The FSL Battenberg Lace Ball Dress for 12" dolls is a set of three designs: two for the bodice and one for the lace skirt. The under-skirt should be made out of light-weight fabric as described below.
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 repackaged under different brand names. Two of these brand names are Wash-Away and Aqua Magic. Film-like water soluble stabilizers, such as Solvy, are not suitable for Free-Standing Lace embroidery.
Threads: At least one of the threads, either in the bobbin or in the needle, should be cotton.
If you are using 50- or 60-weight cotton, you should use it both in the bobbin and in the needle. If you use 40-weight cotton thread for the needle, you can use regular polyester bobbin thread. If you are using a specialty thread such as metallic thread, then always use cotton thread in the bobbin.
The thinner the thread, the finer the final product will be.
We recommend Signature machine quilting thread, Brother (Pacesetter) 50wt machine quilting thread, Mettler 50wt or 60wt machine quilting thread and similar threads of other companies.
Needles: We use size 75/11 embroidery needles. The needles should be sharp, so it's advisable to change them after every project.
Most Importantly: ALWAYS make a test stitch-out of the design and wash away the stabilizer. This helps you to select the threads, needles, stabilizers and settings of your machine correctly. DO NOT embroider several designs in one hoop.
Step One: Make a test stitch-out of the design. If you are satisfied with the results, embroider the file "skirt" two times.
There are two different bodices - with and without shoulder straps. Choose the one you like more.
Rinse the stabilizer and leave to air dry.
Press all parts with steam.
Either manually, or on your sewing machine, join the two skirt parts to each other along one edge. Use a zig-zag stitch and matching thread.
Step Two: Join the bodice with the skirt along the waist line.
Step Three: Close the back seam of the skirt, leaving the bodice and the upper part of the skirt open.
Step Four: With a narrow ribbon, lace the back seam closed.
If you made the bodice with the shoulder straps, then stitch the ends of the straps to the back of the bodice first.
You may also choose not to join the back seam of the skirt for a 19th Century style ball dress.
Step Five: For a fabric skirt take a sheer light-weight fabric, such as organza, silk or mesh. Cut a rectangle measuring about 14" x 20". Fold widthwise to make the short sides meet and sew them together with a straight stitch seam allowance 1/4". Press the seam open. You'll get a tube.
Fold the top half of the tube onto the bottom half, make the raw edges meet, align them. Watch that the seam is inside. You'll get a ring measuring 7" high.
Thread a needle with a matching thread and gather the fabric along the raw edges of the ring. Pull the ends of the thread to gather the pleats.
Attach the fabric skirt to the lace dress from the inside.