These are instructions on how to embroider the FSL Battenberg Lace Choker Collar 2. This set is available for home embroidery machines with a 5" x 7" (130 x 180 mm) hoop.
The central part of the collar is available in 2 versions - as a split design for 5" x 7" hoops and as a whole design for 7" x 10" hoops.
Besides stabilizer and cotton threads, you will need a clasp 1 1/2"- 2" wide, available in craft stores. Seed beads or crystals are optional. Final assembly is done by hand.
Our collar is decorated with silk cord.
Stabilizers: We recommend to use water-soluble mesh, such as Vilene. Vilene D0102 is a non-woven dissolvable stabilizer which is imported into the US, is sold in large rolls and is sometimes packaged under different brand names. Some of these brand names are Fabri-Solvy by Sulky, Avalon Plus by Madeira, Wash-Away, and Aqua Magic.
Film-like water soluble stabilizers, such as Solvy by Sulky, Avalon by Madeira and Badge Master are not suitable for Free-Standing Lace embroidery.
Threads: The thinner the thread, the finer the final product will be. That is why for this project we recommend machine quilting cotton thread, which gives bulk to the lace and makes it look hand-made.
Embroidery polyester thread will make very fine web-like lace.
Embroidery rayon thread is too soft, it does not keep its shape and often its color will fades under the influence of chemicals from the water-soluble mesh.
You can use 40-, 50- or even 60-weight cotton, you can use it both in the bobbin and in the needle. If you use 40-weight cotton thread for the needle, you can use 50- or 60-weight cotton in the bobbin.
We used Signature machine quilting cotton thread both in the needle and in the bobbin, but similar threads from other companies should work just as well.
The drawback of the cotton thread is lint. Please don't forget to clean the machine with a soft bruch or compressed air after each stitch-out.
To get two-sided embroidery, use threads of the same color in the needle and in the bobbin.
Needles: We use size 80/12 embroidery needles and 80/12 metallic needles. Our experience shows that cotton thread used with metallic needles gives less lint. The needles should be sharp, so it's advisable to change them often.
Most Importantly: ALWAYS make a test stitch-out and wash away the stabilizer. This helps you to select the threads, needles, stabilizers and settings of your machine correctly. It's very important for free standing lace to set the right thread tension!
Rinsing away the stabilizer is an important step, because the lace can be stretched or distorted if this is done incorrectly. We recommend to use a foam board and stainless pins.
Cut away the excess stabilizer close to the stitches. Take your time and carefully pin every single loop on the lace's outer edge to the board.
Now place the board into a bowl with luke-warm water. Leave the board in the water for at least half an hour. Change the water a couple of times.
Take the board out of the water and leave to air dry. Do not unpin the lace until it's completely dry.
Embroider part 1 (file 1) twice. Embroider part 2 (the files 2left and 2right) once. If your machine has a 7" x 10" hoop, you can embroider part 2 as one file. Wash away the stabilizer, let the designs dry.
Thread a sewing needle with the same thread with which you made the embroidery and sew the lace parts together.
Find the center on the lace strip. Using the same thread with which you made the embroidery, start connecting the picots on the lace pieces as shown on the diagram below: going from the center to the left, then going from the center to the right.
Put a clasp on the ends of the long lace strip. Use a clasp with a chain if you need to extend the length of the choker.
You can further decorate the choker with seed beads and/or crystals. We decorated the choker with a silk cord, which we sewed over the second color in the lace (the dark blue in the diagram above).
You can further embellish it with seed beads, beads, light-weight cabouchons.