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Working with Guipure Lace: Prepping & Cutting.

Vintage McCalls pattern used for the dress.

This is the 2nd in the Working with Guipure Lace Tutorials. You can find all of them here.

To make a Guipure Lace Dress, first make a Muslin.

I began my daughter's graduation dress with this 1940's slip pattern by McCalls. Following the directions given by Susan in the Couture Dress Class, I cut out and fit a muslin to her. Thankfully the Muslin fit great and needed few if any alterations. I did leave generous 1 inch seam allowances if it did need changes. All of the darts and stitching lines were thread traced on the muslin.

Use the Muslin to cut out the Interlining and Fashion Fabric.

I then used the muslin as my pattern and cut out the imperial broadcloth which was my interlining. All of the marks were transferred to the broadcloth using dress makers wax paper. I then used the muslin to cut out the fashion fabric (this is the fabric that shows through the lace, not the lace itself.

Thread tracing the stitching lines

Thread Trace all markings, stitching the two fabrics together as you do.

The fashion fabric and the broadcloth were pinned together and I thread traced all the darts and seamlines, stitching the two pieces of fabric together as I went. Here you can see the two layers of the skirt pinned together and the soft pink thread I used to thread trace the stitching lines. Don't use black, red or another dark color of thread - it can shed and you will see it on the white!

Using the Muslin to cut out the lace

Finally use the muslin again to cut out the lace!

The muslin was somewhat see through which enabled me to arrange it on the lace. The lace doesn't have a grain line per se, but there is a definite flow to the lace so notice I am using a "with nap" layout. See how you can see the motifs through the muslin - very helpful! Although it would have been helpful to flip one of the skirt pieces upside down, your eye would notice the motifs going in a different direction. Now the dreaded moment - cutting the lace! The important thing to remember when working with the guipure lace is to give yourself as much "fudge" room to work with as you can! You can always cut motifs off!

Cutting around the lace motifs

In cutting the lace, I cut around each motif, not through it and cut outside the edge of the skirt. Here you can see I cut the "brides" (the threads that connect the motifs) and not the lace motifs. When I get to the bodice, you will be able to see all the extra fabric I have at the side seams. Next up - sewing the layers together!


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