How to Sew Lace Fabric

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Lace fabric makes a lovely overlay for dresses and other garments.
Lace fabric makes a lovely overlay for dresses and other garments. (Image: lace image by sparkia from Fotolia.com)

Lace is created by twisting, braiding or looping thread together, without any backing fabric, to create a unique design. Modern lace is mostly machine made, although some cotton laces can be easily crocheted if you know how. Lace fabric can be cut and hemmed like any other fabric, but you need to take care not to stretch the lace while sewing it and to use more delicate stitches than you normally would with other fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Thread
  • Fabric pen
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger
  • Rolled hem foot
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Pattern
  • Lace fabric

Lay the pattern pieces on top of the lace fabric. Trace around the pattern onto the lace fabric with a fabric pen. Cut out your pattern on the lace fabric following the trace marks on the lace.

Match up the lace pattern on the fabric as best you can and pin the edges together. Space the pins about 2 inches apart, using as many as necessary for your pattern.

Serge the edges of the lace fabric together using a three or four thread stitch. Sew up the inside of the serged edge with a straight stitch.

If you do not have a serger you can sew the lace edges together using a French seam. First sew the edges together on the wrong side of the garment using a straight stitch, leaving about 1/8-inch seam allowance, so they are facing the outside of the garment. A seam allowance is the measurement between the raw edge of fabric and the stitch. Then press them flat with the iron from the inside of the garment and sew up the inside with a straight stitch, encasing the raw outer edge within the seam. Remove the pins as you sew.

Hem the raw edges of the lace with a rolled hem. Place the rolled hem foot on your sewing machine or serger and set the raw edge of the lace in it so it wraps around the edge of the foot and gets rolled under. Hem all the raw edges of the lace with the rolled hem foot using a small stitch length. Set your sewing machine stitch length knob between one and two for the hem stitches. Each stitch should be around 1 millimeter in length.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid stretching lace as you sew so that it lays properly.

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References

  • Threads Sewing Guide; Carol Jean Fresia
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