How to Make Heirloom Stitches – (Steps & Guide)

Last Updated on July 19, 2023

Heirloom stitches are an excellent and versatile decorative option that can add an elegant touch to your sewing projects. With a little creativity and the right techniques, you can achieve stunning effects on items like handkerchiefs, tablecloths, and more.

How to Make Heirloom Stitches
Image Source: Youtube (Faodail Creation Sewing), Canva

What is Heirloom Stitches?

Heirloom stitches are decorative sewing stitches that create intricate patterns on fabric. They are often used to add a touch of elegance to projects such as handkerchiefs, tablecloths, and other decorative pieces.

To achieve the best results with heirloom stitches, we recommend using specific types of fabric, like 100% cotton or linen, and stabilizing the fabric using spray or water-soluble stabilizers to prevent puckering during sewing.

What Types of Fabric Work Best for Heirloom Stitches?

Before diving into heirloom stitching, choosing the right fabric is essential. For this technique, opt for either 100% cotton or linen. Broadcloth may be too thin, while denim or twill can be too thick, so cotton or linen strikes a perfect balance for heirloom stitches.

Preparing the Fabric

Stabilize your fabric before starting the heirloom stitching process to ensure the best results. Stabilizing prevents puckering and distortion of the fabric during sewing. Two common methods are using a spray stabilizer or a water-soluble stabilizer. Apply the spray stabilizer or wet the water-soluble stabilizer as per the product’s instructions and let it dry before proceeding.

Choosing the Right Needle

An heirloom needle is designed explicitly for heirloom stitching. It features a winged tip and is thicker than regular needles. As you sew, the heirloom needle creates tiny holes in the fabric, adding to the charm of the stitch. Insert the heirloom needle into your sewing machine with the flat side facing the machine’s reverse.

Selecting the Heirloom Stitch

Different sewing machines may offer various heirloom stitches. The Baby Lock Soprano recommends stitches such as numbers 40, 42, 45, 46, 48, 54, 56, 57, and 58 in the example provided. Experiment with these stitches to find the one that suits your project best.

Preparing Your Machine and Thread for Heirloom Stitches

Before beginning:

  1. Ensure your machine is set to the desired heirloom stitch.
  2. Double-check the recommended foot, and make sure the speed is steady but not too fast.
  3. Use the same thread color in both the top thread and the bobbin to maintain consistency in the stitch’s appearance.

How to Make Heirloom Stitches Steps by Step

Here, we’ll take you through the steps to create heirloom stitches and explore different variations to enhance your sewing projects.

thread the needle
Image Source: Youtube (Faodail Creation Sewing)
  • Thread the Needle: Since the heirloom needle has a unique design, you’ll need to thread it manually, as the automatic threader won’t work.
  • Prepare the Machine: Choose your machine’s desired heirloom stitch (e.g., stitch 48) and use the recommended foot, such as foot N.
  • Sewing Process: Position your fabric, ensuring the needle starts on the marked line. Begin sewing slowly and steadily, guiding the fabric without tugging it. The heirloom stitch will create a beautiful honeycomb pattern.
  • Ending the Stitch: To ensure a neat finish, press the designated button on your machine to signal the end of the stitch.

Adding Embroidery Thread

Adding Embroidery Thread
Image Source: Youtube (Faodail Creation Sewing)

To add an extra touch of creativity, experiment with embroidery thread in conjunction with the heirloom stitch.

  • Thread Selection: Choose a matching embroidery thread and use it both in the top thread and bobbin. Use a thread stand and a thread net to prevent twisting for smoother embroidery.
  • Sewing Process: Repeat the heirloom stitch process, but this time with the embroidery thread. Observe how the new thread color enhances the overall appearance of the heirloom stitch.

Attaching Ribbon

Attaching Ribbon
Image Source: Youtube (Faodail Creation Sewing)

Take your heirloom stitching to the next level by incorporating ribbons into the design.

  • Marking the Line: Use an iron to mark a straight line on your fabric.
  • Ribbon Placement: Lay the ribbon on the marked line, ensuring it aligns perfectly.
  • Ladder Stitch: Select stitch number 56, known as the ladder stitch. Use this stitch to secure the ribbon in place.


Heirloom stitches offer endless possibilities for creating intricate and decorative designs on fabric. Whether you’re working on napkins, tablecloths, or other sewing projects, heirloom stitches can elevate the final product.

Remember to stabilize your fabric, choose the right needle, and use the recommended stitches for the best results. With a bit of practice and creativity, you’ll master heirloom stitching and enjoy crafting beautiful and timeless pieces for any occasion.

Ask any Question Here!