Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

How to Finish Seams on Chantilly Lace

Chantilly lace is arguably the most beautiful of the laces we commonly use, but its delicacy can make it tricky to deal with. It can’t be manipulated the way alençon and guipure laces can because it’s not strong enough.

Placing it carefully is usually the best you can do. There are times, however, when seam allowances are visible and must be dealt with.

For more inspiration be sure to pick up the latest issue of Threads, and don’t miss other techniques like this one by ordering a print subscription which comes with FREE access to our tablet editions.

organza layered seam

Regular seams are difficult to use on lace, mostly because the seam allowances are so visible through the openings in the fabric.



Here’s a regular seam with two layers of Chantilly lace.


lace seam pressed open

The seam has been pressed open in this example. While it’s workable, it’s not really very pretty, nor very clean.


French seam

While French seams are an option, given the lighter weights of Chantilly lace, color can be a factor.


chantilly lace french seamed

Here is another look at a French seam. It’s not bad, but a dark stripe of colored lace might not be the best look.

Happily, there’s a solution to dealing with this issue.

My student Sylvia recently worked on a lovely dress with modern red Chantilly lace yoke and sleeves and a four-ply red silk crepe body. The sleeves were cut in one with the yoke, which meant there were seams in the lace from the shoulder down the top of the arm. This is normally not a problem, but any regular seam would have left visible seam allowances, and French seams wouldn’t have worked well, as the holes in the lace make the construction look messy.

I suggested we bind the seam allowances with strips of bias-cut silk organza dyed to match Sylvia’s skin tone.

Here’s the lace Sylvia chose. I love its modern look. While it’s somewhat firm, certainly firm enough to be used on the bodice without an underlayer, it’s not firm enough to overlap seams and create invisible seams the way we do with alençon and guipure laces.

Chantilly lace

A few samples show what we did. Seams were sewn as usual, but the lace was stitched slowly. The reason is that there’s so much air in lace that the machine threads can easily get snarled; there’s less chance of that happening if it is sewn slowly.

organza seam facing

We dyed silk organza with tea to match Sylvia’s skin and then cut it into 1-inch strips.

organza seam lining in place

The silk organza strip was carefully pinned into place.

chantilly lace

We then stitched.

The silk organza could have been stitched when the two layers of Chantilly lace were first joined, but I think things are a little firmer with that wide seam allowance. I find it makes it easier to place the organza accurately on the lace.

chantilly lace trimmed seam

The three seam allowances–two Chantilly lace, one organza–were trimmed to about 1/4 inch (though seam allowances could be narrower or wider.)

chantilly lace

The silk organza is carefully pressed toward the seam allowances.

organza facing for felled seam

The raw edge of the silk organza lines up with what will be the outer fold of the organza. In this case, seam allowances are about 1/4 inch. You’ll have to experiment to determine the width that works best.

seaming chantilly lace

The bias organza strip is pinned carefully into place; the silk organza shifts so easily, especially when cut on the bias, that you want to keep its grain under control.

seaming chantilly lace

seaming chantilly lace with organza

Small fell stitches hold the organza in place; they go through the seam allowances of the lace, but not all the way through to the other side.

seaming chantilly lace

chantilly lace with organza

The somewhat invisible seam allowance against a white cloth . . .

organza layered seam

Against my arm, the seam allowances disappear, just as they did in Sylvia’s dress.

And there you have it! What other methods have you used to seam Chantilily lace or other delicate lace fabrics?


Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in


  1. user-2794933 | | #1

    This is just what I needed today! Great idea! Brilliant!

  2. cherylc | | #2

    The only time I sewed a chantilly lace I overlapped the pattern and had sewed it so the seam would be invisitble. If you were worried about tension on the seam you could underlay it with skin coloured sild organza as you sewed

  3. jokevelema | | #3

    This is a wonderful solution. I often work with lace but have not thought about this at all. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. cynsew | | #4

    Beautiful solution!! We can always count on Susan.

  5. MarieV61 | | #5

    Just brilliant! To all intents and purposes it really is invisible! You really have to be looking hard to see the seam allowance. What a wonderful solution!

  6. psfws1963 | | #6

    "Good idea." It would make a really pretty sweater or shawl. Keep giving me ideas.

  7. User avater
    yourwildestseams | | #7

    One more method that is very discreet yet extremely strong: set your serger (if you have one) for a rolled hem, and join/finish your seam all at once. This seals in those edges that ravel and the small stitches really reinforce the 'open' areas of the lace motif. Play around with your settings - I like to ease up on all tensions and lengthen my stitch, so delicate things won't pucker. May not work in every case, but I never worry about these laces pulling apart!

  8. KiwiLee | | #8

    To YourWildestDreams: Great tip! I tried it, and found that with extremely open areas of lace it worked better with a little strip of tearaway or dissolvable stabiliser under it. It just held things together better.

  9. justwilli | | #9

    great idea, thanks for sharing.

  10. Simsal | | #10

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

  11. user-7420670 | | #11

    Would this work with eye let lace / broderie anglslaise?

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All