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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Technique Tuesday: Heirloom Stitching with a Wing Needle

One of the aspects that I love about sewing is that there is always more to learn.  As I was looking through my sewing machine manual recently, I decided that it was time to see just what my sewing machine could do.  There are many stitches and features that I simply don't know how to use, or understand their application.  So, I'm planning on exploring some of the different techniques that my sewing machine has to offer, and sharing them with you.

I'm in no way an expert, but maybe we can learn together, and give each other the confidence to try new things.

Wing needle and my machines monogramming foot.  I picked up the wing needle at a local quilting store. 

One of the abilities that my sewing machine has is to do some heirloom stitching.  I really know very little about heirloom sewing, so this is my starting point. Fortunately, if you can change your sewing machine needle, and stitch settings, you can create this stitch.

The heirloom stitches that my machine offers are sewn using a wing needle, sometimes referred to as a hemstitch needle. The sides of the needle are enlarged, and as the needle passes through the fabric multiple times, it creates a lace-like effect. The decorative effect is perfect for decorative hems and tablecloths.  It is best suited for thin to medium weight fabrics.

My sewing machine offers nine different stitches that are compatible with the wing needle.  I don't know about all machine brands, but I know that the brother that I owned before my current model also offered this stitch.

I tried  out all of the nine stitches, and this was by far my favorite stitch.  It is an eight pointed star...or flower...stitch.  I can see how it would be really sweet paired with some pin tucks and lace on the bodice of a dress.

My manual also has a bit of information on drawnwork.  I'm a bit more intimidated by this, and need to have the right fabric before attempting it.  Apparently with drawnwork, several threads are removed from the midsection of the fabric prior to stitching.  We'll save that topic for another day.

So, have you ever done any heirloom stitching?  If so, what have you used it on, and do you have any tips to share.  I'm thinking that a sampler dress is going to be in order.  


Kandice said...

I've been wanting to get one of these needles and try it out. The machine I'm using now doesn't have any fancy stitches, but I know they use the hemstitch technique to prepare flannel baby quilts for crocheted edging! So those sets you buy for outrageous amounts of dollars can be made for a fraction of the price. I'm definitely gonna have to try it!

Unknown said...

How awesome! Pretty sure my machine isn't smart enough to do this... but I'm adding it to my features list for me *next* machine :)

Shine said...

Hey Tricia, If you don't mind me asking, what kind of sewing machine do you use? Thanks!