As we have been watching our little caterpillars morph into butterflies, we have doing all things butterflies in our house. I wanted to make some free standing lace butterflies for my daughter’s birthday dress, so I thought I would do a little tutorial to show how easy it is to make free standing lace with an embroidery machine.
First thing you need is an excellent free standing lace (fsl) embroidery design. I purchased the fsl butterfly embroidery in this tutorial from artapli on Etsy. Once you have it downloaded to your machine, the next thing you need is water soluble stabilizer. The quality of the stabilizer truly matters with free standing lace. I like to use Vilene Water Soluble Stabilizer. I cut two pieces slightly larger than your hoop of the water soluble stabilizer and double them up inside the hoop.
Once you have the stabilizer inside the hoop, place the hoop on your machine and start stitching your design.
I used metallic thread on my fsl butterflies. Metallic thread is not always fun to use, but please reference my past blog on how to make embroidering with metallic thread easier. Metallic thread is so pretty and daughter and I love our metallic butterflies.
Isn’t this gold metallic butterfly just adorable? After I finished embroidering my fsl, I like to cut down the edges, so there is not as much stabilizer to wash off.
The water soluble stabilizer is a bit sticky when wet, so the less you have to wash off the better. Now that the fsl design is cut down to a more manageable piece, I turn on the water and let it warm up a little bit. It doesn’t have to hot, but it does come off a lot quicker with warm water.
Under the warm water the water soluble stabilizer will just melt away. You may want to wash your hands afterwards, as they can get a little sticky. Once all the stabilizer is gone, I fold a piece of paper towel or regular towel in half and let the fsl lace dry.
I chose to let the butterflies dry upside down, to help give the wings a 3D effect. Voila you are done!! Many fsl have other steps, some pieces will need to be sewn together, this particular design will be sewn on to my daughter’s dress with its second step of its design, the body of the butterfly. Here is a sneak peek of her dress:
Please let me know if you have any additional tips working with fsl below in the comments!
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