Lace Embellishments Tutorial – How to Add Lace Applications to a Garment

This lace embellishments tutorial will work on any kind of garment and with any kind of lace. For the tutorial, I’m using the Dahlia Dress pattern. With its romantic bishop sleeves and the drapey ruffles at the bottom of the skirt, the Dahlia dress has the potential to look elegant and graceful. A way to enhance that even more is to use sheer fabrics or delicate laces and to add subtle details by embellishing parts of it. I’m showing you how to embellish the skirt of the Dahlia dress with lace, cut out from the same lace I made the bodice out of. 

You can technically put lace embellishments on every part of the garment with every kind of lace, but it’s helpful to use a lace that is not fraying when you cut into it. It will look a lot nicer on your garment, especially after several wears.

1) First, cut some lace pieces out of your fabric. Follow the shapes of the flowers, leaves or other forms in your lace and cut away as much of the net structure as possible from the edges. This will ensure that your lace cutouts look like premade appliqués and not just like you cut some pieces out of fabric.

2) Cut some larger, roughly triangular pieces as well as some smaller single flowers and leaves. Mixing both helps to create a beautiful, evenly spaced design.


3) Next, lay out your design on the garment. Begin with the larger pieces and then fill the gaps with the smaller pieces to make the design look evenly distributed but with a bit of variety in shapes. If you’re embellishing the skirt, remember, that one side overlaps the other and you don’t need to embellish the parts that won’t be visible.

4) Now pin your lace appliqués to your garment. Make sure you use enough pins so that they stay in place even if you move the fabric under the sewing machine.

5) The fastest way to attach your appliqués to the garment is with the sewing machine. If your machine can do free motion embroidery that is a great option, but it works with wide zigzag stitches along the edges as well. Only make sure that the thread you’re using is matching the colour of the lace well. You won’t see much of the machine sewing then.

6) It usually will do to stitch the appliqués down around the edges, on larger pieces maybe once down the middle as well, following the forms of the fabric to make your stitch line not as obvious.

That’s what it will look like from the back.

Now just finish your dress according to the pattern instructions and enjoy your embellished, super elegant garment!

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Happy sewing!

xo Tanja

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how to sew lace embellishments - a tutorial on embelling any garment with lace appiques cut from lace fabric by the yard

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