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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > hemming and dyeing a mostly-cotton lace fabric ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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hemming and dyeing a mostly-cotton lace fabric
any tips are appreciated!
kellyhogaboom
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kellyhogaboom
Washington USA
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Date: 4/19/13 3:43 AM

Hello! I just bought a 90% cotton lace fabric from Fabric.com. I'm going to make a simple LS, hooded dress for my daughter, as she finally grew out of a a similar style I made her a while back. I'm using the lace as an overlay on a rayon knit.

I have two questions.

First, I've not sewn with lace fabric. This fabric is a bit heavier than the website indicates. I will be using it as an overlay for the pieces of the dress, but the hem will swing free. I'm wondering the best way to hem the lace, in case I find that using the selvedge edge is not an option. I did a search on the PR boards, but the advice was a bit scanty so I thought I'd ask again.

Secondly, I would like to dye the edges of the lace. The fiber content is listed as "90% Cotton/7% Polyester/3% Lycra". I would like to hand-paint the edges, and yes I am happy to practice. But first, I'd love some advice on dyeing. I've done vat dyeing before, nothing else.

ANy help is appreciated!
-- Edited on 4/19/13 3:46 AM --

Debbie Lancaster
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Debbie Lancaster  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/20/13 12:44 PM

Are you looking for an ombre effect, or a banded effect? If banded, you might be better off cutting a strip and dyeing it separately. If ombre, then you could merely dip the edge of a dampened piece of fabric, and allow it to wick upwards.

Dharma Trading has lots of instructional material on fabric dyeing and painting: Dharma Trading techniques page

As far as hemming goes, you might be able to cut out the motifs from the lace and leave them raw, depending on whether the fabric ravels or not. Or you could sew it straight across to some hem tape using a very small seam, then turn it up. Or you could carefully zigzag around the motif with an underlay of some lightweight knit lining, then trim off the remainder, kind of like appliqué.
-- Edited on 4/20/13 12:51 PM --
-- Edited on 4/20/13 12:52 PM --

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Debbie

kellyhogaboom
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kellyhogaboom
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Date: 4/27/13 2:38 PM

@Debbie
Thank you so much for replying.

The fabric was such that the "motif" wasn't something that could be preserved once you cut it... it was more of a stretchy sweater knit than a true lace. Here are pictures of the finished dress including the dyeing (which I ended up confining to only one garment detail - and not the hems), and the use of the selvedge rather than hemming:

Axolotl Dress


Axolotl Dress


Axolotl Dress

-- Edited on 4/27/13 2:53 PM --
Debbie Lancaster
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Debbie Lancaster  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/27/13 3:52 PM

That looks great! It reminds me of Max's costume in "Where the Wild Things Are." It also does look rather like an axolotl with the frilly ears.

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Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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In reply to kellyhogaboom <<


Date: 4/27/13 9:29 PM

Oh my! That is awesome. Thank you for the photo. The dye job turned out great and the outfit is so cute!

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