A Quick Guide to Choosing Lace in Lingerie Making

A guide to Lace | Elise Patterns

One of the most exciting things about sewing your own lingerie is the materials! Here at Elise Patterns, we’re obsessed with lace and use it as much as possible. It’s really the ideal fabric: light and delicate, with the potential to be sheer or opaque at different points, giving you lots of potential for playing with the design.

There are lots of different types of lace, so it’s important to choose one with the right kinds of properties for what you are making. Each part of a bra has specific functions and requires the correct type of material. For instance, on our Chelsea underwired bra pattern, the cups and cradle (on the front) are sewn using rigid lace, whilst the back band uses powermesh, an elasticised fabric that is stable and firm.

A guide to Lace | Elise Patterns

Here’s our quick lace guide to different types of lace to help you choose the best materials for your lingerie sewing. 

Rigid lace

Any type of lace that does not have stretch. In bra making, rigid laces frequently feature a repeated embroidered pattern on a tulle background (a very fine net). You can find gorgeous rigid laces, sometimes further embellished with sequins and beads. It commonly has a scalloped edge that is more decorated, and a plainer edge. It’s fun to make full use of the scallops, by using them to frame the top of bra cups. Rigid lace does have some mechanical ‘give’, but isn’t elasticised, so don’t use it in place of stretch lace.

Rigid lace is perfect for: underwired bras

quick lace guide

Stretch (elastic) lace

A synthetic lace made with an elasticised fibre. Pull it gently and watch it immediately ping back into shape. The amount of stretch will vary, and it’s worth assessing this before you cut into it. If you want it to give you more support, consider backing it on powermesh.

Stretch lace is perfect for: bralettes, knickers, bodies

quick lace guide


Galloon lace

This is a fine lace featuring a scalloped edge on both sides. Perfect used as a main feature of your lingerie project, you’ll can i order ultram online definitely want to show this off.

Galloon lace is perfect for: trimming bras, camisoles and slips

quick lace guide

Eyelash lace

The scalloped edge will have feathery, eyelash-like fronds. It’s especially gorgeous in framing the decolletage on an underwired bra.

Eyelash lace is perfect for: the upper cup of underwired bras

quick lace guide


Narrow lace

A generic term for lace that you buy as a strip, rather than as a large piece of fabric. It can be either rigid or stretch lace. For bra projects, you’ll want to look for lace which is at least 10cm wide to ensure you can fit all your pattern pieces on it. Narrow stretch laces that are about 15-20cm wide are great for making simple lace knickers.

Lace fabric is perfect for: many lingerie projects


Lace fabric or all-over lace

This could be stretch or rigid and is sold on a bolt, often 115-145cm wide. This is the kind of lace that you’d use for a party frock, wedding dress, or veil; or, if it’s stretch, for a body or leggings. Depending on the weight of the fabric, you could use this for sewing lingerie – but be aware that if it’s dress fabric, it’s probably too heavy for lingerie. Also consider the proportions of the lace motifs on your body, as if they are too big, it might not be flattering. If in doubt and buying online, request a swatch of the fabric first.

Lace fabric is perfect for: many lingerie projects

quick lace guide


Lace edged elastic

Often very narrow (12-20mm), this should be used as elastic, and is very fun to use as a trimming. Check the stretch properties of the elastic itself, as it may not be firm enough to support a bra band, but could be great for knickers.

Lace edged elastic is perfect for: knickers

quick lace guide

We hope this helps you understand some of the different types of lace that are available! Click here to see what lace we currently have in stock, and look out for more posts on lace coming soon.

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