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Freestanding Lace Vest for 18-inch Dolls

These are instructions on how to embroider and assemble the Freestanding Lace Vest for 18 inch Dolls.

Freestanding Lace Vest for 18-inch Dolls image 1

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There are 4 files in the set. Front Left and Front Right are mirror files, the size of each is 98 mm x 180 mm (3.86" x 6.8"), there are 32676 stitches and 2 colors.
The file Back Left and Back Right are mirror files, the size of each is 71 x 174 mm (2.8" x, there are 26364 stitches abd 2 colors.

Freestanding Lace Vest for 18-inch Dolls image 2

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 to select the correct thread tension!

Washing out the Stabilizer:

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 the lace's outer edge to the board. Place pins 1/8" from each other.

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.

Freestanding Lace Vest for 18-inch Dolls image 3

This stitch-out is not a part of the hat. It's used for demonstation purposes only.

The Vest:

Embroider each file. Wash away the stabilizer, let the designs dry.

Thread a sewing machine either with "invisible" thread of with the same thread with which you made the embroidery.
Position the back parts "butt to butt" and stitch them together using zig-zag stitch.

Freestanding Lace Vest for 18-inch Dolls image 4

Then, with zig-zag, stitch the shoulder seams. And at last stitch the side seams.

Freestanding Lace Vest for 18-inch Dolls image 5

Freestanding Lace Vest for 18-inch Dolls image 6


Happy embroidering!

Freestanding Lace Vest for 18-inch Dolls image 7


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