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!


  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!

  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!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  4. thank you for showing this! so helpful!

  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.

  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!