Heirloom Embroidery

A number of years ago I learned how to do heirloom embroidery – it uses many different decorative stitches on a fine, light-weight fabric, a voile or batiste. The technique is used to decorate night gowns, fancy dresses for little girls, blouses. It involves inserting lace elements, using pin tucks and tucks, cutwork, and other decorative techniques. There are lots of books written about the technique and you can find many videos on YouTube.

Here is my first sample piece – a lace insert joined down the centre with entredeux, then rows of pin tucks, then rows of scallops and other decorative stitching.
Heirloom sample 1

Sample 2: Ribbon inserts, again joined with entredeux, then hemstitching, tucks, more hemstitching, pin tucks, some decorative stitches and a final row of hemstitching.
DSCF1116

Sample 3: This sample is done as three separate pieces. Again using hemstitching, lace insert, decorative stitches and tucks with some entredeux.
IMG_2153

I intend using all three of these as yokes for nightgowns. My current supply of nightgowns is dwindling (made from a delicate cotton, they do wear out). I need to put nightgowns on my “to do” list.

I created these three samples for a class on heirloom embroidery I taught – I had the women create heirloom samplers like these to use in whatever way they wished.

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