Stitching free-standing lace can be fun and frustrating. Fun? Definitely because the results can be outstanding. Frustrating because the results are not always what you had hoped! The challenge lies in getting the outlines to align with the edges of the lace. Most likely, the lace will include a satin border that gives a clean finish to the lace. But after all those stitches are laid down, there is often a gap between the border and the lace. So frustrating!
Like I often do, I read the instructions which were’ hoop with water soluble stabilizer.’ I know from past experience that mesh-type water soluble would be a smarter choice than film-type. I also know that a standard hoop would probably grip the mesh-type water soluble firmly.
This image clearly shows where the lace has pulled in during the embroidery process. The satin border marches down the perimeter of the design but doesn’t meet the lace.
The problem is not in the digitizing because the digitizer took the proper steps in creating a base for both the lace and the satin edge. I watched the design stitch – it walked around the perimeter, moved on to the open fill, the decorated lace and finally the satin edge. But still the lace/stabilizer pulled in at the horizontal and vertical centers of the design. That’s a bummer, right? It took 70 minutes to stitch this panel and it was a lot of thread!
Was it worth it? Yes, it ignited my ‘discovery mode’. I was off to find a solution. My next attempt included adding a layer of tulle and another layer of mesh-type water soluble stabilizer in a standard hoop. I was certain that would fix it. Nope, didn’t make much difference, same problem.
I figured it was in the hooping. So I ‘McGyvered’ a solution. I hooped a rubberized mat in Snap Hoop Monster and placed it on a cutting mat. Then I cut open the sewing field with a rotary cutter. Since the cutter couldn’t get all the way to the edge of the hoop, I removed the hoop and trimmed the mat with scissors. Then I placed one layer of mesh-type water soluble stabilizer over the magnetic frame, then the rubberized mat and finally the metal frame.
Perfect! It stitched beautifully with no tulle and one layer of stabilizer.
I’m keeping the rubberized mat with the opening handy, I know I’ll be using it again in the future.
I was using a multi-needle machine but the same technique would work on a traditional machine. Place the water soluble stabilizer over the metal frame, the rubberized mat and then the magnetic top.
Top 3 Tips for Free-standing Lace
Slow the machine down.
Use mesh-type water soluble stabilizer.
Insert a layer of rubberized matting.
What’s your favorite ‘MacGyver’ trick?