Idea #5 – Freelace Frippery

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to make your own fabrics, ribbons and trims – perfectly suited to your projects and unlike any others?

Today I get to talk about one of my all-time favorite techniques. It’s called Freelace, and it has infinite potential! Anyone can create all sorts of completely original, one-of-a-kind fabrics, ribbons, trims, and laces from tiny scraps of ribbons, fabrics, yarns, feathers and threads.

[Detail of the sun from the journal page, above.]

[A detail of the sun’s ray, from the journal page, this time showing a lacy, beaded insert between two pieces of fabrics.]

Below are three tiny landscapes made from snippets of hand-dyed velvets and cheesecloth, organza and brocade fabrics,  and several types of ribbons.

The next photos are of ribbons made from the scraps left from the landscapes.

Then there are scarves:

The lacy, flowery thing in the center of this picture is a bracelet made entirely of thread (with some added crystals). The two layers of Freelace paper were stuck together and then stitched.

[A flowery garland made entirely of thread]

And there’s so much more! I’ve made blouses, banners, table runners, trims and Christmas ornaments. It’s all possible with a wonderful water soluble paper that we get from Japan. It comes in two layers. The bottom layer is sticky, so it’s easy to keep everything in place while you position all the elements. The top layer traps everything, so your presser foot doesn’t get tripped up in all the elements. Oh, yes, a sewing machine is required. But no fancy skills are needed – just enough stitching to connect all the elements so they will stay in place when the paper is dissolved.

My examples are all sort of “rustic”, but it is possible to make very beautiful, elegant work, as well. Your own style will shine! Many more examples are at the bottom of our Freelace page, here.


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