lace shaping

For this lesson we will be working with the skirt pieces—one skirt front and two skirt backs and your lace insertion. Are you ready to learn lace shaping? Lace curves and miters, here we come! Let’s get started.

Download a printable version of this lesson here.

Other lessons available here: Lesson 1, Lesson 3, and Lesson 4. 

Read All Directions Before Starting

1. Stitch skirt side seams in place, joining front skirt to each back skirt. Do NOT sew center back seam. Sew French seams or use any seam finish suggested in the pattern directions.

2. Spray starch the bottom 6-inches of the skirt and press until dry. Fabric must be “crisp” for the upcoming techniques. Lightly press a vertical crease at front center.

3. The skirt features a shaped lace loop and multiple scallops. Of course, for your next dress or gown you may decide to use only the loop or only the scallops or any combination of loops and scallops. You may also simply insert the lace straight across the width of the skirt, parallel to the hemline for a more tailored look. Once you learn these lace techniques, the possibilities are endless.

4. Print the hem template and tape the pages together as shown in the legend found on the printed pages of the template and at the bottom of this page. Place the template under the skirt with the lower edge of the skirt on the “place edge of skirt here” line and the loop centered on the vertical crease. Pin in place to secure and trace the template lines with a washout marker.

5. When tracing lace template lines, trace both lines of the loop but only the lower line of the scallops. Start tracing the template at the center loop, then trace to each side of the loop continuing to the side seam. Trace the miter lines that extend past the points of the scallops. The scallop at each side seam should “half” the seam.

Photo 1

If the template is a bit too small or too large, adjust at the side seams making sure the scallop points on each side of the side seam are of equal distance. Continue tracing the scallops along each skirt back extending the lace lines to the back edges of the fabric. The template should end ⅝-inches from the back edge of the skirt.

Checking Your Washout Fabric Marker for Eraseability

On a scrap of your dress fabric, draw a nice size mark with your fabric marker. Starch and press with a hot iron (cotton setting). Repeat the marking and pressing several times. Soak the scrap in water only, no detergent (detergent in the water sometimes sets the marks). Did the marks disappear? If so, that is a good fabric marker to use with this technique.

NOTE: If you have more than ⅝-inches beyond the end of the template, simply place the skirt pattern on the skirt and recut the back edge of each skirt piece. If there is less than ⅝” beyond the end of the template, then make a note that a smaller seam will be required at the center back. Do not stitch the back seam until indicated in the directions.

Tracing Tips: Instead of tracing with a solid line, trace using dots and dashes. This will not use as much ink and will not take as long to trace. Tracing the miter lines at the scallop point will help greatly when stitching. A solid line was used in the step-out photos for better visibility. For this lesson, we will be working with the skirt pieces—one skirt front and two skirt backs and your lace insertion.

Download the Hem Template