How to Sew Lace: A Beginners Guide to Sewing Lace Fabrics in Nigeria
Lace Fabrics

How to Sew Lace: A Beginners Guide to Sewing Lace Fabrics in Nigeria

Sewing with delicate laces can seem quite hard for beginners. However, with some basic supplies and a little practice, even novice sewers can work beautifully with these fabrics.
In this simple, step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the basics of prepping, cutting, pinning, and stitching lace so you can start incorporating it into your sewing projects with confidence.
We will also provide tips on finding affordable lace fabrics in Nigeria.

A Beginners Step-by-step Guide to Sewing Lace Fabrics in Nigeria

The following are step by step instructions on how to sew your lace fabrics even at home.

How to Sew Lace: A Beginners Guide to Sewing Lace Fabrics in Nigeria

How to Sew Lace: A Beginners Guide to Sewing Lace Fabrics in Nigeria

Step 1: How to Choose Your Lace Fabrics

When selecting your lace, consider the weight, stretch, and texture. Lightweight laces like chiffon or netting are ideal for overlays and accent pieces. Medium-weight lace with a bit of stretch, like most cotton/spandex blends, work well for garments that need to conform to curves.

For structured pieces, choose firm laces with less stretch. If possible, purchase a small swatch before investing in yards of lace. This allows you to sew a test seam and ensure the lace won’t be too tricky for your skill level.

In Nigeria, open-air markets and textile shops offer an abundance of affordable lace fabrics. Marketplaces like Balogun in Lagos or Ariaria in Aba provide local and imported laces ranging from silky satins to embellished tulle. Choose vibrant Ankara prints or neutral soft laces to complement your wardrobe. Just be sure to wash and iron your lace before cutting to preshrink the fabric.

Step 2: Get Supplies You’ll Need

While most sewing necessities work for lace, here are a few specialized tools that make the process much easier:

  • – Sharp fabric scissors – zigzag or pinking blades prevent fraying
  • – Fine glasshead pins – won’t damage delicate fabrics
  • – Ballpoint or microtex needle – avoids snags and holes
  • – Extra fine thread – all-purpose or polyester blends
  • – Water-soluble stabilizer – supports stitches as you sew
  • – Seam sealant – prevents seams from fraying

Step 3: Prepping and Cutting Your Lace

Always prep lace just before cutting to avoid distortion. Gently wash by hand or machine, then lay flat or hang to dry to relax the fibers. Once dried, evenly press on low heat using a press cloth.

Spread your fabric out singly over a cutting mat, keeping pile and pattern facing up. Weight the edges and corners with pins. Carefully cut along your marked pattern lines, minding the fabric doesn’t slip or pucker. Take your time with intricate laces to avoid jagged edges that can fray. If available, a rotary cutter and ruler provide the most control.

Step 4: Pinning and Basting Lace

Lace shifts and stretches easily, so accurate pinning is vital for noticeable seams. Insert straight pins perpendicularly through both layers of fabric about every 2 to 3 inches. Pay special attention to the seam line to keep the scalloped edge or pattern aligned.

Pinning lace

Pinning lace

Avoid overly stretching lightweight laces. If desired, hand baste key points, like shoulders, darts and zippers using a loose running stitch and matching thread. This adds extra stability.

Step 5: Sewing Your Lace Seams

Set your machine to a narrow 2 to 2.5 stitch length and fine tension. Engage a straight or very shallow zigzag stitch to provide structure as you sew. Apply stabilizer behind seams needing extra reinforcement.

Check pins and pattern placement, then stitch slowly, following your original seam line precisely. Gently guide the lace through the machine, stopping periodically to adjust pins or alignment as required. Don’t pull! Allow the feed dogs to control the pace.

For sheer seams, apply small dots of seam sealant using the applicator or a pin. Let dry before continuing to protect edges. For extra insurance, stitch seams a second time 1⁄4 inch away from the original line.

Step 6: Hemming Lace Garments

Lace cross stitch tape offers an easy hemming solution, but is not always available. For a near invisible lace hem, trim excess length to 1⁄2 inch, turn under and press. Working from the right side, edges stitch closely to the turned under scallops or design edges. Add seam sealant along the inner fold if desired. Wide hems or multi-layered fabrics may require hand hemming using a nearly invisible stitch.

Step 7: How to Care For Your Lace

Most lace pieces require delicate care. Hand or gentle cycle wash using a mild detergent, then reshape and air dry on a flat surface away from direct sunlight. Press only using very low heat through a cloth. To extend the life of your lace pieces, have them professionally cleaned whenever possible. Proper storage in breathable garment bags also prevents yellowing.

With the right materials and techniques, sewing with laces is an enjoyable challenge for sewers of every skill level. Experiment with simple accents before working up to lace overlays, collars and entire garments. No matter your project, approach laces with a bit of patience and care for lovely finished pieces you’ll cherish for years to come.


Sewing with delicate laces may seem difficult as a beginner, but have no fear!
As we have shown, it is possible for anyone to work beautifully with lace fabrics.
By carefully selecting your materials, preparing the lace properly, pinning and sewing slowly, and applying special finishing techniques, even novices can incorporate gorgeous laces into dresses, blouses, accessories, and home decor.

Take things step-by-step, practice on scraps until you feel comfortable handling the fabrics, and don’t be afraid to use basting and stabilizers for extra support. Whether you are embellishing with lace trims or constructing an entire lace garment, arm yourself with a bit of patience and the right supplies.

Follow this guide and you’ll soon be creating showstopping lace pieces that you can cherish for years to come – all made with your own two hands!


About Mfonobong Daniel

Daniel is a seasoned content writer and the content manager at Ankara. He is a lover of books, creative writing, with a penchant for poetry and music. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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