A beautiful way to finish the edges of a garment and apply a special touch is to add a touch of lace. In this tutorial I am going to walk you through what is known as a "roll and whip" in the heirloom sewing world, and in particular how to attach the crochet lace carried in the shop. A roll and whip was originally a method used to finish an edge by hand on an heirloom garment. The method works best on a natural fiber (polyester doesn't like to roll and whip), and preferably on the straight or cross-grain of the fabric (although I have managed on a slight curve.) The method was adapted to machine sewing and that is the method used for this tutorial.
Set your machine to a zig zag stitch and find a scrap of lace and fabric to practice on. Arrange your fabric and lace with right sides together, the lace on top, and the edge of the lace 1/8 inch from the edge of the fabric. You might want to measure the 1/8 inch at least initially - it is wider than you think!
On my Bernina, I set the zig zag at a length of 1 and a width of 4.3. I wish I could give you the perfect settings for your machine, but all machines are different, and will also need different settings with different fabrics. The left swing of the needle should go over the right edge of the lace and into the holes of the lace heading, and the right swing should go off the edge of the fabric. This is similar to sewing entredeux if you are familiar with that from heirloom sewing. This will cause the fabric to fold over on itself (the rolling part of the roll and whip).
Above, where the arrow is pointing, you can the fabric folding over on itself. This is one time when going slowly as you sew is not advised. Go too slow and that edge won't roll!
This is what the edge looks like after the first zig zag (the whip). Press the edge flat, then press the lace away from the fabric, and the seam edge toward the fabric.
Here is the lace pressed away from the right side of the fabric.
Zig Zag again from the right side of the fabric using the same length and reducing the width to around 2. The goal is to secure that seam edge against the wrong side of the fabric. The left needle should just clear the bump and the right swing of the needle go into the holes of the lace heading. Keep a hand under the fabric and keep rolling the edge toward the fabric. Above is the wrong side after the second zig zag pass. You can see how the zig zap pins that rolled edge to the fabric.
This is the finished right side of the fabric with the lace attached. Notice, for the most part, you can see the holes of the lace heading.
If sewing on a thin fabric, a lovely decorative touch is to add a pinstitch. On my Bernina, it is stitch 720.
A pinstitch will stitch several times back and forth vertically, and swing over horizontally once. Use a 110 or wing needle, length of 2.5 and width of 2.5. Place tear away stabilizer under your fabric and stitch along the edge of the fabric, so the swing of the needle goes into the holes of the crochet lace.
This lace was attached using a 110 needle and a pinstitch to Berissima II batiste fabric.