Saturday, October 17, 2009

Attaching lace

I have moved on with my OFB gown from convention. I am up attaching lace to the rolled and whipped edge. This will be the ruffle at the bottom of the gown. I will admit that I have been more successful than in the past with this project. As I responded to Robin in the comments, the things I have done differently this time is to use a TINY needle, and to mark the seam allowance on the fabric before I started rolling and whipping. The edge is much more even and doesn't look like a drunk striped the highway. Remember to click on the pics to enlarge. If you look up in the right hand corner of this picture you will see the needle highlighted in reference to the markings on the pinning board. I wasn't kidding when I said tiny, a 12 between.

Some other things that are important to use, a very fine thread. I used Madeira Tanne 80 thread and instead of beeswax, I have had better luck with Thread Heaven. Another secret to my success this time is to pin down the pieces that I am working with to keep them straight and somewhat taut. I by accident discovered this when attaching the entredeux to the yoke piece and it has served me well in attaching the lace. See the above picture. I did not pull the lace, as that would stretch it, but smoothed it out and pinned it down. There is a certain amount of tension applied to the rolled and whipped edge though. I found it easier to run my needle under that roll if it was taut.

Before each stitch I run the point of my needle under the roll before piercing the roll. This has ensured that the needle exits the rolled edge at the TOP of the roll, thus eliminating, or at least minimizing stitches showing on the front. The bane of my existence when it came to French Handsewing in the past.

Do you see those stitches on the front? And it looks like I used knitting yarn to stitch them with. Now admittedly this is a tiny peek at a very early FHS project. But this is not what you are striving for.

Back to the task at hand, here shows the needle exiting the top of the roll and catching the header of the lace. I have pretty much but not slavedly (Is that a word?) followed the whipping stitches made to stitch my rolled edge. Because those stitches are pulled snug, it naturally makes little dimples that my needle falls into when attaching the lace. If I didn't land on each stitch I didn't worry about it.

Here is a closer picture from a slightly different angle to show the needle exiting the top of that roll and catching the lace header. 

There is a method that Jeannie showed us to simultaneously attach the lace while rolling and whipping the edge. It wasn't working for me. I had better results and it seems to be going quicker doing them separately, for me at least.

This is the wrong side of the rolled edge with the lace attached. I almost dare you to find the thread on there. That 80 weight thread just melts into the lace header.

And this is the front edge. Looks a LOT different than that early example. Thank goodness, since that early example is 25 years old. I hope I have gotten better. So yes Jeannie, I am happier; much, much happier.


  1. I am so happy you are posting your gown as you stitch along. I love seeing the progress!! It looks beautiful. I couldn't do any better than yours! You are great!!

  2. Thank you Teacher!!!!! As I said, I am much happier with the results than previous efforts.

  3. Jeannie she just felt better to complain before the class. That way she would feel good looking at the perfection she has achieved. One day I will get to pull mine out and work on it.


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