Heirloom techniques using your sewing machine

Heirloom sewing requires straight stitch and zig-zag stitch. The techniques involved with heirloom sewing are very easy and can create lovely fabrics, which are then cut and fashioned to create inserts, yokes, sleeves, bodices, bonnets, pockets, shirts and more. The main fabric used is a lightweight batiste.  I like the easy care of the polyester and cotton blend but the 100% cotton is the preferred choice.

When picking a lace, the choice is 100% cotton. Only 100% cotton can be shaped and steamed in place. The width of your lace is a personal choice. The varieties include edgings and insertions.

Here are some heirloom techniques to try.

Twin needle sewing creates pin tucks. I usually use a 2.5mm needle with straight stitch. You can also use a spacer called a pin tuck foot. When stitching the rows of pin tucks, I use the width of my presser foot as a guide.  I usually make lots of pin tuck fabric at one time to use later as inserts in the heirloom fabric. Here is a video of the pin tucking technique. Here is the link to the pin tuck foot.

Puffing are strips of gathered batiste. I use the gathering foot along the edges of the strip. I have included a link to the instructions on how to use the gathering foot. Jenny’s Sewing Studio has links to gathering feet for all machines. Here is the low shank gathering foot link.

Decorative stitch inserts add a nice touch to heirloom projects I have included a link to a past blog article on decorative stitch sewing machine inserts.

Pintuck fabric and gathered strips of fabrics is usually joined together with entrudeux. Entrudeux means space in between and helps to join panels nicely. You usually can buy entrudeux as a yardage of narrow trim. You can also make your own using a wing needle and organdy with a ladder stitch and cord.

Create your heirloom project by joining your decorative strips together to form fabric. Here is where the zig-zag stitch and lace are used.  Using a width of 2.5mm and a length of 2.5mm you can roll the edge of the batiste fabric and lace together.

I hope you enjoy creating with heirloom sewing.


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