DIY Lace Back Shirt

I have recently been through every single item in my closet. I tried everything on and either put it back or threw it in a box. I was going to take the box to the Deseret Industries but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I hate getting rid of good material. The problem is, I have so many ideas of what to do with all the clothes that I couldn’t possibly get to them all. I’m afraid I’m going to become quite the hoarder if this type of behavior continues.

In order to cut down on my fabric stash, I decided to finish at least one project that has been on my mind. It’s a lace one!

When I bought this lace from Joann Fabric, I didn’t quite know what I was going to do with it, but I knew it was going to be great. It is a pretty pattern, prettier than the generic stuff. It was quite expensive. $20 dollars a yard. I of course had to use a 50% off coupon and then I only got 2 yards of it. It has sequins sewn throughout to give it some sparkle. I just love it.

So here we go.

I started with a knit shirt that was much too tight. I drew a line across the back, making sure to measure the distance from the top all the way across so that it was straight. Then, I unpicked the side seams from the bottom all the way up through the sleeves to the line. If your shirt has some fabric excess then there is no need to unpick. Simply cut out out the seams. I needed every scrap of width so I unpicked… my very least favorite thing to do.

lace shirt line copy

I cut across the line and cut out the back of the shirt.

lace shirt cut out1 copy

I used the back cutout as a pattern for my new back.

width addition

I folded it in half and placed it on my folded material adding about 3 inches. That of course adds 6 inches of width overall and to tell you the truth, I wish I would have added more. The shirt ended up being slightly fitted instead of having the flowy back I had imagined. Remember, the shirt I started with was pretty tight.

lace top addition

A tip to remember is to double your seam allowance at the top so that your materials match up at the bottom. I had to think about that for a while to get it to make sense in my head, but trust me. If you don’t get it, do it anyway. It will work out better.

lace shirt length addition copy

You can see I ended up cutting out my back twice. I forgot to take into account that I wanted the bottom to be loner than the front so I wasted my awesome material and gave it another go. I also added a little more width as you can see.

lace shirt pleats pinned copy

I hemmed the bottom and made a nice pleat at the top.

pleat pins copy

You have to take in enough with your pleat so that your width matches your original cutout piece.

lace shirt pleat1 copy

Then, sew the piece right sides together to your shirt. Start with the top and then sew down both sides to the bottom. Make absolutely sure that you don’t stretch the material. You don’t want to end up with wavy seams.

lace shirt pleat copy

Ta da! Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

lace shirt front copy

I’ll admit it’s not as awe inspiring from the front in the pictures. It was really windy, and hard to get the shirt to lay flat. It was also sticking to the fence so I way in a hurry to get it down. It looks great on though. Here’s to one way to fix a shirt that is too tight… or just refashion something you don’t wear very often.

lace shirt1 copy


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