My lace blouse.
My projects,  Sewing

Sewing an old-fashioned lace blouse

I think that those Victorian and Edwardian lace blouses (or shirtwaists) were gorgeous and I wanted my very own. I already had a good and tested 1912 pattern for a shirtwaist/blouse and now I modified it to add lace (and more lace!) and ruffles. This was also a perfect opportunity to learn how to make invisible seams in lace.

A period example from a Finnish sewing magazine Käsitöitä.

I couldn’t find lace that was as fine as the Edwardians used. Practically all the lace I found had some man-made fibres in it. However, the main lace fabric I got is very soft, has cotton embroidery and feel nice. I have also a big collection of lace trims that I could use for decoration.

I made the yoke out of different lace fabric that tinted slightly towards pink. By using different shades of white, off-white and pink through the blouse the difference in shades became purposeful rather than an unfortunate accident.

I made a video of making this blouse and you can watch it on YouTube here or below. Just put the English subtitles on if you can’t understand Finnish!

Here is the lace blouse from the back:

I feel a bit self-conscious with the amount of ruffles on this lace blouse but it doesn’t look so bad in the pictures. If I had a frillier skirt instead of this practical wool walking skirt the blouse would look better.

Perhaps the next time I could make the collar even tighter? Of course, I might find it too tight then. At least now, with the lace I am using, I don’t see any need for boning which is nice. A boned collar must be very uncomfortable!

I can’t get enough of this turn of the 20th century fashion. I am wearing my walking skirt almost daily now and I’d really like to make another. However, then I want to be using one of the old Finnish patterns that I now know how to access.

Thank you for reading and do subscribe to the blog! Just add your email to the form at the upper right corner and you will get a notification email every time I post! In the meantime, Happy Sewing!


I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.

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