Monday, September 3, 2012

gathering lace eding

Since September is National Sewing Month, I am going to do my best to blog often! I hope that I can give you a few tutorials and a lot of inspiration for the love of sewing!
As most my readers know, I am a commissioned designer for Sew Beautiful Magazine, which is my favorite sewing magazine! I can't even begin to tell you how much I have learned thru this magazine and it's a dream come true to have my designs published. I am teaming up with Sew Beautiful Blog and some other bloggers this month for National Sewing Month. I hope that you will visit the Sew Beautiful Blog each day, as they have "sew" many things planned for this month! You can follow along by clicking on the link I have posted on the right column of my blog.
Speaking of Sew Beautiful, I am currently working on a vintage re-creation for an article in March. As I was working on my project, I thought it might be good to share a little tutorial in my Sewing Journal today.
Gathering yards and yards of lace edging can be tedious work, but it really doesn't have to be! I actually enjoyed gathering and sewing this lace edging to the lace insertion today.
To be successful it is important to use the right supplies. With lace, that means using french cotton laces. After stitching the insertion in place (there's a tutorial for that HERE), I prepared my lace edging for joining it to the insertion lace.
Sorry for the blurry picture here, but if you look very closely at the heading of the lace, you will find several threads weaved in the header of the lace. These all come in quite handy for gathering lace!
It doesn't really matter which header thread you use, but I usually try to grab the top one. 
Once you get ahold of that thread, gently, and I mean gently tug that thread and the lace will begin to gather. If you tug too hard and it breaks, just grab another one to gather.
When gathering yards and yards of lace, like I did today, you do not want to gather all of it at once. If you do, you've just created a big problem and extra hours in stitching that lace in place.
Begin by gathering just a few inches, and then carefully pull that gathering thread as you join the laces by machine.
I set my machine at a zigzag stitch set at a width of 4 and length at 1.5-2. Using a foot with a knife blade in the center will aid in joining the laces together.
Now, a word about stabilizing. As you can see in my photo below, I am not using stabilizer under the laces. I do this for a couple reasons; 

  1. I have an amazing Bernina sewing machine that does not eat up my fabric or lace in the feed dogs. I do realize that not everyone has such an amazing machine, so I suggest testing this out on scrap lace before you take your chances.
  2. It's much easier for me to see the laces joining and get my gathers even if I don't have white Stitch 'n Ditch stabilizer under my laces.

Tip: Stitch ohhh soooo slowly, as you use a poker stick (this is actually a short knitting needle) to push those gathers evenly as they stitch under the foot. This little stick also helps in keeping the lace from bunching, and from getting caught under the pressure foot. 
Work just a couple inches at a time, gently pulling the gathering thread to gather up just a few inches at a time and stitch. If you work slowly and gather and stitch just a few inches at a time, you will be finished before you know it!
The stick helps in so many ways and all my lace stitched on perfectly with no gaps and even gathers.
I can't wait till this issue is published so that you can see my project!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!
Please hop on over to Sew Beautiful Blog 
as today is their first
Giveaway Challenge!  


Anonymous said...

What is that tool you are using in picture 7 of 11 to cut away fabric behind lace?

Laurie said...

I'm not sure where you are referring to - I am not cutting anything away in this tutorial....the yellow/green "tool" in the pics is just used as a helper to guide the lace - just a crochet needle.


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