Heirloom sewing

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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.[1]

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.


  1. ^ Ahles, Carol Laflin: Fine Machine Sewing, p. 115


  • Ahles, Carol Laflin: Fine Machine Sewing Revised Edition: Easy Ways to Get the Look of Hand Finishing and Embellishing, Taunton Press, rev'd ed. 2003, ISBN 1-56158-586-6
  • Pullen, Martha: French Hand Sewing by Machine: The Second Book, Martha Pullen Co (January 1985), OCLC 16678196