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Sew Lace Overlays to Garment Sections

Add texture and detail with appliquéd panels
Threads #216, Winter 2021
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Lace overlays contribute texture and detail to garments without adding bulk to the seams. Pattern: Vogue 1713. Fabric: wool-blend bonded lace, MoodFabrics.com; cotton plain-weave, Walmart.

Give delicate lace fabrics an edgier application and incorporate them into more hard-wearing and functional styles. It’s easy to do by applying lace overlays with cutaway “reveals” along construction seams. You stitch the lace pieces inside the seamlines to garment sections before constructing the garment. With this large-scale appliqué technique, the garment seams appear to frame the lace panels, adding texture and a graphic element.  The technique also supports the lace without adding bulk to the seams.

You can appliqué lace panels on any garment you choose, but it works best on structured shapes. A full, gathered skirt or bias-cut design won’t accept lace panels as successfully as a sheath dress, structured jacket, or tailored coat. Select a garment fabric that has enough body to support the lace; a lightweight garment fabric doesn’t pair well with a heavier lace. If you want the garment fabric show through, choose lace with medium to large motifs with lots of open space. A solid-colored foundation fabric keeps the look chic and restrained. However, fabric with a simple print, such as a stripe or dot, could lend intrigue to the overall effect.

Cut the lace to follow the seamlines, as shown, or cut it following the outlines of motifs for a sophisticated effect. Design for your style. Are you restrained or extravagant? Apply a lace panel to only one or two areas of a garment, or splash it all over. Combine colors with lace and fabric, or go monochromatic and focus on texture. We applied a bonded wool lace to a princess-seamed jacket with multiple panels on the front and back for a warm, rustic look.

1. Cut the garment sections from fabric and lining, if applicable. Then cut the lace using the pattern pieces for the garment sections to which…

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