra lace stitching in the gaps. I used a fine crochet cotton similar to the cotton used by the maker of the tablecloth. The upper back is embellished with lace from a girl’s dress collar. The collar is also trimmed with lace from a girl’s dress. The front lapel motifs I made with lace tape that was removed when I altered the lace used on the bottom. my first designed and made by me battenburg lace. Yay me.

I took photos of where I wanted the lace and sewed up the shirt adding the fussy stuff like the loops for the corset lacing. I pinned the lace securely in place and sewed it down with a zig zag stitch. Any excess fabric that extended along the lower edge below the lace I carefully cut way. The lace on the collar and lapel was sewn down by hand.

The heart shaped silver buttons are also recycled from an old denim dress I had in the late 80’s early 90’s.The armhole edges are bond with bias piping made from the same denim as the shirt. I used the faded fold on the center back and the other faded areas made for a nice natural ombre effect darker in the top and hem and lighter in the midsection. The fading helps make the design look well worn and vintage.

This shirt is quite dramatic and makes a real statement. I usually wear it with boot cut or slight flare leg jeans. The proportions are a little off when I wear it with skinny jeans and I end up looking top heavy. The fuller leg at the ankle of boot cut and flare jeans balances out the fit and flare of the shirt. I always have people asking me about it whenever I wear it.

Material Notes

Lighweght 6 ounce faded pale blue denim. The girls in the store didn’t want to sell the faded denim to me and I insisted on buying. I got a real fantastic price! All embellishments, laces beads and buttons are recycled.




Garment Type


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