Thursday, September 13, 2012

Heirloom Sewing

Before television, before the telephone or Internet, what did women do with their quiet time, before the family woke? I often wonder what they did after completing their daily chores. How did they fill their remaining time before sleeping? I can see them reading, writing letters (and books or journals), entertaining friends, canning, and sewing. What am I forgetting?

Anyway… within the sewing aspect (since it is National Sewing Month), I envision the lady of the home busy embellishing little outfits for her children, adding those extra charming touches making the item unique and special.

This brings to mind Heirloom sewing. Has anyone ever watched Martha Pullen? I try and catch her PBS show (Martha’s Sewing Room) every Sunday afternoon. She and her guests share amazing techniques. If you’re slightly interested in Heirloom sewing, I highly recommend finding out when she’s on in your neck of the woods!

What is Heirloom sewing? I went to Wikipedia for a quick definition and this is how they explained heirloom sewing:
Heirloom sewing is a collection of needlework techniques that arose in the last quarter of the 20th century that imitates fine French hand sewing of the period 1890-1920 using a sewing machine and manufactured trims.
Heirloom sewing is characterized by fine, often sheer, usually white cotton or linen fabrics trimmed with an assortment of lace, insertions, tucks, narrow ribbon, and smocking, imitating such hand-work techniques as whitework embroidery, Broderie Anglaise, and hemstitching.
Typical projects for heirloom sewing include children's garments (especially christening gowns), women's blouses, wedding gowns, and lingerie.
I was unsure of two of their listed characteristics so searched further:

1) Whitework Embroidery
Whitework embroidery refers to any embroidery technique in which the stitching is the same color as the foundation fabric (traditionally white linen).
 2) Broderie Anglaise
Broderie Anglaise (French, "English Embroidery") is a whitework needlework technique incorporating features of embroidery, cutwork and needle lace that arose in England in the 19th century.
Broderie Anglaise is characterized by patterns composed of small holes or eyelets bound with overcast or buttonhole stitches. Later Broderie Anglaise also featured small patterns worked in satin stitch.
I believe Heirloom sewing brings a lovely charm to fabric like none other. I plan to incorporate Heirloom sewing into some upcoming projects created at Lanetta’s Creations!

P.S. Do you have any Heirloom sewing tips you would like to share?

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