At the moment I’m making a DIY tape lace collar for my 1920s rayon chiffon dress. But instead of tape I’m using bobbin lace. This pretty 1920s dress with tape lace yoke and bertha collar and this original 1920s tape lace collar with bobbin lace were my main inspirations.
First I cut the shape of the collar out of paper. Then I drew the design freehand with a pencil.
Then I pinned the lace to the paper. I’m using vintage cotton valenciennes lace (sometimes also called maline lace) which was very popular in the 1920s.
It’s better to baste the lace to the paper. But I thought I’m experienced enough because it’s not my first lace collar – so I just pinned the lace down.
Now the tape lace collar is ready for sewing.
I’ve never made tape lace before but I found an old book about tape lace making: “The Priscilla Battenberg and point lace book; a collection of lace stitches with working directions for braid laces, 1919“.
I’m using fagoting stitches to join the lace together. Fagoting was very popular in the Edwardian era and the 1920s. Fagoting is really easy: here are 1920s instructions (with a picture) about how to make fagoting trim.
Here’s a short video that I shared on my instagram account @lina_sewhistorically of how I joined the lace with fagoting stitches.
For the dress, I used off-white rayon chiffon – a fabric that was already used in the 1920s. “Beautiful slip-on frock, developed in one of spring’s loveliest and most practical materials, rayon crepe.” (Description of a 1926 dress)
I just had some pieces of the fabric leftover from another dress, so I needed a decorative way to join the pieces together. I thought I’d use the fagoting stitch again. Fagoting by hand is really easy and so much fun – and the lace-like trim is so beautiful! “A good many years ago fashionable frocks were trimmed in yards and yards of fagoting. This season fagoted trimming has again found its place in the mode but in a decidedly simplified form.” (Ruth Wyeth Spears, 1920s)
Now all there’s left to do is pin and sew the DIY tape lace collar to the dress.