We’re diving deeper into the world of sheer fabrics (our fabric of the year, of course) with February’s Fabric of the Month: Lace! Lace brings the perfect balance of soft femininity and statement-making elegance to any project, and we think lace belongs in every wardrobe.
Lace pairs perfectly with satin and charmeuse for an elevated special occasion look, especially for wedding gowns and prom dresses. And of course, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching—some new lace lingerie is just the thing to boost self-confidence, whether you’ve got a special someone or just want to celebrate loving yourself.
As summer approaches, lace is perfect for maxi dresses and sundresses, or swimsuit coverups—like the Petal Cover-Up featured above, which is also so much fun to style as a top for a casual or night-out look!
There’s no end to lace’s potential, so let’s take a closer look at this fabulous fabric.
What is Lace?
Lace encompasses a wide range of designs, textures, and production techniques. Lace may be made from any fiber, including cotton, polyester, or silk, and elastic fibers can be incorporated to produce stretch lace.
Bobbin laces like Chantilly and Guipure lace are created by wrapping and weaving threads through each other. Needle lace involves stitching threads through each other and sometimes other ground materials, as in Battenburg lace. Similarly, chemical laces like Schiffli are created by stitching on a dissolvable ground fabric.
Embroidered lace is typically created by embroidering tulle or mesh, and eyelet lace is similar—though the embroidery is done on a more solid, usually cotton ground and includes cutout eyelets throughout. Knitted lace and crochet lace, made by knitting or crocheting, respectively, are much rarer forms of lace, but can still be found.
Many types of lace also feature various embellishments. Corded lace has a raised cord incorporated in its design, while re-embroidered lace features stitching on top of the design, usually in an outline. Beading, sequins, and glitter are other popular embellishments!
Tips for Sewing with Lace
- Cut each piece of a pattern separately to ensure clean cuts.
- Pay attention to the pattern while cutting: align pattern pieces carefully to create a seamless look, and consider using finished edge lace to create a unique hemline.
- Use sharp scissors or a rotary cutter.
- For non-stretch lace, use a sharp needle. For stretch lace, use a stretch or ball-point needle.
- Use a zig-zag stitch or serger for seams.
- Take your time!
Sewing Patterns Ideal for Lace
Lace makes fabulous garments whether it’s used as a sheer piece, as an overlay with either matching or contrasting lining, or as an accent or trim! Check out these free sewing patterns to spark your imagination on all of lace’s possibilities.