Heirloom Sewing Tips
is a stunning heirloom
technique that looks difficult but with the new machines and the
pinstitch capability can be completed with ease.
Learn this technique in 1 day and complete a hand towel
at the Carriage Studio.
Some tips for my simple Madeira technique
Madeira Appliqué Hand towel
Lynne Holyoake Technique
- Always spray starch fabric
- When doing Madeira it is most
effective to use white fabric and complement with a
- Use your open-toed machine foot
- Use Madeira 80 thread
- Always use the best fabric you can
afford. You will put a lot of work into your project, so it's worth
using great material.
- Natural fibres such as cotton, fine
wool, linen & silk are by far the most beautiful fabrics to wear
& to work with.
- Cotton laces which now have a 10%
polyester content for strength in the heading are more expensive but
will last longer & not yellow with age & laundering. They are
much more beautiful than nylon lace to stitch & wear. Nylon lace
can melt if it comes into contact with a hot iron.
- While sewing, to spare the iron is to
spoil the garment, always have the iron close to where you are working
& use it after every seam.
- Use fine cotton thread eg Metler™
60. or polyester thread covered with cotton eg Rasant™120.
- A Universal 60 or 70 needle to fit
your sewing machine is the best for heirloom sewing. Change the needle
every 4-6 hours & if it should ladder the fabric it has a burr, so
change it straight away. Machine needles are graded, so that the
smaller the number the finer the needle.
- A twin needle for pintucks should be a
1.6/70 or 2.0/70 or 2.0/80 for heirloom sewing. Always use a stitch
length of 2.0 or less. The 1.6or 2.0 represents the gap between the 2
needles in mm. The 70 & 80 refers to the size needle.
- Only watch the needle as you begin
sewing because if you watch the needle you will sew crookedly. Always
watch the edge of the foot or some place on the foot. Run the foot
down the edge of the fabric pintuck or lace & you will sew
- I always keep a wooden skewer close to
my sewing machine because it allows me to get close to the needle to
manipulate the lace or stitching on the fabric without any risk of the
needle going through my finger.
- Always stitch with a good light &
if you need it, use a magnifier.
Sewing Tip for August
- When gathering your fine heirloom garments,
use a strong thread like Rasant 120, 70 needle,
reduce the tension to 2.0 and use a stitch length of 2.0. Make sure you pull
up the bobbin thread which should pull up very easily. This allows you to
get small gathers on your fine fabric garments.
- Sometimes it is worth using the gathering
foot or the Ruffler, experiment with these feet, they can save you a lot of