Thursday, November 3, 2016

Buttonhole Stitch

The next step on my Hardanger bookmark is a buttonhole edging, all the way round the bookmark. Buttonhole Stitch? I know how to do that, no problem. Hmm. Not so fast Jane. I started off on the bookmark and found that it was very difficult to get a smooth, consistent look with a stitch in each hole. It's vital to work in every space so that the fabric can be trimmed without falling apart.  I unpicked that and started practising on a bare patch of fabric:
It looks rather ratty, but I learnt a lot. It's easier to get the stitches correct if you do a whole stitch at a time, needle in and needle out before pulling the thread. Then you can see there are four threads on the needle. I have a tendency to do stitches in two halves, which is laborious as well as ineffective in this case. Also, it's easier to see what's happening on the reverse side, so I kept turning the work over to make sure I was on track.

As well as practising the stitch itself, I tried out turning an outside corner, turning an inside corner and joining in new thread, which are all part of  Lesson Three. None of them were as easy as they sounded! I found a way of using pins to help me with the outside corner:
Now I must take a deep breath and try the bookmark again.


  1. Now this I understand ! I've done cutwork embroidery and used buttonhole stitch all around ; even button holing over thread strands to bridge wider spaces.
    It is not my favorite stitch, but I do love cutwork.
    Working angular and precise lines can be quite a challenge. Glad you've worked it out :-)
    Would it help if you had guide lines for the base as well as the tip using coloured sewing thread, and then pulling it out later, or at regular intervals?
    I really enjoy watching all your practice pieces, and steps.

    1. I did try that but I found that seeing the threads on the needle worked better.

  2. I thought I know that stitch too but now that I look at it I see what you mean. I know you can't but wish you could cut everything out to start with ❤️😄

  3. I have tried cut work, I know it's not easy, I am sorry to say I gave up and stuck to just embroidery
    It looks like your practicing is paying off

  4. Practice makes perfect, you are doing a good job, your stitching has improved and looks much neater.