It’s probably Sherry’s fault, posting that Ruby Slip pattern and then hosting the sewalong with all those yummy tips on sewing with lace. Filling my nightime fantasies with dreams of guipure and silk habotai…

Yeah, let’s go with that.

It might also be that pickings at my local thrift store have been slim lately. (Except for sewing machines. There’s been lots of those. But I binged out over Christmas. It’s going to have to be something REALLY special before I bring home another one. I promise.) Maybe I’m desperate.

Whatever the reason, last time I stopped by, they had bags of lace. Bags and bags of it. I resisted. I only brought home two.

I have kind of a love-hate relationship with lace. Similar to how I feel about 70s fashions, actually. The best is heavenly, ringing bells for elegance, texture, luxury—all kinds of things I love.

But a lot of it, especially of what’s in my price range, is, quite frankly, meh. And some of it’s truly, abhorrently awful.

And I have to say, a fair bit of this haul is in the latter two categories.

Wide lace

There’s one piece that’s quite wide. (Maybe wide enough that I could do a practice Ruby with just some piecing? Or three. There’s like four metres of it.) Unfortunately, it’s nasty-70s/80s-polyester-awful, and doesn’t even have a nice pattern, either. The next widest stuff is stretch lace. Sherry recommends against that for the Ruby (even if it were wide enough), but maybe there’s cheeky panty possibilities? At any rate, it’s quite pretty. (I tried to take a closeup but it didn’t work out and I’m too lazy to re-take.)

There’s another, 3″ wide stretch lace that I could see using as a band at the hem of a T-shirt or something.

My Fave

Strictly for looks, this one’s my favourite. I love the delicacy and the little silvery threads. I have absolutely no idea what I’d do with it.

Bit of pink

This one with the bit of pink is also pretty neat. And there’s quite a lot. What for? What for?


And then, there’s the bits. Why did anyone even save these? (Oh yeah, they’re a scrap hoarder like me. :P)

And yet…

And yet…

Ok, I might have an idea. It’s twee. Possibly cavity-inducing.

Idea. Also poorly photographed. /sigh

Good thing I have a ready supply of little girls. Although I’m not even going to try this until I have at least one more good pair for me, dammit.

Maybe lace on the pockets, too?



Filed under Sewing

48 responses to “Lace?!?

  1. I’m seeing lots and lots of half-slips. Or possibly a really frothy petticoat? Good luck with piecing that Ruby together!

  2. I have a similar lace stash. My MIL knows someone at “the lake” who was emptying the contents of her mothers home now that she is too frail to sew. There was a TON of lace and my MIL knows I like sewing lingerie and she does a lot of barbie clothing and some baby projects, so she took most of it. I picked out my favourites while I was in Manitoba last. But.. now I have it home and I haven’t the faintest idea what to do with half of it. I’m sure I’ll figure something out at some point. I don’t think any of the non-stretch is quite wide enough for Ruby, but I’d have to double check.

    Oh, I did put lace in a kick pleat of a skirt, that worked well, gave more freedome of movement on a short skirt but hid more skin and made it more work appropriate (or at least work comfortable, it wasn’t *that* short to be completely inappropriate) for me.

    • Can you use it for bras? The lace kick-pleat sounds nice. If I ever dare make a pencil skirt again… the last one I destroy every time I wear it. 😦

      • Most of the bra patterns I have use stretch lace. The stretch lace in the stash is all stretched out. Elastic does not age well. It will show up on lingerie at some point. I used some blue lace to bind the hem of the courderoy skirt. It might have been nice to bind all my hems like that in retrospect. It’s washed up well.

  3. holy crap drawing skillz batman!!

    Love the pants! I’m prepping in my head a way to use all our old knit – tshirt material clothes in a patchy way. 🙂 I don’t have a serger or anything, but that fabric doesn’t fray anyways,

    Love the lace – I also have bags and bags, And I would have bought more. 🙂

  4. It is amazing what we will buy when the thrift store has nothing really good.

    Is there any vintage bits in there, even small pieces? If so you can mount them on mat board and pop them in a frame and they have a kind of sampler effect. If they are all new, I got nothin.

