Sometimes lace has to be attached to a gathered edge, such as on the sleeves or the neckline. In this tutorial I’ll show you how this was done in the Edwardian era: ‘The edge of the garment is sometimes rolled and whipped, to gather fulness to place, beading is then overhanded to the rolled edge and lace overhanded to the beading’ (Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction, 1916)
Whipped hem: Secure the sewing thread with some stitches. Roll the raw edge towards or away from you – depending on which you find easier. (The side where the roll is forming will be the wrong side of the fabric.) Sew overcasting stitches over the roll, never catching the roll itself with the stitches. When you’ve sewn some stitches, draw the thread tight to gather the fabric. Continue whipping the hem.
‘The raw edge of the material is rolled under and gathered at the same time. […]Fine material is more easily whipped than coarse. The ruffles should be cut from selvage to selvage as the warp threads can be rolled more easily than the woof.’ (A Sewing Course For Teachers, 1913) In the picture above I’m gathering a sleeve so the fabric isn’t cut straight.
When you’ve finished the whipped hem, draw the thread tight so that the gathered edge has the measurement you intended. Cut a piece of lace the same length.
On the right side of the fabric, attach the lace with tiny running stitches.
The lace may be sewed on with overhanding or running stitches: Educational Needlecraft (1911).
This makes a neat finish for a gathered edge.
Here you’ll find more of my lace tutorials.