Embellishing Your Own Lace
Laces embellished with beads, pearls and sequins have elegance, charm and sophistication.
Unfortunately, they all too often have an exorbitant price tag as well. Embellished lace is $100 to $200 more per yard than the same lace without the embellishments. With a little time and a few quality materials, you can have the look you want.
If you plan to echo ready-to-wear, you should use the type and quality of materials that are used on those garments. However, you can count on your workmanship to be superior, and you needn't even be a skilled with a needle!
Bridal laces used today often have both pearls and sequins. The type of sequin currently popular is a clear iridescent cup style in a 6mm size. The flat sequins are used on evening and casual garments, where they are placed on top of a printed design or they can create a design on a soft chiffon.
The pearls used are of a higher quality than typical craft quality. You pay more, but the difference is very apparent. The pearled finish on these beads reflect the color they are placed on. The white pearls look at home on stark white, soft white, candlelight, ivory, pale pink and even taupe lace. Ivory pearls are rarely seen, with those produced in Japan being by far the finest. Most ivory pearls, even the bridal quality ones, are dyed after importation. This dye job produces an inferior color. The white pearls come in three shapes: round (ranging in size from 2-1/2mm to 4mm), oats (a small almond shape), and drops (a teardrop shape).
Sewing on Sequins
- Match thread to the color of the lace and use a small needle.
- Sequins are sewn on one at a time. They may overlap, but they should not line up in a row like string sequins.
- Sequins have a hole in the center. One stitch through this hole is sufficient to hold the sequin in place. However, two to three stitches keeps it flat and resists loss.
- Tie off or knot after each group or area of sequins is sewn.
Sewing on Pearls
- Match thread to color of lace, and use a small needle. Beading needles are for stringing beads, not for sewing.
- To sew on a single pearl, insert needle from the back of fabric. Go through the hole in the bead then take a stitch. The size of the stitch should be slightly larger than the pearl so it lays flat, but not so large that it flops around.
- To sew a group of pearls, insert needle from back of fabric and slide three to five pearls on the needle, then take a stitch. The size of the stitch will be slightly larger than the row of beads. Take a tiny stitch between each bead to anchor it in place. Groups of two don't always need the anchoring stitch.
- Tie off after each group or area of beads.