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Stitching Multi-color Lace + Adding Fringe

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Machine embroidered freestanding lace is already pretty magical: embroider onto a piece of water-soluble stabilizer, then rinse to leave just the thread. Take your lace to the next level with designs specially digitized to stitch in multiple colors. These work basically like any other freestanding lace design, except you'll need to change colors partway through. Here's exactly how to make the magic happen...

Designs Used

First things first, jump over here for an overview of stitching freestanding lace. We'll cover the basics here, but it's good to have a stable foundation. Kind of like embroidery.

Ready? Excellent. To stitch your lace you'll need:

  • Heavy duty water-soluble stabilizer (we usually use Sulky Ultra Solvy)
  • Thread in each color you're going to use. Check the thread list for your specific design -- some of them specifically call for 100% cotton thread; others will do fine in regular rayon or polyester embroidery thread.
  • A bobbin for each thread color

Stitching multicolor lace is pretty much like stitching any other freestanding lace, except you'll need to change the thread partway through. So to get started, wind a bobbin in each thread color you're going to need. For each color, you'll use the same thread in the top and bobbin.

Put the bobbin for your first thread color into the machine, and thread the machine with the same color thread on top.

Hoop up a piece of heavy duty water-soluble stabilizer, nice and taut like a drum, in the smallest hoop possible for the design. For best results, we recommend stitching only one lace piece per hooping. Attach the hoop to your machine.

Start your machine stitching! We use a 75/11 sharp sewing needle to minimize perforations to the stabilizer. The first color of the design will stitch out...

After the first color is done stitching, carefully remove the hoop from the machine.

Take out the bobbin, and replace it with the bobbin full of the next color thread. Replace the machine's top thread with the next color as well.

Carefully re-attach the hoop to the machine.

Start your machine stitching again. The next part of the design will sew, connecting with what stitched before.

If the design calls for it, change colors as many more times as necessary. Once the final color has stitched, carefully remove the lace from the machine and un-hoop it.

Soak your lace to remove the stabilizer, according to the directions on your stabilizer package. Let your lace dry flat, then press it under a pressing cloth if needed.

Annnnd you're done! Put any finishing touches you like on your lace, and enjoy!

Some lace designs will have loops or openings along the outer edge where you can add a fun fringe effect to design.

To do this you will need: the finished free standing lace design, embroidery floss, a ruler, scissors, tweezers, and either a clean fine tooth comb or dry stiff bristled paint brush.

To make the fringe, start by taking a piece of embroidery floss and cutting it to size.

We cut the embroidery floss down to 4.5" inches. Be careful not to cut the floss too short as it will be folded in half. You can always make them too long and trim them once they are on the lace. The number of pieces you need will depend on how full you want the final fringe to look.

Being by folding a strand of the hand embroidery floss in half. Then feed the fold of the loop through the front of the lace desing's opening.

With the loop in place, use either your fingers or tweezers to pull the tails of the embroidery floss through the top of the loop.

Pull the tails taught and be sure that the ends remain even. 

Repeat to loop the hand embroidery floss around the bottom of the design until the fringe is as full as you would like.

Once the fringe is to your desiered thickness, use either the fine tooth comb or stiff bristle paint brush to comb out the embroidery floss and loosen the strands up. This will help the strands fall more neatly and create the desiered fringe effect.

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