Friday, 30 March 2018

Friday Extended Homework for: Tailor's Buttonhole Stitch

So here is my second, and third attempt at making a handmade keyhole buttonhole.

Last week's unsuccessful keyhole on the left.

This week's on the right, and this time it WAS stitched in the right direction. It is just slightly more tidy than the first attempt, and once again the light gray gimp shows through the stitches.

I then made a third buttonhole, using felt, so there was no need to worry about fraying.
They say that practice makes perfect. Well, at least practice gives a bit of improvement, even if only slight.

What have I learned?

  1. Practice, and you will improve.
  2. Get into a rhythm and don't stop once you have started stitching. This is the best way to make even-ish stitches.
  3. Make sure the gimp and buttonhole silk match the fabric (unless you want a contrasting look).
  4. Use a generous length of thread. To cast on the thread you need to have enough thread to maneuver.
  5. It was worth repeating the lesson. 

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

WIPW - Ready to Edge

Work In Progress Wednesday

Look at the difference on
Crazy for Crazy
Last week

and this week

There is a pile of purple beads in the piece in the middle.
There is some metallic thread on the lace flower

There is a 'worm' of kumihimo braid on the circle of visible mending

The Kumihimo braid was made on a foam disc with 8 strands of variegated perle, (that is the first tail that comes off the disc, for the second part, in the working, I have added another 8 threads to make it a thicker 16-thread braid to be used on another project.)

Next week I will be putting on a bias tape edge around the octagon.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Tailor's Buttonhole Stitch - Extended

Sunday Stitch School will offer no new stitch or five-stitch summery today.
Instead the homework for #55 Tailor's Buttonhole Stitch is extended to next Friday.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Friday Homework for Lesson 55: Tailor's Buttonhole Stitch

Oh, what a week! I spent quite some time on Tailor's Buttonhole Stitch, doing more research and trying out the various versions for my homework.

If you remember, 
the HOMEWORK was to:
  1. Try out the five variations of the stitch, taught last Sunday's lesson
  2. Pick a favorite
  3. Work a row on the Aida sampler
  4. Fill in a square on the Sunday Stitch School Reference Chart
  5. Make a couple of button holes or
  6. Play around with free form embroidery

1. Several readers have commented that they work the stitch in a different way from the five I showed. 
So I thought I should check out how professional tailors and dressmakers make a hand stitched buttonhole, as it might differ from the embroidery Tailor's Buttonhole Stitch. 

Here, videos turned out to be very informative and interesting. I found a number of different ways. Here are two:

The Yorkshire Tailor

Aluminiumfish/Mr Pasquale
Mr Pasquale used a stitch that reminds me of the basic Hedebo Stitch, used in Danish Hedebo Whitework.

After this research, I tried out my five stitches, and the two professional ones.

I tested them both in the middle of the fabric,

and on the edge.

2. So which is my favorite?
Well, I really like the two professional ones, Mr Pasquale's 'Hedebo Stitch' is the easier and quicker, but the Yorkshire Tailor's wasn't difficult - once you pay attention - more on that later!!!

As for looks, the version shown in Reader's Digest Complete Book of Embroidery, really gives a nice knitted edge, but it is tricky to do and time consuming.

3. On my Aida sampler I worked a row of The Yorkshire Tailor's Stitch

4. On the Sunday Stitch School's Preference Chart I made two versions,
Mr Pasquale's 'Hedebo' Stitch in brown 
and the one with the knitted top from Reader's Digest Complete Book of Embroidery in blue.

5. I thought I would try to make a tailoring buttonhole according to the Yorkshire Tailor's video, with the basting,

 oversewing serging,

waxing of the thread (I used real buttonhole silk!)
and gimp (didn't have any red, though)
 then I made the blunder of stitching the lower edge towards me, instead of the upper edge away from me! This proves that I will not be accepted as an apprentice in Savile Row!!!

 More proof of my incorrect stitch direction

 and uneven stitching....

 Well, I made one handmade buttonhole.
The gimp and the knot of the YT's Stitch made it a very strong buttonhole, albeit my untidy stitching is an eyesore.

So I'd like to redo my homework.
I'd like to have a holiday on Sunday and hand in a new buttonhole on Friday.

OK, good luck with your next 'keyhole'.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

WIPW - Good Progress

I have a lot to show for Work In Progress Wednesday this week.

Crazy for Crazy 
is getting dressed up.

Compare last week's progress with the present state.




 More 'bling' will be added!

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 55: Tailor's Buttonhole Stitch

Attention: This is a long post with many pictures!

Here is your last lesson of historic stitches, well for the time being at least.

We are looking at a stitch in one of the most controversial stitch families, Tailor's Buttonhole Stitch of the Buttonhole-Blanket Clan.

For further reading about the Buttonhole and Blanket stitches, how they differ and how their names cause so many discussions, please check out Mary Corbet's article at Needle 'n Thread.

(My impression is that on a hand hemmed blanket, where the space between the bars is wide, the stitch might be called Blanket Stitch.
The same stitch,  worked tightly together, just like the enforcement stitching around a buttonhole would be Buttonhole Stitch, ...
BUT for embroidery I use the term Buttonhole Stitch whatever the spacing!)

Now, let's focus on the Tailor's Buttonhole Stitch.
French names: point de feston tailleur or  point de boutonnière.

I have had a look at several of my stitch dictionaries and found various alternatives.

These five books contain five different directions for the stitch, sometimes resulting in the same look, sometimes with a totally different appearance.

First out is
Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches

The Embroidery Stitch Bible
teaches this method
(brown thread)

Reader's Digest Complete Book of Embroidery
(red thread)
the knotted edge is very pretty

Japanese book called Shishu (刺しゅう)
(blue thread)

Another Japanese book, Kiso-no-stechi, (基礎のステッチ) (Basic Stitches)

  • Four of them are worked from left to right, only the blue is worked right to left.
  • Two of them have the knots at the bottom, three at the top
  • In the first three you stitch towards you, in the two Japanese stitches (the last two) the needle is inserted away from you
  • In the red stitch the knots have a nice knitted look

So the HOMEWORK will be to:
Try them all out
Pick a favorite
Work a row on the Aida sampler
Fill in a square on the Sunday Stitch School Reference Chart
Make a couple of button holes or
Play around with free form embroidery