Lace-Trimmed T-Shirt Tutorial!!!

Hello! I am kind of excited about this – my first tutorial, based on a style I’ve wanted to try sewing for A for a while now- the boxy, lace-trimmed t-shirt! Here is my favorite, available at Target:

Inspiration 1


I know it looks totally 90s with the rolled sleeves and boxy silhouette, but the ones I’ve seen use soft neutral colors like taupe and grey, like this one – which is so refreshing for children’s clothes! With the addition of a soft eyelet lace at the hem to counter the boxiness, I think they are just so sweet and feminine. Classy, yet cozy – my favorite combination! I’m not the only one who has fallen in love with this look, either – one of my Facebook friends who is still starting to sew was admiring the look of this Gap t-shirt.

So, in between moving and Easter sewing, I decided to do a quick little jaunt down tutorial lane in case others have thought to themselves, “That’s such a cute shirt, I want to make one!” 🙂 And HERE is the result!

Lace-Trimmed T-shirt Tutorial 1

So, so cute and sweet!

Cute, right?! (And, ooo, captions! WordPress is my favorite!)

I started with a T-shirt from a popular national retailer. It’s a basic T-shirt, a little longer in length, and shaped – not boxy like the inspiration shirts – but I still thought it would be pretty with some lace along the bottom! Plus, good practice for when I make a boxier, trendier version! The photo doesn’t do the color justice – it’s this lovely soft butter yellow. Perfect for springtime and sunshine! (In fact, none of these photos are very good! Sorry!!)

Lace-Trimmed T-shirt Tutorial 2

Pretty yellow!

So, let’s get started!

You’ll need the following supplies:

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1) A T-shirt (sewn or purchased!). Adding lace trim to a hem is completely doable to all types of T-shirts, so even if you decide you want a boxier look than the longer, curved-hem T-shirt I’m using in the tutorial, it will still work, the steps will be the same. Also, for a boxier girl’s shirt, you can cut off a boys’ T-shirt since girls’ shirts are typically fitted, and then compensate for length (if necessary) with the width of your lace. For the tutorial, though, I wanted to use what I had on hand. So, just know that this will work no matter what shape your hem is. And, of course, if you have any questions, make a comment!

Lace-Trimmed T-Shirt Tutorial (30)

Eyelet Lace with Daisies – so sweet and cute!

2) Lace of your choice. I chose a pre-ruffled eyelet from Jo-Ann, because it was shorter, and I liked the ruffled look for the bottom of the longer shirt. Also, my starter shirt is yellow – so I thought the daisy eyelet pattern would be nice and simple. I bought a full yard because I wanted enough to play with, but if you want to wait until after you’ve measured to save a few pennies, feel free to do so. The inspiration shirts use what looks like a 2-4″ wide lace, but for smaller shirts, 1-2″ is probably fine, it just depends on how long you want the shirt to be.

3) Measuring tape – Never underestimate the power of a good measuring tape. Fiberglass is wonderful, because it doesn’t lose its shape or degrade over time.

4) Pins – The pins I use are the glass-head pins by Dritz – they are smaller, a little more pricey than the pins you would get for quilting or in a starter sewing kit, but so worth it. The smaller diameter of the pin means smaller holes in your fabric, and the glass heads mean you can iron over them without melting them. Score.

Lace-Trimmed T-Shirt Tutorial 5

Stretch or Jersey Needles

5) Stretch/Jersey needles – These ballpoint needles won’t punch holes in a T-shirt, and they will work fine on woven fabrics, which is what most lace by-the-yard is made of. To me it’s more important not to cause runs in your T-shirt, especially considering we will be sewing through multiple layers of fabric.

6) Thread that matches, or at least coordinates with, the T-shirt. Or, it could be super fun to use a contrast thread, too, for a bright pop of color. I wouldn’t suggest using white or off-white unless your T-shirt or thread is white or off-white, however – the stitches will show on the right side of the garment.

7) Scissors to cut the lace

8) Seam ripper. Because mistakes happen, and there is no shame in repairing them. 🙂

Let’s get started!

1. Measure the width of the bottom hem of your T-shirt. To get a good measurement, smooth the hem of the shirt out, and if your hem is curved, follow the curve with your measuring tape as best you can. Add an inch, and write that number down. Another method for measuring a curved hem might be to hang your shirt up with a hanger and measure the hem that way so you can really be accurate. If your hem is straight across, it’s even easier to measure, but you will still want to add an inch to that measurement. The extra inch is used for a half-inch seam allowance.

Lace-Trimmed T-Shirt Tutorial 7

Measure the bottom of your tee.

2) Cut your lace to the measurement you got for your hem + the extra inch.

Lace-Trimmed T-Shirt Tutorial (33)

Cut your lace to match the hem measurement. Another way to do this is to simply pin your lace on the hem and cut off the excess before you sew.

3. Pin the ends of your lace right sides together and sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

4. Turn your t-shirt inside out. Pin the seam of the lace to the side seam of the shirt, then pin the lace along the inside of the hem all the way around.

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Pin the lace to the bottom of the t-shirt

5. If your lace has a finished edge, sew the lace to the inside of the shirt using your preferred stitch – I recommend a zigzag. If your lace does not have a finished edge, allow a minimum of 3/8″ for your seam allowance on the lace edge.

Tip: If the hem of the shirt has two lines of stitching, try to get your zigzag between the lines of stitching for a really finished look!4

Lace-Trimmed T-shirt Tutorial (14)

If you look closely, you can see my zigzag stitch tucked neatly between the double lines of stitching at the hem of the shirt.

6. Remove the pins, turn the t-shirt right side out, and press the hem.

7. Voila! Super simple alteration with a lot of impact!

Lace-Trimmed T-Shirt Tutorial (38)


It would be so easy to get the boxy look of the inspiration shirt by using an Oliver + S Bento Tee or Lunch Box Tee pattern – simply eliminate the pockets and add lace along the bottom. That is on my to-do list for sure! A French terry version would be perfect!

Well, that’s all for now. I apologize for the throw-together quality of it – I didn’t want to waste an almost-finished tutorial so I just finished it and didn’t worry about my other idea, for now. I may revisit this later though!

Questions or comments? Please let me know!

Later lovelies!


2 thoughts on “Lace-Trimmed T-Shirt Tutorial!!!

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