Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sewing Invisible Seams on Lace

I have just learned how to do one of the prettiest techniques ever - that of joining lace without a seam. The dress my daughter had tried on and loved, had no seams or at least nothing visible. I know you can't "shrink wrap" lace but it fit so perfectly with no apparent seams - what a puzzle! Reading up on it and talking to my friend Mary Ray who at one time made bridal gowns, lead me to this technique. I did a little mock up for some of the parts,  like in the photo below. I started by marking the seams with a pink basting thread.  Resources say to  never use black or any color as lint from the thread is impossible to remove. For easy viewing here, I used black. The seams are marked and a good amount of lace is left for the overlap.
Cut the lace in the overlap area (1-2 inches beyond the seam allowance) following the lines of the cording or applique. Trim one side only in the pair of seams - the side that will go on top.

It will look like this (below).
Overlap the seams by laying one marked thread line over the other - allowing the "pretty cut edge" to be on top. Pin the seam lines together - Pins should be very close together.

Next pin the top layer down, making sure to secure the appliques. Again, use lots of pins.
Set your machine for free motion sewing; thread top and bottom with a clear monofilament or white thread. I did a test for both threads, either works fine, however regular sewing thread is easier for me to manage.
Set the machine for a fairly narrow zigzag stitch and stitch around the edge of appliques the entire length of the seam. This is time consuming; make sure to catch every edge.
Once stitched, flip back the top layer of lace to see the "underlying seam" which will be wide.
Cut away excess - @ 1/2" from the stitching. The photo below has 2 pieces joined together - my family couldn't tell where it had been joined.
The red arrow points to where the 2 pieces of lace have been joined - hard to detect. This is a beautiful technique and perfect for joining lace fabric.
Signing off as a Happy Camper today!

6 comments:

  1. Judy,
    This is incredible! You've been talking about this for months but now I understand what you're talking about-it really does look like there is NO SEAM! Wow! Thanks for showing how to do this!

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  2. I have bent my brain nearly in half trying to figure out how wedding gowns had no lace seams!! Well now I know why wedding dresses are so expensive. It's all about TIME. Off to pretend I am Vera Wang and design a dress for my daughter. THANK YOU!

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  4. thank you for showing this! so helpful!

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  5. Thanks for this I am sewing some guipure lace and I am going to follow this. I have scoured the internet for something easy to understand.

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  6. Oh! Amazing! Your bridal lace fabric is very beautiful and so easy! Thanks for sharing. I'm so happy to find your blog. I'm following your great ideas!

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