I’ve had buttonhole filling on my embroidery video list for a long time! It’s been one of those “unlinked” stitches that’s been nagging me. I finally got around to filming the stitch – in two varieties, detached and attached.
In detached buttonhole filling, you don’t pass through the fabric as you work the buttonhole filling. In attached, you do. Attached buttonhole filling gives you more scope, I think, for varying the placement of stitches, so that you can create effective filling patterns. The detached buttonhole, though, gives you a bit more room for dimensional effects, since you can take out part of your foundation fillings and fold the buttonhole area back on itself – or make petals or leaves that stand away from the fabric.
Here’s a photo of the filling. I worked the edge and the filling in contrasting colors for the sake of clarity.
And here are some in-progress photos of a leaf-shaped area filled with the buttonhole filling.
First you start by outlining the shape.
Then you begin to fill it from the wide part to the narrow part.
You have to decrease the number of stitches in the rows as you work towards the tip.
The stitch begins with outlining your shape to be filled, using either a reversed chain stitch, like I do in the video, or you can regular chain stitch, split stitch, or even backstitch. The advantage of the reverse chain is that it provides you with the loops to catch your buttonhole stitch in, and it tends to be a bit rounder or fuller than a regular chain.
The stitch is not so complicated, but if you aren’t familiar with how buttonhole stitch works, you might want to take a look at the buttonhole video tutorial. This will help you get the knack for buttonhole, especially where the working thread goes in relation to the needle.
Here’s the video:
For more video tutorials, please visit my collection of how-to videos for hand embroidery.
Have fun with it!