How To Attach Lace To Gathered Edge – Historical Sewing

How To Attach Lace To Gathered Edge Roll Whip Historical Heirloom Sewing Edwardian Step By Step Tutorial

Learn how to attach lace to a whipped hem. This tutorial to whip lace to fabric is from the Edwardian era. But you can still use it today for heirloom sewing and other fine hand-sewn garments. If you want to attach lace to a gathered edge at the neckline, lace cuffs to puff sleeves or a lace waistband to a skirt: this is the tutorial for you!

‘The edge of the garment is sometimes rolled and whipped, to gather fulness to place, beading [lace] is then overhanded to the rolled edge’ (Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction, 1916).

Related: How To Make Edwardian Lace Applique

How To Attach Lace To Gathered Edge

Step 1: Roll & Whip The Hem

Secure the sewing thread with a few stitches. Roll the raw edge towards you or away from you – whichever is easier for you. The side where the roll forms is the wrong side of the fabric.

Sew overcast stitches over the roll without piercing the roll. After a few stitches, pull the thread tight to gather the fabric. Then continue to whip the hem.

Related: Overhand, Overcast, Hem & Whip Stitch – What’s The Difference

When you whipped the whole length, pull the thread tight to gather the edge to the desired length. Cut a piece of lace the same length.

Related: How To Join Lace – Invisible Seam

In this tutorial I’m gathering the sleeve of my Edwardian lingerie dress: so the fabric isn’t cut straight – it’s cut in a curve.

‘Move (whip) the needle from the back to the front in a slanting direction clear under the roll, […] stitch and keep the thread quite easy. Test the work by drawing the material up every three-quarter inch. (If the needle come through the roll it is fatal, as the frill will not draw up and the thread breaks.)’ (Educational Needlecraft, 1911) ‘Fine material is more easily whipped than coarse.’ (A Sewing Course For Teachers, 1913)

Related: 5 Ways To Attach Ruffles

Step 2: Attach The Lace

Now turn the fabric to the right side. And attach the lace with closely spaced overhand or running stitches.

Related: 6 Ways How To Insert Lace – Heirloom Sewing

‘Strong, simple-patterned […] lace […] should be over-seamed. It is of no consequence whether this be done on right or wrong side. Very fine or very narrow lace may be laid flat on the article and run.’ (Educational Needlecraft, 1911)

Related: 4 Edwardian Camisoles Made With Lace & Fabric Scraps

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