When I first decided on this project, I knew I wanted to use this mustard-colored printed fabric. I love the Boho look of it and knew the lace insert would only add to that feel. I hit my local Joann Fabrics to look for lace, but they didn't have a great color selection. What they did have, was a selection of 100% cotton laces. Natural fibers take dye well so I knew I could dye my lace to match my fabric. I picked out this wide lace specifically because it had a continuous edge along the top and bottom which meant I would be able to sew in a straight line and not have to do any scalloping. Next, I headed over to the dye section which had exactly one shade of golden yellow. A quick google search brought up the mixing chart from RIT and I learned that a sprinkle of brown will turn the golden yellow to mustard. Armed with cotton lace and 2 boxes of dye, I headed into the thrift shop for a small cheap pot to heat the dye in. Caution: Do not use a pot you ever plan to cook food in again! Dye is toxic unless it is natural. $2 bucks later and I was ready to go.
- I assembled my bodice fully. I banded my sleeves because I wanted them short and I hate hemming. Attach pockets to the flat skirt panels if you want them.
- Lay your first skirt panel down flat on your gridded cutting mat. The grid will help you to keep everything even. Determine where you want your insert to be. I decided about shin level would be perfect for me.
- Use quilting rulers to make a straight line across the skirt panel. Lay the lace evenly across the line made with quilting rules. Pin every few inches at the top and bottom of lace. This will help you keep your lace flat and even. Repeat with the second skirt panel.
- Now stitch your lace in place. I used a zigzag stitch with my walking foot. Go slow and keep your fabric taut, but not stretched when it is going under the foot. This worked best when I held the fabric up a bit. Doing this will keep the fabric nice and even. Stitch the top and bottom of the lace on both skirt panels.
- Finally let's remove the background fabric to reveal the pretty lace design. I used a sharp fabric scissor and was very careful to not cut any lace. Make a small hole so you can get your scissor blade inside. I was able to cut close to the stitching as this is knit and won't fray. If you are using a woven fabric, leave yourself enough room to double turn your fabric and stitch it down to cover the raw edges.
- Now assemble the rest of your dress being careful to have your lace openings even on the sides.