Vintage Sewing

custom lace- is that even a thing???

August 15, 2013

Hey guys and gals! I’m trying to figure out a place that can make a lace pattern for me, and am having ZERO luck. I thought maybe some here may know a place or two?
What I’m looking for is to basically have the design from a black and white illustration made into a lace fabric for a skirt bottom… I’m assuming I will end up having to order a boat-load of it to get it made, so that isn’t and issue right now… I just don’t know where to look! Any help would be MUCH appreciated!
I’m attaching a photo of an incredible bird piece, and while i realize it is a bunch of things put together, something like this is what I want done, if possible at all. Thanks a ton!

  1. That lace is amazing! It looks handmade.

    The bird could be done with an applique – just look for someone in your area who does embroidery and takes small quantity orders.

    I’ve heard of a product that dissolves fabric to create patterns that can be lace-like. It’s a liquid that you put where you want to remove some of the fibers. I can’t remember what it’s called but I think I may have read about it in an old issue of Threads Magazine.

    You can also machine embroider with just wash-away stabilizer and then get it wet to remove everything except your stitching to create a type of lace.

    Hope some of this might be helpful to you! Good luck with your project!

  2. That lace is so amazing! Good luck with your search! I would have suggested cutwork- a technique I found in an old embroidery book… Similar to the suggestions above…
    Cheers πŸ™‚

  3. Do a google image search for reticella lace. Is that what you’re looking for? If so, you can potentially look for people who can do reticella. This will NOT be a cheap project, unless you can make it yourself.

    You could also do a slightly less intricate version using crochet. Perhaps you could find doilies at Goodwill and estate sales and stitch them together? That would be the easiest. Or you could crochet the pattern or find someone to do so. Again, this would not be cheap. This level of handwork is in the multiple hundred hours mark.

    Having DONE crochet lace, it can be very satisfying to create — it might be worth figuring out how to learn to make it. If you want to do such a thing, I would definitely be able to help you create the pattern. Feel free to email me if this seems like something you’d be interested in.

  4. The bird is appliqued over,and then embroidered on top again.
    The skirt underneath is gorgeous,and looks really complex?mix of techniques-bobbin lace,cutwork perhaps tape lace(batten berg lace). Sometimes you get something similar in old linens such as tablecloths. I pick them up at charity shops for very small prices-you could parasitize an old cloth or sheet etc together something similar-might be a good use for something that can’t be reused because of damage to parts of it.

  5. Hello, I used make bobbin lace I’m my teens, it took ages but was beautiful! I think this could also be a type of lace called tatting. I think the underlying part is some sort of tatting with embroidery on top. Hope you find what you are looking for but not sure you’ll get something as beautifully handcrafted as that out of a machine!

    1. I don’t think it’s tatting — although you can get the picots in tatting like the sample above, you can’t get the block of fabric like those triangular sections. That requires either creating the block (like crochet, bobbin, or needle laces) or having fabric and cutting away the excess (lots of white work uses this).

      I’m still holding out for Reticella! πŸ˜›

  6. Sophie Hallette (French) makes custom lace and you may be able to find someone from the Royal School of Needlework (English). Another place to look would be any where they teach lace making.

  7. It looks to me like a base lace with a lot of embellishments on it-lace inserts, embroidery, various appliques, etc. You’re probably best off looking for someone to do the base lace pattern with the circle motifs (or make your own from doilies as another person suggested) and then doing all the other bits on top yourself. If you like this antiqued color, you can tea or coffee dye white lace (as long as it’s not synthetic) this color.

  8. I think I saw an episode of “Say Yes To The Dress” where they mentioned custom lace the lady had made. You might want to check a large bridal store (like Kleinfield) to see if they make custom lace. I hope that helps.

  9. I think it’s needle-lace doilies and an embroidered bird appliqued over. If you’re good with a sewing machine (and yours will do a zigzag), you could probably replicate the bird (or do it by hand; it looks like mostly satin stitch), and find doilies at Goodwill/thrift shops.

    The stuff Brooke was talking about – machine free-motion embroidery over net and a dissolvable stabilizer would also probably be a good idea. The stabilizer is called Solvy and is available from Newark Dressmaker Supply ( ); they also have the hoop you’d need for free-motion embroidery. You’d also need a feed-dog cover; Newark probably doesn’t carry that, as they vary between brands/models of machines. I’ve not used Solvy but I’ve ordered from Newark and found them reliable.

    Custom lace would require either hundreds of hours of handwork, or re-programming a factory lacemaking machine. $$$$$$ !

  10. Hello! I got to visit a lace mill in Burlington NJ a few years ago. I know that they had scaled down significantly, just because they couldn’t compete with the over seas market, but they might be able to help you out. There are two things that might be an issue for you: finding a way to convert the lace design into something that the lace machine can “read”, and also the sheer volume of what you would have to buy. I saw some one mention they don’t make lace- they do textile printing. Good luck!!

  11. I would love to see the drawing of what you would like to have done and what kind of fabric you see it embroidered on. When you mentioned a drawing along with the photo, I’m assuming you want a little of what you see above. ☺️

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