Tips for Stitching Freestanding Lace (FSL)

FSL 3d Flower Necklace

These pretty flowers are stitched as freestanding lace (FSL) before assembly. You can make them into a pin, hair clip, necklace, or headband.

Whether you are stitching a pretty FSL flower or a doily, all that you basically need is a water-soluble stabilizer (WSS) and a bit of patience.

· Use the right stabilizer. You can choose from a heavy film-type, like Badgemaster or Solvy, or a fabric-type water-soluble stabilizer (WSS) like Fabri-Solvy.

· Water-soluble stabilizers can be difficult to keep from slipping in the hoop. You can use T pins to help keep WSS in place or try this no-slip trick.

· Use any thread type that you like. Satins and polyesters will give you some shine while cottons will mimic more of a traditional, handmade look.

· Use the same thread in the bobbin as that with which you are stitching. It is okay to wind 40 weight embroidery thread for this purpose.

· Pull the bobbin thread to the top. That prevents thread tails from becoming buried under stitching.

· Slow down your machine speed.

· It can be easy to tear or perforate water-soluble films, especially with dense or high-stitch count designs. If you get a hole in your stabilizer, make a patch!

· Don’t completely rinse away all of the WSS. Leaving some in the thread will give the lace shape. The less you rinse, the stiffer the lace becomes. If you rinse too much, use the recipe linked below to make stiffening spray from scraps.

· Keep your WSS scraps. You can use them to support high-stitch areas as well as to patch holes. Just wet the edges and smooth onto the hooped WSS. Get a recipe for making a stiffening spray from WSS scraps here.

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