Saturday, July 16, 2011

1750 Court Gown, Part 2: The Gold Lace

The prominent trim on this gown is the gold lace.

As before, I've got higher res photos (and many more of them) on my website. Stop by here.

I made this lace using the embroidery attachment on my sewing machine. In machine embroidery parlance, this is called "freestanding lace," because it is embroidery that is not fixed to a fabric (hence, freestanding).

For thread I used Madeira FS Supertwist Gold 7. I used 50 weight because I wanted a fine, lightweight lace, but I started running short, so switched to 40 for the top and 50 for the bobbin.This heavier lace only made it onto the front of the petticoat and the very last repeat in the curving section you see above.

I must say, that the Madeira Supertwist was FANTASTIC. Through hours and hours (and hours) of stitching, it suffered very little breakage.As a freestanding lace it's a little stiff, but looks great.

There are three widths of lace on this dress:

Small lace along the top of the stomacher.
Medium lace along the open edge of the skirt.
Large lace along the skirt ruching.
The small and medium lace were digitized by Dainty Stitches, who I found at Secrets of Embroidery. To make the large lace, I took the medium lace pattern and added more scallops.

Test stitch-outs of the small and medium lace (on top of my
messy sewing notebook).
Test stitch-out of the large lace. I used machine sewing thread for
all these test stitch-outs.
What it looks like "in the hoop." The segments
get cut out and stitched together with a zig-zag
before they hit the water for soaking.
Pinning segments onto the sleeve flounces.
Because they needed to curve, I didn't connect
these segments beforehand.

Now, there is a problem with this lace: it's in the style of crochet lace.

Crochet lace wasn't developed until the 19th century.

OH WELL. I didn't have time to digitize lace from scratch, especially since I had never digitized lace before this. If I had had the time, I would have created some lovely punto in aria lace. Ultimately, only lace junkies and those who crochet a lot will notice. I used to crochet. To me, this is so obviously in the style of crochet. :(

And finally, just for giggles:
These are 5000 meter (5500 yard) spools.
40 weight on the left, 50 weight on the right.

After. Still have a lot of the 40, but the 50 is toast.


  1. Amazing! Thank you! I personally could never do what you have accomplished here, and I admire your diligence, knowledge, and skill~

  2. Stunning! It's wonderful to see someone else doing something fabulous with an embroidery machine. I know what you mean about the crochet style lace, but hopefully no one but you will ever care. It is so hard to find suitable patterns, and from a short distance I think I would be hard pressed to determine whether this was crochet or bobbin lace.