A Needlelace Embellished Blouse

I must have worked the Needlelace Embellished Blouse when I was sixteen or seventeen – probably it was about the third or fourth project that I did, ever. Once I’d got hooked on embroidery – which happened over a piece that I’ve yet to show you, partly because I’m not sure where it’s hidden itself  – I went from technique to technique and project to project almost without drawing breath!

I wanted something “Floral-inspired but modern”, I remember, so my mother suggested a pentagon for a flower and triangles for leaves. Thus:

Geometric Floral

The Geometric Floral we designed for my Needlelace Embellished Blouse

We divided the pentagon into triangles, because I wanted to use three different needlelace stitches (and also because it would be more interesting that way), and transferred it to a boat-necked summer top with a V at the back.


Needlelace Blouse

Needlelace Blouse

It’s hardly surprising I gave needlelace a try – both Grandmama and my mother had worked needlelace embellished table cloths, so it was in the air, so to speak. It’s also not surprising that I didn’t attempt another tablecloth.  Even then I knew that I didn’t have the patience for that size of project!

Needlelace Close Up

Needlelace Close Up

The triangles forming the flower I worked either in Pea Stitch or Corded Single Brussels Stitch, and the “leaves” were Corded Point d’Espagne. There’s a Needlelace Tutorial starting here on a lacemakers’ website for those who are interested. Then I buttonholed the edges (the wrong way round, I think, now I look at the photo again!) and, with much trepidation, cut away the fabric at the back.

And it worked! I wore the blouse quite a lot for a few years, and now I’ve found it again I suspect I’ll be wearing it some more – although not this year <shiver>!


  1. Very pretty!=)

  2. Penny says:

    Wow! Lotta work…but no surprise coming from you.

  3. Very, very beautiful Rachel…

  4. Anita says:

    Wow!It’s beautiful.What thread did you use ?

  5. Lady Fi says:

    THat’s very pretty indeed!

  6. Elmsley Rose says:

    You were 17 and doing needlelace? Wow!
    And it’s beautiful, btw.

  7. Penny says:

    Oh my, at 17 I was lucky to make up a circular skirt required for our Home Economics class! This is so very lovely!

  8. How wonderful to have found that piece. As a wanderer my early pieces have been spread to the winds and are only memories.

  9. A beautiful piece of work, Rachel.

  10. Action Ma'am says:

    Delightfully vintage so very “now”!

  11. Your stitches are so even – it looks as if it has just been stitched. Over the years I have flirted with all sorts of stitching, embroidery, counted cross stitch, drawn thread work ……
    I have just looked out three small tablecloths, embroidered by my great aunt, to use as part of dressing the house for Christmas. I must remember to take photos of them – I think they may be 70 or 80 years old!!

  12. This is really lovely. What beautiful work! I have just found yur blog through ‘Craft Gossip’ and am adding it to my reading list.

  13. karen says:

    Oh this is so beautiful Rachel….

  14. deanna7trees says:

    beautiful needle lace and i love your placement.

  15. Janice says:

    Beautifully worked. I bought a book on needlelace several years ago, but that’s as far as it got!