Spring fever has made its way into the shops and boutiques everywhere I go. You can glance over any floor in any large department store and find nothing but a sea of pale icy blue, peppermint and peach floating in waves of the sheerest fabrics. The one department that always lures me for a closer look is lingerie.

Some of the nightgown and peignoir sets this spring are pretty enough to go dancing in. I found one gown in a pure white, lightweight cotton that I particularly liked. The gown and matching bed jacket were trimmed with strips of white lace and pale pink satin ribbon. The top of the gown was constructed entirely of two wide bands of lace and ribbon that crossed the shoulders and ended in a point at the front. The cotton fabric was gathered slightly and attached to the lace bands, creating a simple, beautifully designed gown. These wide lace and ribbon bands trimmed the collar and cuff of the bed jacket as well.

But it was the embroidery that gave this ensemble the final perfect touch. The strips of lace were joined on either side to the pink satin ribbon by a delicate lacing stitch that left an open channel between the two. This is a simple way of joining together any two fabrics (or trims or ribbons) and doesn't have to be reserved for bedtime attire.

To try it for yourself, pin a strip of ribbon and a strip of lace side by side and separated a little on a piece of shiny shelf-paper. This slick surface will help your needle skim off the paper. Using a sharp needle, bring it up at the edge of the ribbon from the underside. Cross over and go down into the edge of the lace diagonally below it. Come up a little above on the lace edge and cross over and go down into the edge of the ribbon diagonally below. Continue working back and forth from ribbon edge to lace edge until the open space between them is criss-crossed with a fine trelis of stitching.

Something sheer and delicate like a nightgown calls for threads of silk or cotton, but if your fabrics are heavy linens or wools, your lacing stitch can be worked in thick yarn with just as good a result.

When practice has helped you to make your stitches even, try adding a lace trim to a handkerchief, the collar of a blouse or a chemise in this lacing technique.