This section is from the book "Clothing And Health. An Elementary Textbook Of Home Making", by Helen Kinne. Also available from Amazon: Clothing And Health.
We must finish the sleeves of our nightdresses, and also the neck. Shall we use some lace? Do you know that there are many kinds of lace? How shall we sew it to the gown ?
Do you know that there are many kinds of lace?
The day Marjorie Allen took the girls to visit her grandmother, they saw many things in the attic. Grandmother Allen also showed them, some old lace and undergarments which were decorated with lovely embroidery. It was all done most evenly with lovely flowers and scalloped edges, and all in white cotton embroidery thread. There were some dainty old laces, too. The girls learned the names of some of them. The Sewing League sent for several samples of modern laces of the same names. There were cluny laces like these in the sample box. Cluny lace is often quite heavy and is used on heavy materials. The lighter cluny laces are more suitable for underwear. The cluny laces are hand or machine made. Which do you think are more expensive? Have you ever seen any one make lace by hand? It is sometimes done on a lace pillow with pins to outline the pattern. The little bobbins of thread are thrown around the pins. Can you get from the picture (Fig. 59) an idea of how it is done? Torchon lace is also used, but is not quite so heavy as cluny. It is either hand or machine made. Both of these are linen laces, but sometimes are imitated in cotton. They are not so pretty when made of cotton. It is better taste to buy of good lace the amount one can afford than to buy a cheap imitation. If one can only pay for a cotton lace, then choose a cotton kind, such as the laces called Valenciennes. The girls sent for French Valenciennes and also for "German Val." lace edging and insertion. What is the difference between an edging and an insertion? The German valenciennes laces are somewhat coarser. There are also some samples of Irish crochet lace. The real Irish handmade crochet is done with a crochet hook, by hand. The imitations are made by machinery. Marjorie's grandmother has some real Irish crochet and some real old valenciennes lace. It is handmade and must have cost a great deal of money. In grandmother's day machines had not been invented for making lace. Let us look at the samples which Miss James has. The pictures (Figs. 57 and 58) show some of those used by the Pleasant Valley girls. Which would you like on your gown? The German valenciennes wears well and is not expensive. The machine-made linen cluny or torchon lace is attractive, suitable, and it wears well. Why do you think a fine French Valenciennes lace does not look well on thick muslin underwear ?
Imitation Cluny insertion ...... $.12
Imitation Cluny edging . .15
Real Cluny insertion . . .25
Real Cluny edging . . .18
German " Val" insertion .09
German "Val" edging . .09
French "Val" insertion .13
French "Val" edging . .13
Fig 57. - The names and retail prices of a few good laces for underwear.
Cotton beading . . . $ .03
Linen machine-made beading......04
Real torchon insertion . .24 Real torchon edging . . .16
Machine-made torchon insertion......07
Machine-made torchon edge.......10
Irish crochet insertion . .85
Irish crochet edging . .1.10
Fig. 59. - Lace being made by hand on pillows with tiny bobbins of thread.
Besides using lace, what are some other ways of finishing a garment? We shall send for our laces and also learn another way to finish neck and sleeves, which will cost less. We can use bias bands of lawn to finish the rough edges. Cut them 2 1/2 inches wide (see page 25), and they will be about one inch finished. The feather stitch added will make a pretty decoration. Scalloping is easy. The gowns might be finished with the hand scallop around neck and sleeves, if one has the time.
We shall learn how to sew on the lace insertion or edging. The girls who use lace may decide to have only the edging. If insertion or beading is used, too, it is sewed on first.
While we are waiting for the lace to come, we can prepare the edges of the neck and sleeves. If we use a French fell, the sewing will not show on the right side at all when the lace is entirely in place; besides, only one sewing is necessary for the hem and lace. This is how it is done:
1. Turn to the right side of the garment at both neck and sleeve edges, a hem of 1/8 inch. The first turning must, also, be 1/8 inch. Baste very carefully with small stitches.
2. Turn these hems backward to wrong side and crease so that the edge of the turned hem is exactly at the finished edge of the garment. This is where the lace is to be sewed. We shall learn how to sew on the lace next lesson.
1. Bring to school all the samples of lace you can find at home. With your teacher's help compare and discuss their uses. Mount the best samples for an exhibit.
2. Ask your family and friends to show you any old pieces of lace they may have.
3. Consult the encyclopedia or other books, and see if you can learn more about how lace is made. There are several good books all about lace.