How to Make a Lace-Trimmed Silk Scarfcomments (4) November 11th, 2009
by Judith Neukam
excerpted from CraftStylish Quick Stuff to Sew
"Framed in Lace" p. 39
For some time now, lace in a multitude of colors has been appearing on daywear, adding a fashion touch that’s feminine and fabulous. When you want a lightweight finished and lady-luxe edge, try lace. Here, we frame a sueded silk rectangle with lace to create an elegant scarf, but this same method would also look great on a skirt hem.
All this glamour is very easy to carry out. The fabric and lace you choose changes the way the finished scarf looks, but the steps are always the same and will work for any fabric you choose. Lace looks equally wonderful on print chiffon and plaid wool flannel.
What You'll Need:
- Lace trim, at least 3 inches wide, 1 yard longer than scarf circumference (MJTrim.com)
- Scarf fabric, 21⁄4 yards (BanksvilleDesignerFabrics.com)
- Sewing machine
- Thread, one to match the lace, one to match the scarf
- Optional: Duck-billed appliqué scissors (HavelsSewing.com)
Size it up
The scarf shown here started with a 77-inch by 18-inch rectangle; however, a tall person needs a longer scarf, and the fabric should be considered before you cut the width. A lightweight chiffon looks skimpy if it’s cut too narrow, and a soft, lofty wool fabric can overwhelm if it’s cut too wide.
1. Set the size. Measure a favorite scarf, or drape your measuring tape around your neck to decide the perfect length. Plan to make a long, narrow scarf at least 70 inches long. It is best to buy enough fabric to cut your scarf in one piece with the lengthwise grain of the fabric. This means you will usually have enough fabric for several scarves.
2. Cut the fabric. Make sure the fabric is on grain. Rip your fabric on the crossgrain an inch from the cut edge, or pull one thread and cut along the line it creates to get a straight start on both short sides. Experiment with your fabric to set the width before you cut. The nature of the fabric controls the best width to choose. Trim the selvage edge first. Next, gather the fabric with your hand to discover the width you prefer. Then, cut a straight line the length of the fabric.
3. Measure the edges. After you cut, measure the circumference of your fabric—the distance around all four sides. This helps you know how much lace you’ll need. You’ll need extra lace to miter the corners, so buy an extra yard.
4. Cut the lace. Every lace is unique. I used a 4-inch-wide Chantilly border with one straight edge and one scalloped. You can overlap the straight edge slightly over your fabric edge, or you can lap the entire lace over the fabric so the scalloped edge aligns with the fabric’s edge, as I did here. When the lace doesn’t have fabric under it, you see the pattern when light passes through it. When the lace is over the fabric, you see the fabric-backed pattern and any shapes that you trim in the fabric. Where you place the lace on the edge changes how long you will cut the lace. Cut a piece the length of the side plus three times the lace width for each side.
On your mark, get set, sew
You’re the maestro, but like any orchestration, you have to rehearse. You decided how to place your lace. Now, you decide where to sew it. Start with a few photocopies of your lace.
1. Experiment with your sewing line. On the sample, I stitched a line inside the scalloped edge—just enough to let some of the open lace show. Before you start sewing, you need to know which lace line you want to follow. Copy the lace and use a highlighter to try different versions. Several paths I could have used are shown above, including the one I chose.
2. Corner your lace. Position your lace with the corners overlapping and crossed. Sew the inside edge from the right side with a straight stitch 2.5mm long. Sew close to the edge, and pivot at the inside corner where the next lace strip crosses. Backstitch several stitches to begin and end the stitching. Turn the overlap from the short end under diagonally from the inside corner to the outside corner. Adjust the fold as needed to make a good-looking outside corner, and pin it in place. Topstitch along the fold, and trim the extra lace close to the stitching. Press, as shown at upper right.
3. Make the second pass. Sew the outside line you picked with your earlier experiments. Use either the same straight stitch or a narrow zigzag if your fabric is prone to ravel. You can also drop your feed dogs and free-motion sew along this edge if your fabric is not too stretchy. Match the thread to your lace.
4. Frame it. For the final touch, on the wrong side, trim the scarf fabric close to your last stitching line. Any sharp scissors will work, but duck-billed appliqué scissors help you avoid accidentally snipping into your lace.
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