Linen centres, mounting stitches, lace extensions, adhesive backed velour, irregular shapes, baby’s bonnet wedding handky, double sided tape, ribbon frame, washing and not using velcro dots.
Fitting linen into centre of lace
I always mount the lace, and trim away the excess afterwards. That way the fabric fits the lace perfectly! I have not had experience with Armenian lace, but presume it would be about the same. – Though, I had a look at the book last year, and seem to remember that she worked directly onto the fabric for some articles.
Hem the fabric. Ideally hemstitched with drawn thread work, but gee whiskers! Then you butt the edge of the lace up against the fabric hem the way you want it, so the lace is facing you. You can sort of pin it in place, just very, very close to the edge. Anchor your thread. You go right to left, unless you are left handed. Tricky bit. On your next anchor stitch instead of going right through the hem, bring the needle through it in between the two layers and out along the crease of the hem. Catch your lace edge from the bottom coming up. Then take your needle straight back so it’s at right angles to your hem edge and make a small stitch going straight through the hem. Do the same again, but instead of going all the way through your two layers again, go in between, and come out about 2mm from your last stitch. It’s the same sort of feel to hemstitching. I use it on all my tea towels, with a commercial rolled hem, and have used it on a hankie for fine tatting. It’s really neat and fast, and you can use a contrast colour if you want to make a feature of it. If the hemming is a bit ordinary, I use a leftover thread from the lace and embroider a fast design over it, like chain st or whipped running st to cover it up. I tend to think if it looks bad, cover it up and draw attention to it.
I have finished my 80/2 hanky edging and have it half pinstitched on but am a
bit concerned that it will not hold very well. The fabric is very fine batiste I think.
Would it be best to roll a small hem inside the pinstitching? Or should I just cut
it away and hope for the best? It is one of my major works for my proficiencies
‘Torchon 1’ and I do not want to make a mess of it.
I would say no, don’t roll it as it will get too thick and the lace will not sit flat against
the hanky! I think you would not be able to get a nice 3 sided stitch or hem stitch
after rolling the edge either. Especially if it is for a proficiency. Tell you what I do,
and it works really well, Draw threads to make sure you get it square, then tack
on your lace, trim away most of the excess cloth, leaving about 3/4 inch. Now
do 3 sided stitch through the single layer of cloth, when that is completed, fold
the excess cloth down over the newly worked 3 side stiches taking care to get
the corners very neat, Now work a second row of 3 sided stitches, using the
same pin holes you used for the first row. Now you only need to trim off the
excess cloth and it is done. Hope this is of help.
When you have finished your first row of pinstitching, do a second row, using the holes you just made with the first row to go into. Fold the fabric under with your left hand as you go so you should have a little reinforced hem about 2mm all around. Then you snip it away very carefully! It will stand up to laundering okay.
When I have pinstitched an edge onto fabric, after finishing the pinstitching I
have carefully (and evenly) cut away the excess material and worked a close blanket (about 1 to 2 mm apart) on the raw edge, stands up to a lot of careful washing
You could try Three-Sided Stitch, which works well when mounting oval or circular lace. It is very strong – you can trim the excess fabric away and it should hold. Use a firmly-woven fabric, and tack carefully before starting.
One lady who did lovely work and is otherwise unknown (sorry fellas, but I assume lady by its age and technique) put a feather stitch over the top of her machined rolled hem after she attached a piece of knitted lace with a slip stitch.
I was unsure of your advice on sewing lace to material so here is one of those dumb questions…..do you use two threads to the double needle or just one thread and the second needle is for ‘hole making’. ”
You use two needle threads (the needle has a single shank which goes into the needle holder of the machine as normal) and one bobbin thread – in other words you need to have two spool holders and tension discs that will take a thread either side – now that sounds as clear as mud! The bobbin thread creates a zig zag which creates a nicely rounded hem.
I am finding that I am definitely NOT enjoying hand sewing my lace onto linen.
Does any Gumnut have suggestions regarding using a hemstitch needle. How
do I go about hemstitching with the wing needle the edge of my hankies?? I am
OK with the double crochet then slip stitching the lace on.
If you don’t want to use a wing needle, you can use a number 120, it is quite
thick and often recommended at my heirloom sewing class, depending on
your machine, my teacher recommends a 2.5 length and 2.5 width for fixing
all the laces. I used it to fix the silk lace I made onto the Christening gown.