  5. Yeah, lace. Lordy, save me! I’ve given away more bags of lace bits than I can remember, and yet…and yet….. I always end up with MORE! And I find use for maybe 6″ a year.

    It’s just so….so….enticing…… Especially the stuff that’s in the heavenly elegance category. Which, as you note, is usually in the minority.

    I need more little girls in my life. Girly girls.

  6. can any of it double as hem tape? I love lace too, but I’m in the same boat, so much of it is awful, and the really good stuff has the kind of price tag that would make me never ever wear it for fear of ..well, everything. I have a habit of bumping into corners and ripping things.

    those pants will be ridiculous, in an awesome way.

  7. I keep getting rid of my lace and it keeps creeping back into my life! I mean, the occasional lace — as an edging or hem tape or garnish — is lovely but expensive. The stuff that I invariably seem to collect? Bleah.

    I used to make doll clothes for resale and second-rate narrow lace actually worked beautifully for that. When I started sewing for myself, I sold off most of my lace collection. However, I’ve still got a drawer full of trims because they seem to multiply exponentially. Maybe they’re breeding?

    The lace jeans are adorable but strictly (I think) for the younger set. We’d look rather silly in them….

    • Hehe. Yeah… I’m pretty sure they could be the right costume, but failing that, I think I’ll keep it for the preschoolers.

      Maybe it’s like the stash theory, where if you don’t keep putting good stuff into a stash the nasty stuff multiplies and takes over?

  8. The bad lace is great for a kitten toy, though I suggest buying a kitten to find a use for the lace is probably a bit excessive. Ours has almost shredded the pale pink and blue plastic bits I found lurking in my notions drawer (eww, who bought that crap?!!).

    Sew it on the hem or cuffs for anything for the girls, until the beg you to stop. :o)

  9. Allison has a great idea – I use a lot of the lace I don’t really care for (and some that I do) to finish hems. And I’m liking your jeans idea….

  10. MMmmm lace. I keep wanting to put it into garments in weird or inappropriate ways, I think I’ll just have to start giving in soon…

    It’s lucky indeed you have two little test-dollies. 🙂 Though I’m sure they wouldn’t want to be called dollies- they’re Young Women…

    • Yeah, I don’t actually think I’d get away with these with either of my children (well, maybe if I used black denim and added some studs?)… I’m thinking nieces, but not before I get some feedback on fit and wearability of the pairs I made them after Christmas.

  11. That Ruby slip is so on my list of I want! I finally got my hands on some lace that will work on the top.. I had some silk I can use for the bottom…Now to find the time to sew it up!

  12. Cool!!! The jeans with lace would look great on a little girl. I like the slanted lines, it’s not “usual”. I’ve been trying to find lace for the Ruby slip, but so far nothing nice.

    • Yeah, there is much crud in the world of lace :(. I have a couple of sources in mind “locally”, but that involves driving clear across town and I haven’t found the time quite yet…

  13. Oh, ha ha. I clicked the larger version of the little girl and realized she’s holding a bunny, whereas at first I thought she had a claw hand. Oops.

    The little girl lacy jeans look fun! I got nothin for bitty scraps of pretty. Unless you give them to little girls to play with 🙂

    • LMAO! I knew it looked funny when I cropped it, but I was trying to give you guys a better view of the whole picture…

      “Giving to the kids” is a recognized and occasionally successful strategy for getting rid of undesirable fabric around here. Although it tends to come back in the form of annoying little scraps…

  14. Nice haul! I have the same mixed feelings about lace. So pretty! So confounding! What do you do with it?!

    Although you have a pretty good idea here. I love the patchy jeans edged in lace. (Nice sketch, too.) I was considering adding some lace along the pocket curve on a pair of trousers once, but A) like I need more bulk on the hip than I already have, and B) STILL HAVE YET TO BRAVE TROUSERS.

