I started looking at lace skirts last year and I really liked the way lace was being layered over solid colours. I like the contrast of different textures and patterns and the element of transparency. But I had never sewed with lace so I wasn’t sure how to proceed.
I pinned a few examples for inspirationWhite Tree Fabrics have a huge selection of lace and they supplied all the lace for the Sewing Bee pencil skirt challenge this week. I got a selection of samples and I chose this corded lace. I liked the texture of the corded flowers – for the colour I didn’t think twice, I am with Neil – if it’s lace it has to be black!
The lace I chose has a lot of body and I found that pleating it created too much volume at my waist – for an alternative with more drape that could be pleated or gathered I really like this lace.
For the inner skirt I wanted something quite slinky and I chose this crepe backed satin.
So I was looking for a simple shape without pleats or darts – similar to the black and white skirt above. I went back to my TNT skirt pattern – New Look 6843, which I have now made many times – see here and here. I went for View D which is a flared skirt with no darts.
I cut the skirt twice – in lace and again in crepe backed satin and sewed them as two separate skirts joined at the waistband. The satin had a tendency to fray so I serged around all the edges before sewing it together. The lace is actually quite sturdy and surprisingly solid when you cut it. I went for the very easy option and simply used the overlocker for all the seams – you will see the seams on the right side whatever you do but I think a french seam would have added too much bulk. The serged seam is narrow and holds everything together neatly. I had to adjust the tension slightly but apart from that I had no problems sewing the lace. I sewed a centred zipper into the satin underskirt and then secured the lace overskirt around the zip with handstitching.
For the outer hem I just cut the scalloped border from the edges of the lace and sewed it to the bottom of the overskirt using a narrow zigzag. This was a surprisingly easy solution though I doubt it would win any prizes on the sewing bee. The satin skirt was serged along the edge first and then turned up and machine stitched.
Overall I was surpised how easy this was to sew! I think that the heavier flowers really helped as it gives the stitches plenty to hold onto – much easier than trying to sew onto a more open lace pattern. It’s good to know that lace doesn’t always have to be tricky!
I received the fabric free of charge from White Tree Fabrics as part of their blog network. I provided pattern and notions and my own opinions.
So – who else has sewn with lace and how did you find it?