Learn how to replicate vintage details to take garments from simple to stunning. Use a pre-made or purchased camisole.
Though lace appliqué is mainly used on wedding dresses and lingerie today, it’s a great way to dress up any garment. Choose lace to match the garment, add contrast or bring out a color in a cotton print to add depth to your color scheme.
There are myriad types of lace available. For the featured project, lace fabric using the needle lace technique was chosen because of its similarity to the original garments and because the raised edges around the motifs add 3D texture and depth to the finished tunic. Needle lace was traditionally sewn onto a netting base using various stitches to create raised surfaces, outlines and motifs. Flat lace yardage, vintage crocheted doilies and freestanding appliqués may also be used.
Sprinkle lace appliqués along a tank top for a sweet vintage touch.
• Tank top pattern (such as
• Fabric (type and amount according to pattern envelope)
• 1⁄4 yard of lace fabric
• All-purpose thread to match
garment & lace
• Lightweight tear-away stabilizer (See “Sources.”)
Construct the tank top according to the pattern guidesheet.
Pre-wash and press the lace using a warm iron and press cloth. If needed, spray the lace with starch and press to help stiffen it prior to cuttingout motifs.
Determine which motifs from the lace fabric to use on the tank. In the featured sample, a variety of flower motifs were cut from the lace fabric.
Using small, sharp scissors, cut out the desired lace motifs, cutting close to the motif edges and trimming away any extra threads. If the lace ravels, dab a bit of seam sealant onto the fraying edge.
Let dry before pressing, trimming again, or sewing.
Audition the lace motif placements along one side of the tank. Cut stabilizer pieces slightly larger than each lace motif. Lightly spray the tank with starch wherever a lace motif will be placed. Pin the lace motifs in place.
Thread the machine with thread to match the lace motifs. Select a narrow zigzag stitch. Place the tear-away stabilizer on the fabric wrong side behind the motifs; pin. Stitch each motif perimeter to the tank.
Stitch slowly to more easily go around curves. End with the needle down to pivot around sharp angles. Leave long thread tails at the stitching end.
Bring the thread tails to the wrong side, tie them off and trim. Gently remove the stabilizer.
- Kate Vardijan