Lesson 1—Heirloom Terms, Supplies and Cutting

Heirloom Baby Gown Sew–Along

Presented by Brother International Corporation and Classic Sewing Magazine

Gown designed by Janice Ferguson, Brother Expert Sewing Consultant.

Click here for a printable version of this lesson. 

Other lessons available here: Lesson 2, Lesson 3, and Lesson 4

This baby gown is an example of heirloom sewing, also known as fine machine sewing or French sewing by machine. Heirloom sewing is a relatively new name for the fine art of French hand sewing, those techniques and materials that were used on garments before the advent of commercially machine-made fine clothing.

The techniques and materials of which were used on garments before the advent of commercially machine-made fine clothing. Most commonly, it is seen on infant and children’s clothing, including, but not limited to, special occasion garments such as Baptismal gowns, Easter dresses, and first communion dresses.

The Simplicity pattern used here, #8024, is designed for christening attire. Stitched in pastel pink, it would be so pretty for a baby to wear to a wedding or other important event. Traditionally, natural fiber fabrics such as fine cotton batiste and linen were embellished with lace, ribbon, hemstitching, tucks, smocking, ruching, embroidery, and more. Today, most of these hand-work techniques can be replicated beautifully and in a fraction of time with THE Dream Machine 2 Innov-ís XV8550D.

If you’ve never tried heirloom sewing, this tutorial can be your introduction and first lessons. If heirloom sewing is not new to you, we hope you will find a few new ideas, techniques, or inspiration. Select one or more of the techniques as an introduction to the satisfying beauty of heirloom sewing. Techniques in this project include working with lace insertions, lace shaping, gathering and attaching lace to flat lace, pinstitch, roll and whip, and lace width reduction.

LESSON 1 – Heirloom Terms, Supplies and Cutting
LESSON 2 – Creating the Skirt
LESSON 3 – Creating the Front Bodice and Ties
LESSON 4 – Creating the Sleeves and Finishing