    For the wide stretch lace, you could make a pair of gotch where the waist band is the wide stretch. I have a pair like that and they’re ridonkulously comfortable. The great thing about it is if Grannie Panties are what you need to wear (because of your fat arse) like me, then at least they look a little bit less Grannie and slightly more sexy.

    Or to put it in geeky chemistry terms, neutral on the pH scale of panty, where acidic=Grannie and alkaline=Hot. Or something.

    Heh, think I just found a way to chart any new me-made gotch!


  15. excellent lacy pants… also, does that excellent design come with one taser hand?

  16. puu

    i love the lace on the jeans idea, and definitely a ruby slip or two.

  17. Nah, you can use stretch lace for the Ruby Slip – just make sure you stabilise the top of the skirt so it doesn’t stretch out on the bias there. My lace is stretch and it’s fine. In fact, I’m wearing it right now! omg.

  18. Sewista Fashionista

    I am a sucker for lace too. But sometimes it itches. So disappointing. I have visions of looking like some kind of Edwardian siren and I end up just wanting to scratch! LOL

    • Yeah, itching is not so good. I betcha genuine Edwardian lace would be either cotton or silk… totally not itchy! 🙂

      • Sewista Fashionista

        It may not be to your taste in TV viewing, but Downtown Abbey is worth checking out for the costumes! Basically an upstairs/downstairs style Edwardian soap opera – again, not for all markets. BUT the costumes, especially the lace, expensive, expensive lace. Just looking at the dowager-countess and her dresses makes me want to weep!

  19. I’ve made the Jalie 2568 lace cheeky panties with wide stretch lace – they’re awesome!

    So many good suggestions! Is it me or do others also suspect that bad lace and other icky trim multiplies once it’s in your stash? I have miles – MILES!!! – of hideous, it-came-from-the-80’s, sea foam green lace that I got as part of a mystery bundle. I swear there is more of it every time I unearth it! I will now use it as hem tape. Hooray.

    • LMAO! I’m picturing seafoam-green lace frothing boundlessly over your sewing room…

      I think seafoam (or other variations of aqua) look really smashing with red… 😉

  20. Love the sketch! I have a lot of lace too, both stretch and non-stretch, mostly bought with lingerie intentions. But I discovered that the cheaper stretch lace falls apart easily after repeated washing (though I suppose I could handwash my panties). I keep meaning to make either those Jalie lace panties or a Kwik Sew lace panty pattern I have.

    • Aww, thanks, coming from you that means a LOT! 🙂

      Yeah, there’s always the laundering factor. I used to be so good about hand-washing my delicate undies. Then I had kids…

  21. I love the one that is your fave too!
    If you use stretch lace for a Ruby Slip you might need to cut the lace slightly smaller, and as Melissa said make sure the midriff seam is stable. You could sew it and attach some 3mm elastic to the seam to draw it in a little if it stretches out too much.
    Good luck finding uses for the narrow stuff, don’t have much idea except hems, petticoat edging…

  22. LinB

    I have multitudinous bits and bobs of lace — some of it quite beautiful — that friends dump at my door “because you like to sew.” I dump it into an empty detergent bucket (260 loads for $11.something at Sam’s Club) and take it out and look at it every once in a while. It is so lovely, but I am so NOT a lace person! This was entirely unhelpful to you, and yet I felt compelled to tell you, lol.

  23. Amy

    I’m so with you, definitely a love/hate relationship for me. I’ve been looking at lace a lot lately and it so seems to veer into some kind of tacky when it’s cheap. I just need to understand it more… Thanks to my little bra adventures and the ruby slip I got a bit obsessed and just acquired a little mini-stash of lace. Good thing it’s mostly small stuff. For some reason the non-stretch with any kind of scalloped edge has been impossible to find. I should probably just dive in to the slip with the stretch lace now that I see the suggestions above.

    On the granny knickers front, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my other half kinda digs them. (With lace, of course.)

    And seriously, I love your illustrations and when you post them here…

  24. Pingback: A ruby in blue | Tanit-Isis Sews

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