Lace insertion is one of those charming heirloom details that looks intimidating. But it’s really easy!
I love using heirloom techniques with modern style. It’s like sewing a vintage-modern mashup.
For this project, I kept it simple and just added one vertical lace insertion to each of the sleeves. It’s a hacked up version of Simplicity 6582.
The trick to flawless lace insertion
The trick to success when sewing lace insertion is to use a liquid fabric stabilizer or starch. I use Terial Magic. It’s a dream. Terial Magic is a natural liquid stabilizer that doesn’t contain starch or sugar and washes out with water. I sprayed both the fabric and the lace. When the pieces you sprayed have dried a little and are just damp, iron them until completely dry. Now when you sew the lace it won’t squirm away from you. If you’ve ever tried sewing on the edge of soft cotton lace without using a stabilizer, you know what I mean.
Layout your lace design
Cut your fashion fabric according to the pattern you are using. Place your lace right side up on the right side of the fabric. Pin in place.
Sew lace insertion, step 1
Sew each side of the insertion lace edge with a narrow zig zag stitch. Stitch settings will vary on each machine. You want the width of the zig zag to travel just over the inside edge of the lace and back over to the outside edge of the lace and into the fabric. Use a stitch length of about 1.5 to 2mm. On my vintage Kenmore, I set the stitch length dial right between the 24 and the 12. In the picture below, the dial was set to 12 and I think the stitches are a little too far apart. You want to make sure it’s secure because you are going to cut the fabric close to the stitches.
Sew lace insertion, step 2
Turn your fabric over, wrong side up. Using scissors with a blunt tip, cut a straight slice up the middle between the two rows of stitching. Carefully press open.
Sew lace insertion, step 3
Now you have two options. If you want a very clean look on the inside of your garment with no raw edges, you can fold the fabric into a narrow hem. Sew the hem with a straight stitch close to the edge of the lace. You can also sew the hem by hand if you don’t want stitches to show on the outside. Your other option is to sew another line of zig zag stitches using the same stitch length and width as before. Your stitches will travel from the inside edge over the fabric fold to outside edge of the lace. Cut the fabric close to the stitches.
Voila! You’ve just made something beautiful!