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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Adding a Gathered Lace Trim

One of my favorite parts of the fabric store is the section with all the different trims. Sometimes I try to think of new projects to make just so I can try out the cute ones!  Today's tutorial will show you one of the many ways these trims can be used. I personally love the look of gathered lace trims so it's a good one to demonstrate!


Isn't this eyelet lace so pretty?  As you can see, the lace is already gathered onto the tape so I won't need to do any extra ruffling. (Okay, so maybe that's partly why I love these so much...)  

You can find all different kinds of gathered lace trims, from white to black, dainty to bold, short to long... just about anything you want.  

There are also different ways to apply it to your project.  You can pin it on top of a hem so you see the tape too. Or you can create a seam with it, treating it as an actual ruffle.  A third, and probably most common way, is to pin the tape under the edge of the hem and sew in place.  The third method is the one I will show you, along with some helpful tips. 




First of all, find some gathered lace that's already on a trim tape. If you are sewing an outfit using a pattern that calls for lace, go ahead and cut it the amount that's called for.  If you are adding the lace to a pattern that does NOT call for tape that's not a problem at all.  You can simply measure around and estimate how much you will need, and then add a few inches.  You don't need to know the exact length before you begin. 



Remember for this method you will be pining the trim behind a finished hem, so go ahead and sew your outfit as instructed, up until you have all the hems done.  This works for the bottom of dresses, shorts, sleeves, etc.   Your hem can be wide, narrow, or even a rolled hem. It really doesn't matter as long as the edge is hemmed nicely before going on. 



You're ready!  I've found that it is easiest to hold the outfit with the hem-side up, as shown above.  (Fore example, you may be holding the dress upside down while you pin.) 

Take one end of the lace and start pinning it just before the back or side seam of your outfit. (Whichever will be less noticeable.)  The end of your lace will be raw for now - you will get back to it later so don't worry for now. 



Lay the hem over the lace, overlapping so it fully covers the tape and still leaves the gathers visible.  Don't overlap too far up the lace!  When you have it lined up, place vertical pins to hold it there, as shown above. 





Place pins about every 1.5" to make sure the trim stays level instead of drooping between pins. 




Continue all around the hem.



When you get back to where you started, it will look something like the photo above. 



Cut the lace so you have at least 1" overlapping. It's easier if you leave a little more. 



With right sides of the lace together, match the raw edges of the lace, as shown above.  Determine how much extra lace you have and pin the lace together at that point. See photos above and below for clarification. 



When you have the lace ends pinned together on the wrong side, the front of the lace will look like the photo above.  Check to make sure you have the right amount of lace pinned together. If it is more or less than the hem edge, go back and pin the back again so it lays evenly. 



On the back side of the lace, sew a seam along where you pinned.  It's okay if one of the raw edges is longer than the other. 

Check the front to make sure your seam leaves enough lace for the hem edge. 




When you know your lace seam is in the right place, go ahead and trim the excess down to 3/8".  It's a good idea to serge or zigzag that seam edge so it won't fray. 



Turn your outfit over and admire your work!  The gathered lace trim should be neatly attached, with the tape hidden behind the hem and the lace seam tidy enough that you will hardly notice it's there. 



I just love how this turned out!  It looks like we spent a bunch of time creating, gathering, and sewing a ruffle, when really all we did was pin and sew the trim.  It works just as well with other sizes and styles of lace too!



Don't forget you can also use the same technique on sleeves! It turns out really pretty. On this particular sleeve, I gathered the sleeve edge to match the arm circumference I wanted.  This look would have been really tricky if I had to add a gathered lace to a gathered sleeve, but the pre-made gathered lace trim made it a breeze!

I hope this tutorial was helpful for you. And more importantly, I can't wait to see what you make now!  Please come share your creations in our patterns group on Facebook when you're done. We can also answer any questions you might have.  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

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