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seams on lace

rsolish | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I’m sewing a top made of lace (embroidary on fine net) it is with out any fabric underneath. which kind of seam should i use ? i heard that one shouldn’t use a french seam on curved seams-so what should i use?
thanks in Advance
Raya from Netanya


  1. carolfresia | | #1

    A good way to handle this is to make a lapped seam, in which the seamline is cut to follow the motifs on the lace. Lap one edge over the other and zigzag stitch along the cut edge that's on the outside of the garment, anchoring it to the other edge. Once the seam is sewn, you can trim away excess fabric from the inside of the garment. If you do this carefully, you hardly see the seam.


    1. rsolish | | #4

      that sound interesting Carol. but i'm not sure i got it
      where is the seam line? do you see the zig zag on the right side of the fabric?
      the lace i have has flowers embroidered and there all connected with backstitch design.thanks all for the wonderfull forum and great advice . it realy makes sewing soo much easier and mOre fun.
      from Netanya

      Edited 12/13/2005 2:43 am ET by rsolish

      1. carolfresia | | #7


        You need to thread-trace the seamlines throughout. Then when you overlap the fabric layers, you line up the seamlines. It's just that the cut edge of the seam allowance won't necessarily be straight and parallel to the seamline: instead, it will follow the motifs of the lace. Leave yourself a nice wide seam allowance outside of the seamline on both layers, then lap the top layer over the bottom layer, lining up the thread-traced seamline. Pin or baste it all together along the seamline. Now, the actual sewing that will hold the seam together is done by zigzagging through both layers somewhere in the seam allowance, following the edges of motifs or any other patterns within the lace that will conceal the zigzag stitches. Keep the stitches pretty small--you'll be surprised how easily they will blend right into the structure of the lace. After you've sewn the seam in this way, trim away excess lace close to the stitches on the top layer; trim the bottom layer, too, but leave a little extra there for stability. It's kind of like splicing the lace, rather than making a conventional seam.

        Now, this is a good technique for places where you really don't want an obvious seamline. In some areas of a garment (underarm seams on sleeves, armscye seams, etc.) it's hard to do the overlapping technique; a conventional seam with a nice seam finish (e.g., bind the seam allowances with organza or some very light fabric in a tone close to your skin color) will be relatively strong and invisible.


        1. rsolish | | #8

          Thank you soo much for the clear instructions!!
          i'll have to try that on a scrap before i do anything on the top.
          this is going to be a lace top which i'll be wearing over a plain top made out of lycra satin.
          hope it all comes togther nicelly.
          thanks again for all the help.

          1. carolfresia | | #9

            Laces can be very individual, so a test seam is a good idea. Some ravel, some don't, etc. Some stretch and don't need clipping because you can work with the natural give of the fabric, especially if you can keep the seam allowances pretty narrow. The top sounds lovely--good luck!


  2. lovemycottons | | #2

    You can use the french seam on the straight seams and the mock french seam on the curved seams such as the armhole.

    To sew a mock french seam you first sew a 5/8" seam, right sides together, like a regular seam. Press open. Then press in 1/4" on both sides so the seam allowance edges meet at the center stitching line. Next place the seam allowances back together again with the fold edges together and pin. Stitch. I found it was easier to hand stitch the seam allowance together.  The finished seam should resemble a french seam.

    1. rsolish | | #3

      thanks that sounds like a good idea.
      but what about the curves on the princess seam do they need to be clipped? is it possable with this seam?
      thank you for the advice.

      Edited 12/13/2005 2:42 am ET by rsolish

      1. lovemycottons | | #5

        So far I have only used the mock french seam where the sleeve connects to the armhole, but I don't see a problem clipping the seam if needed because I believe lace does not ravel.  (Please correct me if I am wrong)

        1. rsolish | | #6

          this lace is embrodery so that ravels a little.
          thank you

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