As you surely know, we're limited with hoop size, and can only embroider one
relatively small design at a time. That's why we've developed two special types
of Free-Standing Lace Designs
that work like LEGO.
This means that you can create large projects, by embroidering separate lace
designs that fit each other, and can be easily assembled into huge and impressive laces.
The first type of lace designs is with straight edges, like in our Dantela
Lace for Table
set. Here you may see a gorgeous placemat with those designs
Of course, the same technique will work with any other lace designs digitized in
similar way, and we're adding more lace sets constantly.
Second, there's an even better technique that works with lace designs with "curved"
This is a very interesting method because it allows making huge laces from multiple parts,
in such a way that it's almost impossible to notice that it's LEGO, when looking at the
finished project. To outside person such item looks like a singe design. It's almost impossible
to notice the connection.
You may take a look at a lovely Irish style guest towel with lace border from Shamrock lace
, created using this method. The border artwork was too long for a normal 5x7 hoop,
we've divided it into 2 parts and digitized them in a very special way.
Supplies & Suggestions:
Make sure you have the following items at your disposal:
Top quality polyester machine embroidery thread
& polyester bobbin thread
, in identical color.
With lace designs, using strong thread is very important; because laces are
stitch intensive and breaking thread will drive you crazy in no time. Also,
thread breaks can cause the laces to unravel later.
Your thread also mustn't be stretchy. Threads sold by a couple of certain
well-known brands tend to stretch a lot. Be careful, because lace designs will
loose their shape if you use stretchy thread. Test your thread on one design to
make sure it's suitable for lace, before you embroider tens of lace pieces and
"find it out".
Whenever possible, we use ThreaDelight
Matching Bobbins & Top Polyester Thread
for making lace designs. It
works great. If your machine accepts L-size prewound bobbins - get yourself
matching color thread kit right away, because it'll save you plenty of time and
trouble, and your laces will look beautiful on both sides.
If you want to make especially soft and thin laces - you may use 60-wt bobbin
on both top & bottom sides. We've tried this and the effect is
3. A piece of quality fabric that sews well. Make sure it's not
stretchy, not slippery, and doesn't unravel easily. Cotton or linen-cotton
blend may be a good choice.
4. Prepare a pair of sharp scissors, some sewing pins, textile pencil
and of course, lace designs.
Warnings & Tips:
1. NEVER resize lace designs. Most chances are that you'll ruin them
completely. They are very sensitive to precision. While regular design may
resize ok, a resized lace design will most probably fall apart after you wash
away the water-soluble backing.
2. If you have new supplies (thread, stabilizer) - try them out first on
one small test design, to see if everything is ok. Stitch it, wash away the
water soluble and dry - just to see that your backing and thread are working
well together. Only then continue with your main project.
3. Sometimes, especially with dense lace designs, it may be difficult to
sew them together using embroidery machine. If you see it's the case - just
stitch them on manually.
Embroidering & Assembling Lace Elements with Plain Edges
In this tutorial you'll learn to make relatively complex
lace projects that include multiple lace elements with straight edges, which
must be assembled together.
As a result of reading through this article, you should be able to make any
project similar to this lovely Dantela lace placemat:
If you take a very close look at
the photo, you may notice that the lace frame around the placemat consists of
several pieces. They have all been embroidered separately (due to hoop size
limits). Then they've been assembled together and attached to fabric base. The
same applies to oval lace decoration in the middle. It was embroidered and then
sewn onto the fabric base.
Because the lace frame consists of corner and border elements, naturally you
can make it larger or smaller by inserting more (or less) border elements. You
decide about the size, and it's possible to make very large projects this way.
Just be sure to start from something small, to practice before you continue
with larger items.
Detailed Instruction for Making The Placemat:
Embroider all lace
that you will need for assembling the project, using 2-3 layers of
water-soluble fabric, on lowest speed your machine allows.
Attention: It may seem to you that one layer of strong WSB is enough.
Yet, many machines start breaking thread terribly, when only one layer on WSB
is used. We've noticed that often an extra layer of water-soluble just solves
this problem. So avoid trying to save an extra layer, even if your WSB is very
strong. And if you still see many thread breaks with 2 layers - try to add a
It's best to embroider each section in separate hoop. For each design, try to
pick up the smallest suitable hoop you can.
Make sure that hooped WSB can't move, even slightly. If your hoop is far from
perfect, and holds fabric badly - consider purchasing a new hoop with special
metal spins. This is quite a small expense that can take your embroidery to a
totally new level. Most machine dealers now carry those wonderful new hoops
with spins. As a temporary solution, you can wrap a paper towel around one hoop
frame, to add friction and prevent your backing from moving.
After you've stitched all lace pieces, cut away large edges of water-soluble
backing around each design, leaving about 1 inch from each side. Position the
laces on plain surface in correct order, like this:
WHILE THE WSB STILL THERE, position all lace pieces PRECISELY like
they should be on finished project, and attach them together, using sewing
3. Sew all pieces together on your sewing machine (use zigzag stitch).
4. When all frame details are attached, wash away the water-soluble
Be sure to wash it away carefully, without stretching or deforming the lace. If
you want the lace to be as soft as possible - you may even leave the item in
warm water for half an hour or so, to make all water soluble substance go away.
Once the backing dissolves, position the lace symmetrically on plain surface
covered by a towel, and straighten the lace with your fingers, to make sure it
gets back to it's ideal shape. Any deformation will be especially noticeable on
item that must be symmetric, so be thorough and careful when performing this
Let the lace dry. You may use iron & towel to speed up the process.
Attention: it's a good idea to wash away the backing at this early step
ONLY in certain cases. For example, this placemat project is large and it is
easier to continue working with it without the backing. In other cases, it may
be better to sew the lace parts to fabric while WSB is still there, and wash
away the backing only when the project is assembled completely.
5. Position the lace border over fabric base, mark the inside edges on
fabric using disappearing textile pencil, and cut away the edges leaving about
1/2 inch allowance around the marks, and pin the lace to fabric base.
6. Sew the lace frame onto the fabric base, using regular running
stitch. Use same thread color like on the design top. Use invisible thread ONLY
if you have absolutely no choice.
We've also noticed that 60wt bobbin thread works much better for this purpose
than regular 40wt embroidery thread. That's another reason to use prewound
color bobbins in same color like your top thread. You can then use the bobbin
on top, when sewing the lace to fabric base.
Repeat steps 4 to 6 with the lace medallion decoration.
7. Cut away the excess fabrics edges, and finish the edges on your
sewing machine, using small and relatively dense zigzag stitch, in following
If you'd like to get Dantela Table Lace, stabilizer or thread used in this
project - please visit these links:
Embroidering & Assembling Lace Elements with Curved Edges
In this tutorial you'll learn to connect lace
designs that consist of 2 or more parts with curved edges. You'll also learn to
attach the ready laces to garments.
As a result of reading through this article, you should be able to make any
project similar to this Irish stile guest towel:
Even if you examine the photo very
carefully, it's impossible to tell that this lace border consists of 2 pieces.
Yet, it does. We've divided it into two parts because it's too long for regular
5x7 hoop. And it's designed in such a way that you can easily connect the parts
after they're embroidered, and they will look like single design.
Below you'll learn to assemble this kind of "secret connect" laces.