If you have commercially hemstitched hankies, it is easier to just crochet around and the just slip stitch as you say but if you are using a piece of hanky linen DO NOT machine hemstitch it. In this latter case, I tack the lace onto the linen. Then I stitch the lace onto the linen, the stitch I use isn’t a hemstitch though, I think it is pin stitch, it was in a book on mounting lace. The best needle that I’ve found is a small quilting needle I think it is a ‘sharp’ big eye, short in length and not very thick relative to its length. Another good type is a fine crewel. Once the lace is stitched on, cut the fabric away, if it was very fine linen you can cut it right up to the lace, if it is a bit thicker you can then turn a fine hem or better still turn the fabric over and do a row of 3 sided stitch similar to pulled fabric work. It really does lift the lace,
The lace is pin-stitched, right side up, to the fabric, along the line of a drawn thread, along all four sides. You then draw a thread 1/4 inch inside this, and another 1/2 inch outside this. You cut along this outer line, pinch press a hem and tack it, then pin stitch on the wrong side along the drawn thread line into the hem. It’s not hemstitching as such. It’s pin stitch done over just 4 or 5 strands of thread (in this instance).
For the one bobbin lace edge for a hanky I have made, I cut, drew threads and hem stitched the hanky as I was attaching the lace. I pre-cut the linen to be about an inch larger than the lace frame and then sewed it all up as I went along. The result was pleasing in that the lace and the hanky fitted each other.
My preference is to hemstitch the hanky first, then attach the lace. I loosely pin the lace to the fabric first, to get the size right, and pull out one or two threads to get a nice straight line. And then, Liz, I attach the lace at every footside pinhole. Never found it particularly tedious (maybe because I usually don’t use really superfine thread), and I like the look of it.
Actually, In the books on mounting, – and the way I was originally taught, – was to do each stitch twice, – but I find that too bulky, so I only do each stitch once!
I also mounted one piece with the “satin stitch” method (or whatever they call it). Fold the fabric along the stitch line, lay the lace alongside/behind the fold – with the foot stitch next to the fold, and overcast like close satin stitch through the 3 layers (1 layer lace, 2 layers fabric) They also say lay a cord (doubled thread) along, – but I found I did not have enough hands for that!!! so I omitted it, and just stitched it with small stitches Very Very close to each other. When done, open out the fabric along the stitching, and rub a thimble along it to flatten it out, then trim away the excess fabric – very carefully, as usual!! -from behind the lace. You just have to make sure the right side of the lace will end up with the right side of the fabric centre when completed!!! 🙂 That piece has been through the washing machine, many times over the last 26 years, – and is still as firmly stitched as when I first did it!
Paris Stitch variation
I use Paris stitch when I have a footside or straight edge. To do Paris stitch you need a hem, because you can’t do another stitching row inside it. I have used it on a rolled hem, a spoke stitched hem and a four sided stitch hem. If you are confident to sew it on without distorting it just join lace to fabric as you go, but for a piece with corners I would tack the lace and the hemmed fabric in place on a piece of brown paper, then start sewing.Now anchor your thread for sewing somewhere about 4cms away from a corner with three small stitches on top of each other catching the edge of the footside as you work. I use the lace thread if possible to sew it, it looks better. If it doesn’t seem to be working, change to a finer thread in the same colour. Try not to split the lace threads, come up in a pinhole or where there is a gap. After your anchor stitches, do one more stitch through your fabric, up through the lace then down on the other side of the stitch, but don’t pull the needle through. This is where you move forward. You need to get the point of the needle going (\ that way )diagonally but not such a steep angle and about 2-3mm forward of your anchor stitches and under your lace so it catches the edge as you come up again. Come up through the fabric and lace and do one stitch like your anchor stitch (1 that way) and come up in the same place through your lace edge. Do another stitch over the top of it, then down again on one side ready to move forward again.
It should look sort of like this at the front:
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
with the lace under the ones.
On the back it should look like this:
with the lace under the ones and not such a steep angle.
Keep moving along the edge till you get right into the corner then turn the fabric and keep going. It is easier to work if you have the fabric on your right and lace on your left so you are working your stitches towards you, but it’s harder to describe that way. Turn it this way once you have worked it out. Finished.
