Men’s Lace Shirt and Cotton Jersey Shorts

I’ve been thinking about lace a lot this spring.

Originally I bought this gorgeous black cotton lace with the intention of using it for an overlay.  What I liked most about it — aside from the beautiful floral pattern — was that it could be trimmed to create a finished scalloped edge.  (You can check out Mood Fabrics’ selection of cotton lace here.)

Continuing my passion for pattern mixing, I decided to create a short-sleeve shirt using the lace in combination with a lovely Italian floral cotton and classic black and white gingham.  (You can see Mood’s selection of ginghams here.)  I used my Butterick 4712, a favorite vintage men’s shirt pattern.

All the fabrics were easy to work with, the lace included.

I used the lace for the two fronts, the gingham for the sleeves and yoke, and the floral for the collar, collar stand, and back.   I decided that the lace would be worn over bare skin.

I placed the lace so that the scalloped border would form the shirt hem.

To echo the scallop of the lace, I created a scalloped edge for the back of the shirt, adding a gingham facing.

The pants are a medium-weight cotton jersey (Check out Mood Fabrics’ selection of cotton jersey here.)  To create some interest, I added an elastic waistband with a drawstring channel and cut the fronts with extra width which I used to form two deep asymmetrical pleats.

Here’s the whole outfit!

I was afraid the lace would feel too revealing but fortunately, it provides quite a bit of coverage.  (Obviously, the wearer has to feel comfortable in it and I do.)

This is a great outfit for a warm spring day and it will definitely carry me into summer.

Is there a lace shirt in your future?  Hope so!



  • oonaballoona
    April 24, 2014

    your style is giving me the best kind of jealousy ever.

    • Carol C Ware
      April 27, 2014

      HA!! I know Right!!! Peter your Ideas give me goosebumps!

  • shannon c.
    April 24, 2014

    The gingham lace combo with the super structured collar just makes it. So fabulous!

  • juebejue
    April 24, 2014

    i love it!!! especially love the scallop detail you put in the back panel to match the scallop of the lace!

  • Never in a million years would I have put these fabrics together and you have done so brilliantly! I’m a little green with envy!

  • Sara
    April 24, 2014

    I love that you’re pushing ‘limits’ , if there are any. I’ve really enjoyed your last two outfits. Very fashion forward and a refreshing spin on menswear. Can’t wait to see what you make next!

  • kelysews
    April 24, 2014

    turnt out very nice

  • Sally
    April 24, 2014

    That is amazing! I love the pattern mixing, I would never have thought of that combination, but now I’m thinking I’d love a similar style. Hmmm….

  • Pat King
    April 24, 2014

    I absolutely love this, Peter. Hats off to you.

  • Barbara
    April 24, 2014

    Aces! The combination of pattern and tone works so well together and best of all it all looks really great on you! Just an aside to say that I purchased the Flatness Folded book and adore it. Thanks for that post too. Dying to make the pants. They look very comfy in knit. The stitching on your shirt is perfection. Bravo!

  • Lara
    April 24, 2014

    I love it too. It’s a great combination of fabrics and the little details make it really special.

  • Kimberly
    April 24, 2014

    Wonderful attention to detail and execution. 🙂

  • Lynne
    April 24, 2014

    Win, win.

  • Sarah
    April 24, 2014

    This is an excellent ensemble. Fine work, particularly on the back scallops – not a lopsided one in the bunch!

  • Wil
    April 24, 2014

    Beautiful shirt. Just the right amount of lace. Looks great on you.

  • Pamela O'Connor
    April 24, 2014

    The scalloping is killer! I love it and think it would look great with a pair of black jeans, too. Bravo!

  • Mel Nowlan
    April 24, 2014

    Your shirt is gorgeous. Sorry but tbh I think your shorts look a little lopsided & uneven & not clearly defined as asymmetrical.

  • RobinDenning
    April 24, 2014

    That is spectacular Peter!

