Tag Archives: hand embroidery

Stitch Sunday 8 – Beaded Fly Stitch

So this is Stitch Sunday 7. this time it is fly stitch, and because regular fly stitch was part of TAST I am making it beaded fly stitch.

It is fitting that fly stitch is shown after a chain stitch variant, because fly stitch is a sort of link between the buttonhole/feather/cretan stitch family and the chain stitch family. On the one hand, it could be a sniplet of a feather stitch, on the other hand, it could be seen as a wide open detatched chain stitch.

Like most chain stitches, fly stitch can be done by doing the tacking stitch first and then threading through the loop, or by making a loop and then tacking it down with a stitch. Here I am using the latter method.

For beaded fly stitch, first put an even number of beads on the working thread.


Next, insert the needle at the other end of the loop, and have it come out again where the tacking stitch is supposed to be. Make sure half of the beads are on each side of the place you come up with the needle.- If you haven’t beaded the loop but want to bead the tacking stitch, put the required number of beads onto the working thread after this step.


At last, complete the tacking stitch and take the needle to the place where the next stitch is supposed to begin.


Of course, you can also work the tacking stitch first. In case you work with the fabric in a hoop and work stab action, this is recommended. In this case, first do a little straight stitch that is the tacking stitch. Bring the needle to the front where the loop is supposed to start. put half of the required beads on the working thread. Slide the needle under the tacking stitch without piercing the fabric. Put the rest of the beads on the thread. Sink the needle where the loop is supposed to end.

Was this clear enough without pics?

Stitch Sunday 7 – Reverse Chain Stitch

I know I am late, and I am sorry, but it is still Sunday after all ;-) .

This week’s stitch is reverse chain stitch. It looks really similar to regular chain stitch so it is not that spectacular. However, in some situations it is easier to do than chain stitch, especially when you try to work it stabbing, not sewing. Also, it is the base stitch for a few interesting variations we might get to some time later.

The principle behind this stitch is that you work the tack down stitch first, then you lace the chain stitch through it and sink the needle again, usually in the hole where it came to the front for the chain stitch. So you get a closed loop held down by either a tacking stitch or the next closed loop, which can be seen as the definition of the chain stitch family. The first chain is then the tack down stitch for the following ones. Except, of course, when you work it detached.

But now to the tutorial. To start a row, first work a little straight stitch as tacking stitch.

reverse chain stitch

Next, bring the needle to the front of your work again where the first chain link is supposed to end.

Slide the needle under the tacking stitch without piercing the ground fabric or the previous stitch. If you have to use a needle with a sharp point on your fabric, slide it under the tacking stitch eye first.


Sink the needle again through the same hole where the thread came out. The first chain link is formed. (Of course you can sink the needle wherever else, making some sort of open chain or twisted chain, just experiment)


bring the needle to the front again where the next chain link is supposed to end. Slide the needle through the last chain link like you slided it through the tacking stitch, sink the needle again into the hole where this chain link ends.


Behold the first two links of your chain! And repeat the last step until you’re done. You can use this stitch as a line stitch or filling stitch just like regular chain stitch.


Stitch Sunday 6 – Woven and Buttonholed Feathered Chain

Last sunday I showed you how to embellish feathered chain stitch by weaving the little leaves.

This makes a quite attractive plant. But, the stem of it is a little flimsy. You can change that by buttonholing over it.

You probably ended the weaving at the top of the plant. Now you wrap the working thread around the stem like you would do wrapped zigzag stitch.



Next, start working buttonhole stitches over the stem. Make sure the buttonhole stitches point to the outside of the zigzac.

woven buttonholed feathered chain

woven buttonholed feathered chain

When you arrive at the leaf, take to the needle to the other side of it so you can again work the buttonhole stitches to the outside.




Stitch Sunday 5 – Woven Feathered Chain Stitch

Sunday, Sunday! So I’m exploring yet another stitch ;-). Well, in fact it is not really new but a variation of last week’s stitch, but it would have been overkill to include it all in one posting.
I wove and buttonholed feathered chain stitch to make it look even more plant-like. It turns out rather bulky but can be effective together with other stitches depicting plant life. You should use a firm thread like pearl cotton, not floss.

So first, do an upright row of feathered chain stitch, done organically to look as much as a real plant as possible. Well, in fact I used the same stitches I showed last week and just continued.

Next, come up with the needle at the base of one little chain stitch leaf and weave the leaf without piercing the fabric.

woven feathered chain

woven feathered chain

woven feathered chain

When done, sink the thread at the top of the leaf and bring it out again at the base of the next leaf. If your embroidery is large scale run the thread under other stitches on the back side.


Now you have a nice leafy sprout.

woven feathered chain stitch

Stitch Sunday Inspiration – the New Sampler

This is the top section of my new sampler band. There is an example of free form feathered chain stitch. The lavander dots are tiny woven wheels. They are done without padding, do you know the trick to make them stand up like that? Or should I make them a stitch sunday stitch one day?


Stitch Sunday 4 – Feathered Chain Stitch

And it is sunday again. If you want to join me in my stitching adventures, post a link to your sample of this stitch in a comment.

Feathered chain stitch has been part of Sharon Bogon’s TAST challenge, but in a very different version. Today I show the other version, done my way. I have used this stitch a lot to represent real plants rather than as a formal border.

Here is a step by step. I did it without drawing lines, so that an organic shape can form. I’m not sure how to put the process in words without sounding stupid, so I just let the pics speak this time.





feathered chain stitch

Stitch Sunday Inspiration: Woven Roses

Everyone commented how my woven buttonhole wheels look like roses. Of course, that is a classic use of woven wheels done in Ribbon. Sorry to the ribbon embroidery fans if my work on this looks amateurish, I have never really learnt propper ribbon embroidery.

So I got a spool of organza ribbon, this was the only ribbon like thing and the only colour form the red family I could get without undertaking a trip across town (for which I had no time) so I went ahead with it.

First, I drew a little rambler rose twig and transferred it onto my current sampler using a fine liner. Then I stitched a buttonhole wheel. Roses are supposed to have 5 groups of petals, but I did the circles too big so I stitched 7 spokes. No one except the nature freaks are going to notice. Then I came up with the organza band in the middle and started weaving round and round.

woven wheel rose

The weaving was hard going because the buttonhole wheel lost stability from tugging on it. I kept tugging on the spokes after every stitch to keep them from wrapping around the organza. Later on the buttonloe wheel was pushed back into shape by the mass of organza band. In the last row, I wove very loosely to form the outer rose petals, then I sunk the organza band to the back.

The finished flower is a bit disordered because of the instable buttonhole stitches but charming. I fixed the outer petals with a few stitches in sewing thread which has the colour of the background.


For comparison, I did two other variants. The upper one with straight stitches emerging from the middle of the circle as spokes is (I believe) the traditional way to weave a ribbon rose. for the second one, I made a spider wheel as base. two spokes need to close to each other because you have to treat them as one to end up with an uneven number of spokes.

woven wheel roses

the straight stitch wheel was easy to weave, you have to find the right tension that creates neatly folded petals and that’s it.
The next picture shows how the spider wheel is woven. This again, is somewhat hard because it is not fixed in the middle.


No here are the finished roses. the spider wheel rose (lower, right)was imho no a sucess, the other two are charming, each in their own way.

woven rose


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