This tutorial will show you three different methods how lace was attached to fabric in the Edwardian era.
Sew the lace to the right side of the fabric with straight stitches.
Trim the raw edge of the fabric to about a 1/4 inch / 6 mm and fold it away from the lace.
Stitch it again with a straight stitch.
This method for sewing on lace was used for an Edwardian lingerie dress. The instructions can be found here School Sewing Based On Home Problems (1916).
Sew the lace to the right side of the fabric as in method 1. Then fold the raw edge in a narrow hem.
And again use a straight stitch for the hem.
This 1919 instructions use the method to quickly attach lace by machine: ‘Put the right side of the lace to the right side of the garment with the selvage of the lace toward the raw edge. […] Stitch the lace to the garment, stitching very close to the edge of the lace. […] Fold the lace back over the seam you have just stitched and crease the material firmly. […] Turn the garment inside out. At the edge of the lace, turn as narrow a hem as possible (1/8″ if the material will allow it). Cut away any surplus material. […] Stitch very close to the edge of the turn.’ (Garments For Girls, 1919).
Here‘s a similar 1911 method but for an insertion with the hem basted before sewing. Here the hem is hemmed by hand before the lace is attached with overhand or running stitches (Educational Needlecraft, 1911).
This surely is a secure way to attach lace but it creates a white shadow.
Method 3 (the prettiest, I think 😉 )
Sew on the lace leaving about 1/8 inch / 3 mm of the raw edge extending below the lace. This step is optional: You could also attach the lace and finish the raw edge in one step without first sewing the lace to the fabric.
Sew the raw edge ‘into a tiny roll with tightly drawn overcasting stitches’ (School Sewing Based On Home Problems, 1916). This makes a very pretty, secure, and hardly noticeable hem.
Here‘s a photograph of the process. The lace ‘may be set a scant one-eighth inch below the raw edge of the material and whipped to it. The edge has the appearance of being rolled.’ (Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction, 1916)
Here you’ll find more of my lace tutorials.
2 thoughts on “How To Attach Lace The Edwardian Way (3 Different Methods)”
I am concerned about attaching heavy lace (9inches wide) to linen for a church alter cloth. Msgr wants the lace to hang down from the edge of the alter with the linen just on the top of the alter and the lace showing down in front only.
Do I leave about 3/4 inch over the edge to attach the lace to and box the corners, or do l hand whip the lace to the edge of the linen which would probably have to be double so the edge would not ravel?
I would finish the linen fabric with a double-fold hem, either with a sewing machine or with hemstitching (drawn thread work) by hand. Then I would hand whip the lace to the hem with strong sewing thread: If the the lace is also linen, I would use linen sewing thread. Or instead of whip stitching, you could also attach the lace with fagoting stitches, like I did here.