For years, I loved doing French Handsewing by Machine.  You know, those lovely dresses and christening gowns with rows and rows of laces pieced together, with delicate batiste fabrics, fancy bands, and the like.  Well, I decided it was time to see if any of these techniques could be done in miniature.  The answer is a definite YES!  As long as you have patience!


Pin tucks -

Tiny "false" tucks created by sewing rows with a twin needle.

Insertion -

Any lace or eyelet trim that is straight on both edges, allowing it to be "inserted" between two sections of fabric.

Edging -

Lace or eyelet trim with one straight edge, and one scalloped or other decorative edge.  For attaching with straight edge to fabric, and "edging" this piece of fabric.

Beading -

Can be lace or eyelet, insertion or edging, but has large holes thru it for the purpose of inserting ribbon.


Entredeau -

Fancy French word for "joining".  This is an eyelet type of material that consists of a single row of tiny holes.  Used to join fabric to fabric, or lace edgings to fabric.  But for us, makes GREAT miniature beading......

Entredeux is often part of eyelet trims and edgings too!



I want to make a skirt that has rows of pintucks, arranged in groups of three. Knowing that the pin tucks will pull up the fabric, I have cut my batiste wider and longer than the planned finished size of the skirt panel I need.  

 I have marked my batiste fabric with a disappearing fabric marker, leaving 3/4" between each mark.

Pin tucks are made using a twin needle, two upper threads and one bobbin thread.  It is as simple as sewing a straight line!  Twin needles come with different spacing so buy the narrowest you can to make the finest pin tucks.
Sew down each line, making one pin tuck, then stitch along either side of the first pin tuck, making a set of three.  Continue across the width of your skirt.
When stitching was completed, I rinsed fabric with cold water first, to remove disappearing marker, washed in very hot water, to shrink fabric a bit, and make the pin tucks even smaller.  Then I trimmed all edges straight, cutting the fabric section down to the size needed for the skirt panel.


I have a piece of insertion that is actually eyelet beading.  It is edged with entredeux on either side, and I will attach this to the bottom edge of my skirt panel. 

The first task is to trim away the excess fabric on either side of the trim, cutting right along the outside edge of the entredeux. 

Place your insertion and your skirt panel right sides facing.  Notice that the edge of the trim band is offset from the edge of the skirt fabric.  (approx 1/8") Set your sewing machine to a zig zag stitch.  Now set the width of the stitch so that the needle goes thru the small holes in the entredeux with the left half of the stitch, the swings out just BEYOND the edge of the skirt fabric. 

Set your stitch length so that each time the needle completes the left half of the zig zag, it goes thru a single hole in the entredeux. 

The band has been attached right sides facing to the skirt, and see how neat the zig zag edge is?  The stitches have gone thru the entredeux holes, the over the edge of the skirt fabric, causing this fabric to form a tiny rolled edge against the eyelet band.
Now open the band and skirt out right sides up, and press well, pushing the little rolled edge up toward the skirt. 

NOTE:  If you want to make a band using a piece if insertion lace, you use the same zig zag method, but not worry about having to hit the entredeux holes. 

NOTE:  If you want to make a band using a piece if insertion lace, you use the same zig zag method, but not worry about having to hit the entredeux holes.  This is a section of a skirt that was made by joining fabric sections together with lace insertion, using the same method we just used above.


I had a piece of delicate eyelet edging that I decided would make a lovely ruffle across the bottom of my skirt.
Sew small gathering stitches 1/8" from the top edge of the eyelet trim.
Place your skirt and ruffle right sides together.  The illustration shows that you must again leave 1/8" of your skirt ruffle (the piece to be attached to the entredeux)  extending beyond the entredeux edge of the skirt band.

Your machine should still be at the same zig zag width and length as in the last step, so attach the ruffle in the same manner as you did the skirt.  If necessary, use a straight pin to push the gathers up evenly as you stitch.

Press the ruffle down, and the tiny rolled edge up toward the skirt band. 

Thread a piece of ribbon thru the beading, and tack the ends.


Look at the trims that you have used, and consider how they can be used elsewhere in your dress.

Time to think creatively!!!  I thought that a small piece of the insertion that we used for our skirt band could be used for a bertha collar.  It turned out to be just the right width!


I used 3 strands of embroidery floss to go thru the entredeux on the collar piece, and then cut pieces of the eyelet edging and glued around outside edge. 

The opening at the center back will be filled with a fabric panel after placing on the doll, and bottom back edge will also be eyelet trimmed.

I am not going to cover the assembly of the dress, as the methods used are the same as in my Dressing Chloe tutorial.  In short, skirt back edges were joined, and skirt gathered to doll, bodice made and attached to doll, sleeves attached to doll, and collar placed around neckline.

Detail of skirt after attaching to doll.
Entredeux beaded with embroidery floss made a sweet cuff for the sleeve.
Finished Collar.



Here is the end result!  Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, and will try your hand using some of these techniques.  If you would like to receive email notification when new tutorials are added to my site, please join my mailing list on the home page!