October 1, 2009
Broderie Anglaise ("English Embroidery") is a type of whitework needlework that usually features eyelets and buttonhole stitches. (Whitework means white thread on white, blackwork means black stitching on white).

I always confused eyelet with broderie anglaise (it is a common mistake as broderie anglaise HAS eyelet holes in it) but broderie anglaise is more elaborate and much more time consuming and often features floral patterns.

It became popular in the 19th century in England and may have come or been inspired from the delicate and ornate Ayrshire needlework (Scotland). Broderie anglaise was mostly used on linens, undergarments, and christening gowns.

Sources: 1.] 1922 French fashion plate Pratt Libraries, 2.] Blouse from cherchons.com, 3.] Dahlia Dress from ASOS, 4.] Broderie anglaise cape top 1860-1960.com, 5.] Detail of hem Corsets and Crinolines, 6.] Patterns for broderie anglaise Marquise.de


  1. Such charmingly gorgeous pieces. I adore both broderie anglaise and eyelet, they conjure up thoughts of vintage ladies in summer dresses sipping lemonade on Victorian verandas :)

    Wishing you a splendid month of October, my dear!
    ♥ Jessica

  2. So very beautiful, and such an education on the lovely details!

  3. Oh wow, these are delightful. Although popular in the 19th century as you mentioned, I hope dresses like the blue one make a big come back in the next year. I'm planning on making some of my own using a Broderie Anglaise supplier I found recently: http://www.alacraft.com.au/broderie-anglaise-cat19 ...but, I think I'll need some more practice before I can make something as good as in the photo!

  4. Oh, these are delightful. I especially like the blue dress. As you say, these were popular in the 19th century, but wouldn't it be nice to see that type of fashion make a mainstream comeback today?

    I've recently been thinking of making my own Broderie Anglaise dresses and tops using an online supplier I found: http://www.alacraft.com.au/broderie-anglaise-cat19 but I think I'll need some more practice with basic items before making a full dress.

    Lovely article Rodellee.


Thank you for taking the time to leave me a little comment, I do try to respond back as often as I can. Have a lovely day! xoxo - Rodellee