Broderie anglaise upcycled {Dressmaking}

Friday, 5 July 2013

I am very excited about this new top. As soon as I saw Mathilde's simple et blanc I knew I had to make one ... somehow.. Finding the right underskirt to upcycle was probably the hardest part of this project. I watched many items on Ebay pass by - not enough broderie anglaise, dodgy cream/yellowy colour, polyester fabric... Until I found the right one. 

Then I had to find a pattern. It is loosely based on the Nuisette featured in Intemporels pour futures mamans (as in a sewing book for pregnant women - as I mentioned it is loosely based). I loved the simplicity of the front and the curved back. I made a muslin (seen on my facebook page) - and off we were. 

And I am really (really really) pleased with the result, can you tell? It is a very simple top except for the bottom border. It is long enough to cover my hips and it has a slight A-line shape that is flattering. I will be able to wear it with jeans, shorts or maybe skinny trousers (yeah as if that ever happens). I used a 70/10 sewing machine needle as the fabric is lightweight (more on how to choose your needle here)

The original underskirt

Here are my five tips if you are going to buy a second-hand underskirt:

- the price: they seem to be quite popular on Ebay (especially the cotton one) - so beware. It is a very easy top that does not require a lot of fabric, so I would compare the price of a broderie anglaise border and see how much you are willing to spend accordingly. 

- seams and side seams: you cannot really see it, but at the back the broderie anglaise seam is not flush with the side seams (that is how I got the underskirt). If you can ask the seller where the seams are, you may be able to have a better finish. 

- fabric: there are a lot of polyester underskirts out there, it will not be the same finish - just make sure you know what you are buying.

- stains: there was a little one on the underskirt that I managed to remove with some vanish - again beware, these may have been stored in a cupboard for a while

- broderie anglaise: there are some beautiful designs out there, wait for the right underskirt, it will come, and it gives you time to assess how much they go for. 

I am sure this top will appear in many Saturday mixing handmade and highstreet posts - and by the end of the summer you will be sick of it! 


  1. It's gorgeous, but then, anything featuring broderie anglaise ticks all the boxes for me!

  2. Absolutely stunning!! Such a gorgeous top! You'll get a lot of wear out of it this week if the weather forecast is right :)

  3. It's so pretty - you've done a lovely job!
    If the weather stays warm you'll get so much wear out of it. I just love that it was up-cycled :)

  4. So delicate and perfect for summer

  5. Great idea and so pretty! It’s the kind of top I’d wear

  6. This is a beautiful make. You've chosen a lovely underskirt. It drives me mad on ebay that when you search for "cotton" you get all the results for "polyester cotton" as well. I wish they would make a search option to let us exclude words.

  7. That is a clean, crisp, and perfect top for summer.

  8. What a gorgeous, summery camisole, just perfect :)

  9. Looks lovely on you!

  10. Love this so much! Seriously--I want to borrow it (permananently) from glad you live across the pond! ;)