Pin then tack your lace firmly to the fabric. You need a square of fabric about 3cm bigger than your centre gap all around and it needs to be centred. To make sure it is accurately centred you tack across the fabric right through the middle up/down and side/side with blue threads so they cross at right angles in the middle, then line those threads up with your centre motif/fan/lozenge/whatever of your lace edging. Keep your tacking stitches holding your lace close to the edge of your lace. Anchor your thread with three stitches on top of each other lengthwise down the fabric.
Take your needle point down through the back of the stitch and move forward about 2mm on an angle to come up just inside the edge of the lace and bring the needle up through fabric and lace. You should be level with the front of the stitch so insert your needlepoint into the front hole of the stitch rotate your hand and bring the point of the needle out 2mm in front along the line of stitching. This is the end of your next stitch. Backstitch once and pull firmly. Down through the back of the stitch again and up
under the lace again. This is a pulled fabric stitch so it should be worked very tight.
Once you get all the way around, and back to where you started you start the next step. With your fingers turn the fabric back under itself and hold/pin/tack it in place. You get a much nicer and firmer edge if this fold is very firm. Now you work a second row of pinstitch inside the first row. Instead of going up through the lace footside, you go up through the inside hole of the previous row of pin stitch. Miss a stitch in the corner so you can turn.
Once you are all the way around for the second time, anchor your stitches with three on top of each other again and cut off your thread.
Now turn over the whole thing. You should see this on the back
1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\inside row of stitches
1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\1\outside row of stitches
Now the really scary bit. Carefully, carefully, carefully trim the fabric back to within 1mm of the inside row of stitches.
It will hold well and launder well and it does look nice.
Pamela Nottinghams book the technique of bobbin lace has a chapter on mounting lace using pin stitch or another stitch called 3 sided stitch. pg 176 in my copy has details on how to attach to a hanky.
Having been prompted by all your terrific proficiency achievers to have a go at Torchon Stage 2, I’ve got a question: Under the heading “Methods of starting and finishing”, what is meant by a “lace extension”?
Lace extension, This may be difficult to explain, but I will give it a shot.
It is not unlike creating an extra section on a piece of lace. You will need
to be able to fold the extended piece under the end of the original lace
you made. The extension is actually more of the same lace pattern, so
that when you fold it under as, say a hem, the pattern needs to match
exactly so you can not see it from the top
Adhesive backed velour
It was suggested that the lace “should” just stick to the velour. Julie
Thomson who does some of the best hardanger I have ever seen, uses
it in small frames and the lace/embroidery seems to just sit. I found when
I used it behind my spider sampler, that I needed to couch down at the
corners to keep the darn thing steady
Ribbon braid for frames
It is a length of narrow ribbon. You need 9 times the finished length.
Fold it in half – like the Breast cancer ‘loop’ (If you know what I mean)
Then take the end in the front of the cross-over, and pass it , in a loop
from the back to the front through the first loop, and tension the first
loop. Then take the other end (now the front cross-over) and loop it through
the 2nd loop, and so on — Very much like finger knitting – that sort of
It is easy when you get the knack. I use 3 – 5mm ribbon. This blue ribbon
was a grosgrain one, and gives a different texture. You need double sided
ribbon, really, so there is not a right and wrong side of it.
Have been looking through some lace books deciding what to do next. Does
anyone have any tips for attaching fabric to lace when the footside is an irregular
shape eg. stepped as in handkerchief or circular as in mat. Last one I did
puckered a bit.
I lay the material out flat, without stretching or pulling on it, place the piece
of lace over the top, and pin, securely, but lightly,…again avoiding stretching
the material. Then, hopefully with an equally light touch, tack it all into place
quite close to the footside. Then stitch it in place. The whole process
involves thinking “pastry…..pastry…..” in other words, light touch, and
don’t pull on anything too tight – especially the cross-grain of the material!!
I have done this too and it’s very successful. I usually pin the fabric under
the lace for irregular shapes, pin stitch one row to anchor it, then cut
away the fabric under the lace and pinstitch again folding the cut edge
under. Ruth’s right about being gentle because when it is on the cross
it can distort very easily.
I agree with everything Ruth said, just would like to add that I draw the
shape on brown paper and then put the material on top and then the lace,
tack the lot before pin stitching.
