May 11, 2015

Repairing Broken Lace

This is a lovely Edwardian dress with loads of lovely lace.  The lace was broken in a few places.  Here's how I repaired it.

Break #1
Petals had broken away from the borders, leaving the flower crumpled and fraying.


I decided not to cut any of the dangling thread ends, so as avoid risking more unraveling.  I whipstitched the broken thread ends to the remaining lace.
To re-attach the flower to the borders, I worked with a double thread.  I made three bars between the flower and the border.  The stitches into the lace itself were perpendicular to the bars, to give them more "grab" into the lace, and be less likely to pull through and create more damage.

In progress, 1

Then I wrapped the bars, just passing the needle around and around while adjusting the wraps evenly with my other hand.  This photo shows the first completed bar and the second one in progress.
In progress, 2

Break #2
Here's another place where the lace had broken.  After whipstitching in the broken thread ends, I made 3 new bars, on the right of the net circle.

Break #2, mended, marked with pin

Break #3
The damage on this spot was a bit more complicated.  I whipstitched the two fraying petals.  I recreated the border using the same technique as making the new bars.  And finally, I attached the two petals to the border pieces.


Break #1 on the left, Break #3 on the right, mended, marked with pins

Quite honestly, I was pretty surprised that all this worked as well as it did.  And it didn't take gobs of time either.

I'm not a lace maker though, so if anyone out there has some input into better ways to do this, please comment with what you've done to mend your old laces.

I love this dress!  Bee-yoo-ti-ful!!

Here's a look at the dress while worn Basya Berkman's lovely model.  You can read more about the dress or even purchase it here.

I'm pretty sure the hem is uneven like this because the dress is meant to be worn with a corset and bustle!

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