Sewing with lace – a resource list

Beautiful lace at Britex Fabrics - csews.com

Last year Natalie Wiener, the notions manager at Britex Fabrics, gave the Bay Area Sewists a great overview of lace for our Learn about Lace meetup. (I’m the organizer for the group.) She also gave us a really helpful handout with links to lace tutorials and more on lace. I put a version of this list as a page under the Bay Area Sewists section of my blog but it was pretty bare bones – no photos and just URLs.

I think it deserves its own post. So I went through all the links to make sure they still worked, added the article titles, more info on sources and photos from the meetup. All the comments after the article titles are from Natalie, unless otherwise indicated in [brackets].

I took the photos at the Bay Area Sewists meetup at Britex Fabrics. Here are links to some of Britex’s lace fabrics and lace trims. (I wrote a recap of this fun meetup here.)

Recommended Tutorials for Working with Lace

General Lace Info

Eyelash fringe on lace - Britex Fabrics - csews.com

Seams and Finishes

Chantilly lace with roses and sequins - Britex Fabrics - csews.com

Embellishment with Lace (Applique, Insertion, etc.)

Heirloom Sewing

Lace at Britex Fabrics - csews.com

Patterns and Projects

Thank you for this great list, Natalie!

Lace tutorials - a resource list compiled by Natalie of Britex Fabrics - lace seams and finishes, lace embellishments, heirloom sewing, lingerie lace

 

How to Add a Patch Pocket to a Skirt – Tutorial

Patch pocket sewn in place

I started making this skirt (Butterick B5756) in August (how time flies!) using this cotton voile, which I got at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. I’m making version C but a little longer (mid-calf length), which has gathered fabric below the yoke. But this version doesn’t have pockets so I decided to add one. I didn’t think side pockets would work because I’m using a lightweight fabric and I thought it would put too much strain on the side seams. Plus I didn’t know how it would look with the gathering. So I decided to add a patch pocket and see if I could line it up with the fabric design, which I haven’t done before. Here’s my brief tutorial on how to add a patch pocket to a skirt.

B5756

This fabric has a rather large repeat design so I decided to make a pocket that would line up with the pattern.

I needed to determine its size. So I thought about:

  • the purpose of the pocket, how I would use it
  • the weight of the fabric and how it would look.

When I’m at work, I often go to a cafe around the corner and I pay with my phone using an app called LevelUp. So I  wanted something that could fit my iPhone and building access card. However, my fabric is lightweight and because the skirt would be gathered, I didn’t want it to gape too much. This meant the pocket couldn’t be too wide.

Also, I knew I would be placing the pocket below the yoke but near the gathering because I didn’t want it to be too low on the skirt. Thus my pocket is narrow (X inches wide finished) – about the width of one “family” (yes, that is a family in the design!) – and wide enough to fit my hand. The height was determined by the fabric design. The family was about 8 1/2 inched tall. I added an inch to that measurement.

So I drafted a pattern with rounded corners, which seemed appropriate for the fabric design. I made it big enough to fit my hand.

Patch pocket pattern

I cut out the fabric.

Patch pocket cut from fabric

Then I ironed a strip of 3/8 inch double-sided fusible tape (I like “ultra soft double sided fusible” by Design Plus) to reinforce the fabric around the sides and bottom of the pocket and to make it easy to fold over. It’s paper-backed on one side so you iron over the paper strip, fusing the other side to the fabric, then remove the strip, fold over the fabric and iron. It’s tacky enough so the fold easily stays in place.

Patch pocket reinforced with double-sided fusible tape

I folded it over about 1/4 inch, ironed it and then folded it another 1/4 inch. Though I think I could have made a little narrower – 1/8 inch. I folded (and ironed) the top over 1/2 inch and then another 1/2 inch. Then I sewed the top fold down and checked how it would fit on the skirt front.

Patch pocket lined up

Then I pinned and basted the pocket in place (big enough for my iPhone!).

Baste patch pocket in place

Finally I was ready to sew!

Patch pocket sewn in place

And it matches!

Have you added pockets to anything? Have you ever lined up pockets to your fabric’s design?
 

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The Search for Sewing Advice After Hours

Colette Patterns tutorials (left), BurdaStyle techniques, Threads Magazine How-to
Colette Patterns tutorials (left), BurdaStyle techniques (top right), Threads Magazine How-to

When I made a dress from BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern, I added my own adjustment to the pattern, such as lining the bodice of the dress. Though I had made a couple lined vests for my husband and lined a jacket, I hadn’t lined the bodice of a dress before. It had seemed like a simple thing but when I began to put the lining and fashion fabric together, I got confused. It was late at night so I couldn’t stop by my local fabric store for advice. Naturally I turned on my laptop and began my search for sewing advice.

I typed “how to line a dress” in Google and got a tutorial on How to Line a Sleeveless Dress on Blithe Stitches. This post had helpful photos and clear step-by-step instructions so I could easily figure it out.

The web is a great resource for sewing advice. Many sewing enthusiasts, designers, publications, and companies have sewing tutorials on their blogs and websites. So if you ever get stuck on something, fire up your computer and start your search. You’ll be amazed at the plethora of instructions, both written and video, out there.

A few of my go-to places for instructions and tips (in no particular order) are:

Colette Patterns Tutorials — Sarai Mittnick, Colette Patterns founder and designer, author of The Colette Sewing Handbook, covers a variety of topics, ranging from working with fabric to fitting and adjustments. She has a nice explanation on installing invisible zippers.

BurdaStyle’s Techniques section — If you click on “Resources” on the home page, you’ll see a wide array of sewing techniques and tips posted by BurdaStyle, members, Burda Style magazine, and others, including advice for beginners.

Threads Magazine‘s “How To” pages include everything from garment fitting to sewing techniques but some content isn’t accessible unless you are a “Threads Insider.”  To view those tips you need to join ($32.95/year for online membership or $12.95 for print subscribers).

Where do you get your online sewing tips?