Layers of lace
Are you wondering how it got to be a week into March already? I certainly am. Summer is officially over here in Australia, so naturally I have only just now got around to fixing up a blouse that would have been perfect for a heatwave. Oh well, better late than never!
I have had the blouse in question for something like 13 years as I bought it for about $2 from a co-worker at Vogue when she was getting ready to sell some of her clothes at a flea market. I think she said she bought it from a flea market originally, so who knows how many owners it has had! I’ve always liked its ladylike broderie anglaise lace and have held on to it all these years because the material is very thin and therefore theoretically perfect for hot days. However, as I realise every time I wear it (including on holiday in Bali as you can see here, here and here), the fact that it is such a pale colour means that every tiny droplet of perspiration is glaringly obvious (not exactly an elegant subject, I know, but it’s a big factor when choosing clothes for a tropical climate). I’ve deliberated various ways to remedy this, such as dyeing it or adding embroidery, but didn’t want to spend too much time on something that might not work. Finally, I decided to add some similar-coloured lace from my sizeable stash (I’m not really a lace kind of person usually, so it’s been sitting around for ages) which would create a bit of coverage and some textural interest. I started on the shoulderline…
… then sewed a few strips to the front…
…and around the waist to make it just a touch longer. I also created a bit more volume at the shoulders by adding two layers around the yoke.
I wouldn’t have minded a bit more coverage but the rest of the lace in my stash is white, whereas this is kind of an off-whitey beige. So this is it for the moment, but if I happen to inherit more lace in a similar shade, on it will go!
A lacy blouse like this is quite a versatile item to have in your summer wardrobe, so if you have a basic top or T-shirt you’re not using, you might like to try adding some strips of lace to it to create something similar. I found two ways to wear it for this post, but there are many more, of course. It can be fancy, for when you are being a lady and doing lady things like taking tea…
…or it can be a lot bolder if you style it with some big accessories (that reflect the light source and create special effects on your very own balcony) and interesting textiles.
The inspiration for this particular look is the African women who wear lace blouses with colourful traditional printed and batik wrap skirts, but even after half an hour of Googling, I can’t seem to find any images to show you what I mean! I fail at Googling…
Speaking of failing, I thought you might like cute evidence of how much hassle this post was. I had SO much trouble taking photos for it because as usual, I was doing selfies which are tricky to start with, but also the sun was too strong outside on the balcony, then it was windy, and the light is not consistent inside the apartment so I had to keep moving around to work out where I could actually shoot… and then when I did position the camera on top of a cardboard box (still don’t have a tripod!!), fostercat decided she needed to see what was going on…
Yep, seamless professionalism over here. Hopefully I can rope someone in to taking shots for me next time!
Not long enough, Helen! I might be getting a secondhand tripod from another helpful reader though.
Cats are so helpful. They also seem to dislike it when you’re taking photos and they aren’t in them.
I love that you took this lacy top and added even more lace to it. It looks amazing!
Yes Katie, as a fellow crafter I’m sure you’re aware of cat’s contributions to artistic projects…
you need to get a tripod! But regardless.. you look gorgeous as per usual and the outfit is sublime!
Good to see you, the blog looks great! Was the transition easy? I’m bored with my blog… not that I actually blog that much anymore…. but I have been motivated to start again. A platform change may be good.
ps. Google this; “lace tops African fashion traditional” 😉
I might be getting a tripod this weekend from a lovely reader, Dusk.
The blog transition was last year and fairly easy, but I didn’t move across the trackbacks or whatever they are called, only the blog content itself. I think you’re really tech savvy though so should be easy for you??
Adore vintage lace…….especially the handmade intricate kind
This machine made stuff, but funnily enough, my mum used to make the bobbins that lacemakers use to create handmade lace!