Sew Brave: Making it Work with Lace

Hello fellow Sewcialists!

I am sure most of you have that most prized fabric in your stash that you have had for a while but are still afraid to cut into it? I do, too!

There are many reasons why a lot of us may have this in our stash. It may be because it is much pricier than most fabrics we buy, a sentimental gift from a loved one, a luxurious piece of fabric, among others. For me, it is a combination of quality and sentiment. 

The Fabric

I bought two yards of this gorgeous green floral lace from an open market in December 2017 when I traveled back home to Ghana (West Africa) to get married.

This fabric brings back a lot of memories, so the fear of making a failed project and wasting this luxurious fabric was quite strong. I also had not worked with such a sturdy fabric with very little drape, so was not sure how to work with it. I posted a video of the fabric on my Instagram page in April 2018 in an attempt to muster courage to sew it up but fear won again, and back in my stash it went.

Sew Brave – The Process 

Well, this is the month to be brave and sew brave! I finally decided to sew it up after Meg from @cookinandcraftin reached out to me about this month’s theme. I spent about a week looking for inspiration, petting the fabric in case any ideas popped out, talked myself into getting over the fear of cutting into it, and even reposted the fabric on my Instagram page to motivate me. After all, what is the worst that could happen, right?

I finally decided to make a simple shift dress so that the floral designs would not be tampered with, and also because a shift dress is not the first thing you think about when you hear lace. Now, I only had two days to make this shift dress and get photos before I had to pack up for vacation and a big move.

Make it work

Unfortunately, some things did not go as planned. Sewing up the shift dress was no problem. I used one of my favorite thrifted shift dresses as a pattern and it was easy peasy to sew up. I used regular straight stitches throughout and it worked great. It took about an hour and half to sew up as it only had four pieces – the front, back, and the sleeves.

However, it turned out way too short to be worn as a dress in my opinion. I began to freak out because my initial thought was “OMG, my fear is becoming a reality. I messed this up.” I stepped away for a couple of hours and came back with a ‘make it work’ attitude.


Styling had become more important than ever now. I threw out my plans to wear it as a dress with a slip underneath and went through my closet to see how I could get the most wear out of my new project.

I came up with two pretty good ideas – wearing it as a swim cover-up or as a tunic. As you can see in these photos, I chose to go with the tunic style because I think I will get more wear out of it. I paired my new lace tunic with a mustard tank top, jeans, and sandal heels. 

That does not mean the option to use it as a swimsuit cover-up is out. I am sure you will eventually see a photo of me sporting it as a cover-up but for now, I love how it turned out and I am glad I took the plunge and completed this project!

I hope this will encourage you to get out your special fabric and put it to work! Happy Sewing! 

Sylvia of The Ravel Out is a self-taught sewing enthusiast and blogger, obsessed with adding fun twists to classic pieces, and a sucker for bright colors. Sewing initially became a creative outlet for Sylvia about 5 years ago and she hasn’t stopped sewing since! She is currently building a unique wardrobe by unraveling her ideas and stitching them together, one stitch at a time.

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