  • Sarah Gunn
    April 24, 2014

    I want the whole amazing outfit. Please………………..? 🙂

  • Beth
    April 25, 2014

    I almost like it, but I feel like there are too many ideas fighting for my attention. I think you can absolutely carry off a lace shirt and I love the shorts, I just feel confused by the gingham sleeves and floral as well. I would have liked a solid black mixed with the lace. But awesome effort and superb sewing skills as always.

    • Alex in California
      April 25, 2014

      I agree. But I also know that because I don’t understand the ensemble certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t good. It makes me think of the fashion shows that send out outrageous even silly looking outfits – they can still inspire.

    • Milligan
      May 4, 2014

      I agree. I think the floral is too much. It reminds me of an outfit I put together once where I chose three colors where each matched the middle but neither matched the other. One or the other, less is more, etc. Add to that, the pattern is reminiscent of a pillowcase. I think a different floral would work, a more abstract or edgier choice. It looks really good from the front.

  • Elle
    April 25, 2014

    You’re getting more adventurous with each outfit. Great work and you look great in it!

  • JustGail
    April 25, 2014

    LOVE the shirt – the lace is just dense enough that it doesn’t wander into tacky territory, and the fabric mix is great, and the scalloped hem is yummy. The shorts though…I think I agree with another commenter on the shorts. When covered by the shirt, they look twisted. Maybe the overlap needed to be a bit more? Different fabric? Wear them with the waistband visible?

    On 2nd/3rd look – maybe just don’t stand still very long or take front-facing photos – the side shots and where you’re walking or standing one one leg more than the other look fine.

  • Jet Set Sewing
    April 25, 2014

    The shirt is excellent in design and execution; great job! It makes such a statement it would be nice to see it with more streamlined black pants and black shoes.

  • Sallieoh
    April 25, 2014

    I’m so inspired by your fabric play, Peter! You’re so adventurous, and the results are so fun, and unexpected. That lace overlap for the button band is genius! And those scallops! Don’t even get me started… The asymmetrical pleated shorts feel very ‘now’ to me! Awesome job!

  • Ginger
    April 25, 2014

    What a fun outfit! I love that you have such a playful approach to clothing. To be honest, I just don’t like lace, but this is about as close as I get to liking it.

  • Cennetta
    April 25, 2014

    Peter, You never fail to inspire. I can count on you to showcase an beautiful fabric. The details of your shirt are superb. I will use the scallop hem in future projects. And yes, lace “something” is in my future. I do want to make a trendy bomber jacket in lace.

  • MAry
    April 25, 2014

    I love what you are making with these last 2 outfits!! Please keep it coming.

  • Ang Curtis
    April 26, 2014

    Peter, This is brilliant! What a great look, I get it! Such a creative mix of prints, textures and florals. You definitely have the design eye. Love it.

  • Liza D.
    April 26, 2014

    Well done on the shirt, Peter. I like the offbeat combo, and your workmanship is beautiful. But I have to vote thumbs-down on the shorts — as an individual piece (just not a fan of sloppy. you can buy that ready made, don’t waste your time, effort and talent on slovenly!) nor as a foil for the lovely shirt, which needs to stand out (or at least coordinate), rather than compete.

    There’s enough “going on” in the shirt that the lower half needs to be clean and simple. A sleek pair of jeans, or straight, clean-cut shorts, perhaps? Heck, maybe a manskirt ; ). But not a dirndle!

  • Peter
    April 26, 2014

    Thanks, everybody!

  • Fiona
    April 27, 2014

    I just love the combination of prints and textures you’ve used here Peter! Especially that gingham facing around the scallops, yum! You’ve created a real wearable work of art in this shirt!

  • DebB
    April 28, 2014

    Peter you are just the bravest ! I love your style. This shirt and outfit is truly inspired.

  • Lori
    April 28, 2014

    I love this shirt, the lace,, accent fabrics and hidden button placket. Amazing job, Peter, plus the shorts look fabulous with the shirt.

  • Angelique
    May 4, 2014

    Peter! Your style continues to blow me away. Beautiful work. Hugs. Angelique

  • craig
    May 4, 2014

    peter your workmanship is excellent. the fabric selection for the shirt falls short of making the statement your workmanship exudes