This form of embellishment is an incredibly easy way to take a very simple garment and turn it into something special. Lace appliqué, when done right adds elegance and beauty to your outfit.
It can be incredibly time consuming (3 weeks is the most time I’ve spent applying lace to a single garment) but it is definitely well worth it.
Find the perfect lace. You cannot use just any lace. Stretch laces and jacquard laces are cheap but they are NOT suited at all to lace appliqué. The best type of lace is a little on the expensive side, and price will vary according to quality and whether or not beading is included.
Corded lace with scattered motifs that are easy to cut out are the best option.
Corded lace and some bridal laces are the best options, and you often don’t need as much as you think. I recently appliqued an entire bridal wardrobe made of a bodice and two separate skirts and only used 2.5 meters. For a simple design and effect you will seldom require more than half a meter of corded lace, though remember it really depends on how often, far apart and the size of the motifs on the lace itself.
Once you have selected your lace, carefully cut the individual motifs out of the tulle as neatly as possible. I find small, sharp embroidery scissors are best for this.
Try not to cut the cord or embroidery on the lace, as this can result in the motif unraveling. If you do find that you accidentally cut the motif, or you need to trim a section to separate 2 motifs, then use a small touch of fabric glue, appliqué glue or Stop Fray glue to protect the cut area.
PIN, PIN, PIN FIRST! Always pin your motifs into position before making anything permanent. Take a step back and look at the design. You will then be able to see if anything is out of place or lopsided, and you can adjust your lace accordingly until the design looks right.
Make it permanent. Though there are many ways of applying the lace, from using glue to an interfacing with glue on both sides (these are just really quick solutions, but they WILL eventually come undone).
The only way to make the lace definitely permanent is by stitching it on.
It can be very awkward and difficult to machine stitch the lace into place. The only time I would suggest you do this is if you are VERY experienced or if the lace is along the edge or hemline of the garment.
Otherwise go with the age old, time consuming method of a small, neat hand basting stitch. It will take time, but the quality of your work will shine through at the end and people will gasp in awe at your amazing abilities.
Patterns of the week
This is our sewing pattern for the trumpet style gown, but we have appliquéd lace along the bottom of the skirt to give the dress that little something extra.
Our most recent pattern launch. I created this skirt for a bridal client. I appliquéd lace along the top of the skirt so that it flowed with the bodice she was wearing, and gave the illusion of it being a one piece instead of a top and skirt.