I’ve come up with what seems to work for me to mount an irregular shape. I trace the footside from the pricking, allowing a little for shrinkage, onto tissue paper. I then tack the tissue paper to the fabric both sides of the drawn line, then machine stitch along the drawn line in a thread matching the fabric. Tear the tissue paper away. This gives a strong, firm foundation line for hand sewing the lace to the fabric.
Baby’s Bonnet/Wedding Hanky
In my old tatting days, I bought a great batch of pure fine linen hankies from Hornsbys in the UK – all with a lovely real spoke stitch edge ready for a row of crochet before attaching one’s lace. I bought several sizes, including one of the largest available, which is 28 cm (11 inches) by 28 cm in size.
It’s large for a lady’s hanky, but not as big as a man’s hanky. With a nice deep edge of 3 to 4 cm (like my Cooma Kiss), it is large enough to use for a baby bonnet. I know it is big enough, I’ve tried it out on a real baby!
The instructions I got off a tatting site on the web many years ago called for a base hanky 10 inches by 10 inches, so I think this would be the minimum size suitable. It’s only suitable for a newborn – if they leave it a couple of months for the christening, it’s no good for that. I warn recipients about this at the time.
A baby bonnet/wedding hanky is definitely NOT an item to use a small centre for to try to get the lace done quickly. And because these hankies are rare to buy, and you would usually have to mount your lace by hand, you’ve got to be dedicated enough to be prepared to tackle that, too. It’s a really special gift – I’ve only ever made three, and it would take a very, very special baby to make me want to make another!
Double sided tape
When mounting a piece of tapelace onto card -to be framed- Do I use the
double-sided tape used for photos? or does the piece need to be tacked
onto the card?
I always tack, I don’t trust double sided taped, especially not in the heat out here. Besides, if I ever wanted to take it out of the frame and use it I think the tape would leave a residue, or a least pull threads out of kilter if you removed it.
I’m about to start attaching my tatting (in size 50 mercerised crochet cotton) onto a linen handkerchief. Should I wash it first (would it shrink at a different rate than the cotton thread is my question) and what is the best sort of soap, lux flakes? Is it enough to just dip it in the soapy solution for a minute and then rinse well and then iron while slightly damp?
Some time ago someone mentioned that the pockets in a proficiency folio could be closed with Velcro dots. It sounded like a great idea, but I have just seen a huge amount of damage done to a piece of lace that had the misfortune to get hooked onto the rough piece of the Velcro while it was being removed from the plastic sleeve. So please be warned. Stick to paper clips. It is safer by far! (And heaps less painful)
Watch out for staples, too – I sent some lace off last year for a display/competition, all neatly rolled in tissue and in a cylindrical mailing tube – when it came back, the cap had been stapled on, and in my haste (mea culpa) to get the items out, I snagged a thread of a very intricate mat quite badly.
To get a gathered corner to sit flat, you need twice the width of the lace edge times four corners plus a few repeats to line up your repeats on either side of the corner.
I don’t know the glue you mention, but I would read the small print very carefully. The glue needs to be acid-free (neutral pH), and soluble in water so that the lace can be removed later if you wish. It is important that it is acid-free, so that it doesn’t damage or discolour the thread, which can happen over time. I would suggest glueing a small scrap of lace onto a piece of wood, leaving it for a day or two; you can then press a wettish sponge onto it to see if you can remove the lace safely.
The question of whether or not to glue lace onto fansticks is one that vexes lacemakers after all the time and effort they have put in to making the lace. For my own fans, I thought I was going to sew through the little holes rather than glue, but then found that the holes were generally in the wrong places, and there was a danger of splitting the wood if I tried to make more holes; also it was difficult to get the lace to lie flat. I have had the best results by following Ann Collier’s instructions – glueing, then applying a little heat with the tip of a dry iron. She has mounted over 100 lace fans, so has a lot of experience!
You can line the lace or not (Christine Springett has directions in her video/DVD). You can also pleat it, pressing in the pleats with an iron; if you are going to use the fan, folding and unfolding it, you may like to do this (see Christine Springett). If, however, you are going to mount the fan open on a covered mounting board, it will probably look better without the pleats.
I use Wallpaper glue, which will soften/dissolve if I want to remove the leaf from the sticks later on. I glue the sticks – all of them, and do each one individually and place the lace on each one as I glue it. I also stitch through the holes. Glueing and stitching will hold the lace along the sticks more smoothly, I think. (personal opinion!)