Lace insert top

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I bought this thin and silky polyester top for £4 from traid.


They were having a sale, everything £4, which is cheap for them.

It’s from Marks and Spencer and is a silky polyester fabric with a subtle swirly pattern, reminiscent of something you might see on the top layer of a bridal gown.


From the label, I estimate it to be 1980’s vintage, when they were still making things in the UK.


I bought it with this refashion in mind, I’d been looking for something white, but when I tried it on at home, the fit wasn’t too bad.  One of my first thoughts was that this was such a simple design it would be easy to copy in another fabric sourced from my growing stash.

I wore the top for a month or so, but it was a little too long and a little too tight on the bust so it was time for the refashion to happen.

I had some lace just the right size to insert as a side panel, which would make the top a bit wider.


I’d bought the lace in a sandwich box of mixed ribbons, lace and buttons for £1

On closer examination I wondered if it was actually lace, or a piece of broderie Anglaise which someone had already cut around on one side to make lace.  I cut around the other side to complete the process and make my ‘lace’.

I opened the side seams of the top, which had been serged.  This fabric frayed like hell and its also very slippery, so before attaching the lace I gave each seam edge a small hem.

There was the question of whether to put the lace on top or underneath.


I decided underneath looked neater.

Although the photo only shows pins, I tacked the lace down before sewing, and at places where there were multiple layers, secured the folds with some hand stitching before machine sewing.

I also tried on after the tacking which revealed that at the armhole end, the insert needed to be one flower shorter to improve the fit.



To complete the refashion I cut about an inch off the bottom edge of the top and re-hemmed to make it a bit shorter.




Bonus feature:

On a recent trip to Norway I found the most fantastic Salvation Army charity shop.  As I found this shop with no Kroner left, no room in my case and only 10 minutes before I had to leave, all I could do was take photos.



This was just part of the homeware section, there were 3 floors, the top floor was all bridal wear.

So many lovely Scandi table cloths and doilies, the photos don’t do it justice.



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