Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sewing with Lace and Fabric

Lace to Lace

Whether we're making a christening dress, a child's garment, ladies' clothing, a wedding gown or special linens, the same basic techniques are at the core of many heirloom projects. This week we'd like to share tutorials for two such techniques with you: sewing lace to lace and lace to fabric. If you're new to heirloom sewing, these instructions shared by Sue Pennington Stewart in our Favorite Heirloom Sewing Designs edition will help give you the needed know-how to dive into your first project. If you're a seasoned heirloom sewist, perhaps you can share the tutorials with a friend who is new to the craft! 

Things to know before you begin:
• The stitch settings given are not absolutes. Different machines stitch out differently. Use the settings given as starting points, adjust up or down as needed and use what works best for you.

• These techniques work best on very lightweight, natural-fiber fabrics; one hundred percent cotton batiste is the easiest, and most traditional, fabric to work with. The fabric should almost always be starched and pressed before it is sewn.

• For the following techniques, use soft, fine thread and a small needle.

• Fabric pieces should be on grain for this work. A torn edge is a good way to ensure that fabric is on grain; remember that it may be necessary to trim away the fuzzy edges before performing the heirloom techniques described in the following instructions.

Lace to Lace:
1. Press lace without stretching if it is wrinkled, but I do not usually starch lace.

Photo 1

2. Place laces side by side, right sides up (if you can tell a right side) with headings butted together (photo 1).

Photo 2

3. Zigzag (L=1.0; W=2.5) laces together, so that one needle swing goes over heading of one lace, and other needle swing goes over heading of other lace (photo 2). Press this joined strip of lace.

Lace to Fabric (roll and whip):
1. Place starched fabric right side up. Place a lace strip right side down on top of fabric with edge of lace 1/8 inch in from raw edge of fabric (photo 3).

Photo 3
2. Zigzag (L=1.0; W=4.5) so that one needle swing stitches over heading of lace, and other needle swing goes just off edge of fabric. After a few stitches, raw edge of fabric should start rolling in toward and covering lace heading (photo 4). If it doesn't, try increasing needle tension slightly.

Photo 4
3. Press rolled hems toward fabric. This next step is optional, but I use it, almost always, as it gives a much neater look and keeps the rolled seam from folding back under lace. From right side, zigzag (L and W=1.0) with a very tiny stitch so that one needle swing stitches over folded-under edge of fabric and into lace, and other needle swing just catches fabric.

4. Press this lace-embroidery strip again.

Learn many more heirloom sewing techniques on our Sew Beautiful DVDs. These DVDs are full of inspiration and instruction for beginning and advanced heirloom sewists alike, and they are on sale now through March 6 as part of our huge National Craft Month celebration!

Sew On, Sew Well, Sew Beautiful,
Cyndi and Amelia

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, I did not know to press and starch the fabric first.