How to Make Free Standing Lace

Free Standing Lace Butterflies. This post may contain affiliate links. please see the end of the post for more information.


Free Standing Lace Butterflies. This post may contain affiliate links.

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.

double up on water soluble stabilizer for free standing laee

Once you have the stabilizer inside the hoop, place the hoop on your machine and start stitching your design.

fsl butterfly

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.

fsl lace butterfly stitched

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.

fsl butterfly trimmed

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. wash off water soluble stabilizer 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.

letting fsl free standing 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:

butterfly dress and matching butterfly headband

Please let me know if you have any additional tips working with fsl below in the comments!

Supplies needed:

  1. Free Standing Lace Embroidery design
  2. Water Soluble Stabilizer
  3. Embroidery Thread 

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About Seams Sew Lo 173 Articles
Hi I'm Lo and I love to sew and I also love to play with my two children! I am a work at home Mom of two toddlers.  I never planned on staying home with the kids, however when I was 8 and 1/2 months pregnant with my first child, Little Dude, I was unexpectedly let go from my corporate job.  With a newborn and a tough job market, I decided to buy a Brother Sewing/Embroidery Machine and taught myself to sew. I would like to thank the many bloggers, youtube videos I have watched and PDF pattern designers for all their help. With a degree in International Business from Blaise-Pascal University in France I decided to open my own business, an Etsy shop.  I started making baby leg warmers and then added embroidered bodysuits.  I was so busy I couldn't keep up and had to seek out third party help. After my second child, Baby Girl, life became super busy.  There is something about little girls clothes that makes them so much fun to create.  I started venturing out to more articles of clothing.  It has been a fun adventure. I am learning as I go.  I sometimes skip steps or take short cuts, sometimes I take a long road to get where I need to go.  I don't think sewing needs to be perfect, I think it should be fun!!

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