Pin stitching was originally done by hand. Drawn thread work is a form of counted-thread embroidery based on removing threads from the warp and/or the weft of a piece of even-weave fabric. The remaining threads are grouped or bundled together into a variety of patterns. The more elaborate styles of drawn thread work use in fact a variety of other stitches and techniques, but the drawn thread parts are their most distinctive element. It is also grouped as whitework embroidery because it was traditionally done in white thread on white fabric and is often combined with other whitework techniques. The most basic kind of drawn thread work is hemstitching. Drawn thread work is often used to decorate the trimmings of clothes or household linens. The border between hemstitching gone fancy and more elaborate styles of drawn thread work isn’t always clear.
In 1890, Karl Friedrich Gegauf set up his own business in Steckborn, Switzerland, opening an embroidery and mechanical workshop for the manufacture of his own invention, a monogram embroidery machine. Together with his brother Georg, a salesman, Karl Friedrich ran the “Gebrüer Gegauf” (Bros. Gegauf) company. Through his involvement in the textile industry, he noticed how laborious it was to produce hemstitching, which until then could only be done manually. Consequently, in 1893 Karl Friedrich Gegauf invented the world’s first hemstitch sewing machine, capable of sewing 100 stitches per minute.
In 1895 the Bros. Gegauf workshop was completely destroyed by fire, except for the prototype of the hemstitch sewing machine, which was the only thing that could be rescued. Undeterred, Karl Friedrich erected a new workshop in an old barn, where the focus was no longer on embroidery, but on the construction of the hemstitch sewing machine, which the company now also exported abroad. 70 people were employed in the serial production of the hemstitch sewing machine. The name Gegauf became so famous that from then on, the mechanical production of hemstitching, whether as embellishment for handkerchiefs, tablecloths or bedspreads, was commonly referred to as “gegaufing”.
Now some clever seamstress has developed a method to mimick hemstitching using a wing needle. The wing needle puntures holes in the fabric that look like the holes made by the drawn threadwork.
In order for hemstitching to look good, it must be done on natural fibers, such as cotton or linen. It will not work on synthetic fibers such as polyester. In addition, the fabrics should be somewhat thin, such as batiste or handkerchief linen.
Set machine stitch to pin stitch, which looks sort of like a ladder without one side, the “rungs” of the ladder should stitch over the lace heading towards the right. Machine Settings on my Bernina 1260 are Stitch width = 2.5, Stitch length = 2.5
*please note that these are the settings I used – you might have to adjust the width and length on the project you are working on.
Place a piece of Stitch ‘n Ditch paper under fabric and lace Align the needle so that the left straight stitch line will be directly above the lace heading – “rungs of ladder” will stitch into the lace *Note: I like to use a clear foot for this step, as it makes it alot easier to see where the lace meets the fabric and to keep my straight stitch directly above the lace seam line.
As you stitch you will be able to see the beautiful pin stitching! When complete, tear the Stitch ‘n Ditch paper away. Finished beautiful pin stitched edge! I do not always use the stabilizer, but you must make sure you starch the fabric very well or you won’t see the hemstitching. I also use a very find thread for this, you don’t want to fill up the decorative “holes” with thread.
The gown is finished, and I must say, it turned out beautifully, even if I do say so myself.
I am getting very close to finished with the dress itself. Just wanted to share this photo, with the sunlight streaming through the fabric you can really see the detail of the embroidery and how translucent the fabric is. Looks ethereal.
It is starting to look more like a dress now. I put gathered 1 inch lace edging along the 2 seam lines, but I am not sure about that, it may be too much, but I’ll have to wait until I get more completed to see if it overshadows the embroidery or if it looks out of place.
I decided to make the remainder of the skirt bottom out of panels divided by lace, each panel will have embroidery like the front but gradually tapering down to only embroidery at the bottom. This is one of the panels that will be attached directly behind the front panel.
It will be Teddy’s first easter this year. I think he needs something special to wear to church. I have lots of Nelona Baby Blue batiste, so I am going to make a Easter bubble for him.The first thing I set out to do was find a unique embroidery pattern that wasn’t run-of-the-mill Easter bunnies. I found this pattern and fell in love with it. It reminds me of Beatrix Potter drawings.
The embroidery in progress.
I decided to make the collars out of white handkerchief linen, they contrast well with the batiste fabric, and the embroidery shows up on them well.
The detail of the embroidery on the collars.
The finished project. Teddy will be the best dressed baby in the nursery, but then, I am prejudiced.
A little hint. If you have to stop an embroidery design in the middle of the project, there are some important steps you should take, in order to be able to finish correctly. (Ask me how I know… lol)
On my embroidery machine, and I assume on probably all embroidery machines, there is a stitch counter that displays the stitch count where you are currently in the design.
In this photo you can see the stitch count is at #11885. If I needed to stop at this point, for whatever reason, say reloading the bobbin, or to go do something else, etc., I keep a notepad and pen by my machine and I jot down that stitch count number.
Then, if while you were away, the machine gets turned off, for whatever reason, maybe the electricity blinks, somebody accidentally hits the switch or the cord, etc., then you can return to the exact spot to finish. If you fail to do this, and the machine gets turned off, the pattern will be reset to the beginning and it will be virtually impossible to find the same spot to finish that pattern. I learned this the hard way!
My oldest son had a suit when he was a newborn that was microcheck red gingham with a white bodice, footed pants to match, shirt buttoned up the back. I loved that little suit for him and wanted to make one just like it for Teddy.
It is difficult to find cute patterns for baby boys but I ran across this pattern a while back and bookmarked it because it had footed pants. I adapted the shirt part to button down the back, and made the top half of the shirt in white with redwork embroidery in a design suitable for christmas.
Detail of Top
It isn’t the exact same suit as the one I had for Michael, but it is pretty darn close.
This silk dupioni christening dress was adapted from a girls dress pattern called Natalie. It was featured in Issue 135 of Sew Beautiful Magazine.
Detail of lace fancy band
Detail of embroidery
I fell in love with this Alice Dress Pattern from Wendy Schoen/Petite Poche, the first time I saw it and decided I wanted to make it for my granddaughter, Hope. I could vision the embroidery in reds and greens for christmas.
I used genuine Irish Handkerchief Linen for the dress in white. Embroidery was worked by hand in red and green.
I think it came out beautifully.
Ever try to embroider on really thin fabric like Organdy?
I was attempting to machine embroider on Organdy for a new Christening Gown I have designed, but was having difficulty keeping it taut in the hoop. After quite a few trials and errors, and searching for info on the internet, I found a new technique.
Organdy is fairly stiff fabric but very, very sheer and thin, so it slips easily in the hoop. I solved this problem by using a thin layer of rubber drawer liner cut out like a frame to go between the organdy and the top hoop. This holds the organdy very nicely.
Cut the rubber draw liner into a rectangle that is larger than the hoop size, then cut out a rectangle in the middle that is smaller than the hoop size, making something that looks like a picture frame of rubber drawer liner.
This picture shows my two hoops with the frame for each one. Make sure you cut the inside rectangle small enough that the rubber frame will be hooped along with the organdy.
Then just hoop your organdy with the rubber frame on top, and embroider as normal. Another hint, on most fabric you can use white bobbin thread regardless of the color of the top embroidery thread. On organdy, the bobbin thread may show through in places, so it is best to use the same color in your bobbin as you do in your top thread.
In this photo you can see how the frame of rubber fits into the hoop.
This photo shows one on the right that was done without the rubber sheet, one on the left with the sheet, much neater.
I learn something new about sewing every day