I recently shared this little tutorial with the Patreon Ladies … and although all of my blog followers may enjoy thinking about stitch relationships too. The question is … “If Stitches were a family, would it be cousins or maybe even siblings?” This may seem like a strange conversation to yourself … but consider the similarities of just these few embroidery stitches.
While some people like to create the freestanding chain stitch by pinning and pinning in the same hole … it’s often best to put a thread or two between these positions for stability and an easy seam.
Needle up at A and down at B; Temporarily release the thread. A loop is formed when you pull the thread after you have needled at C. The loose thread is caught by the needle as it passes under the needle and is therefore held back. Needle down at D to create a short basting stitch that will hold the loop in place.
If you were using the “scoop” method of sewing … then the needling at B would be down and at C up in one motion. The A and D movements would be “stitch methods” as they do not need to be scooped.
Next, consider the fly bite. Really, it’s the same as the severed chain stitch, but we’ve moved A and B further apart. So if you can sew a severed chain stitch, there’s no reason a fly stitch isn’t in your library either.
Logically, this also applies to the herringbone stitch. The only real difference between the fly stitch and the length of the basting stitch (distance between the C&D needle positions). Herringbone stitches are most often made in a vertical line … which then resembles the backbone of a fish; therefore the name.
Changing the angle of part of a stitch … like this vertical basting stitch on the fly stitch changes the look of the stitch … and opens up more options. Feather stitches are similar to fly stitches or herringbone stitches … they just need the direction of the C / D needle positions shifted left or right.
The above diagram is busy … but let’s break it down to the basics. We start with an open chain stitch … needle up at A, sew down again at B … and shovel up at C. Instead of going down just below … we move the needle to the right. If we consider the angle and space to be consistent, the result will appear as in the diagram above. In this way, our “C” becomes a new A …; and we keep going until we’ve sewn together the amount of those we need … then we tack the last one in place. As you move left and right, variations in the feather stitch are created.
Notice how changing the angle between A and B shortens one side of this diagram stitch. This can add variety to your feather seams and is very helpful when trying to fill in an unusually shaped space with seams.
Loops can even be worked into stitches by twisting the fiber before tacking. This is easy when you “scoop” between B and C, as the thread can be passed over UNDER the needle before basting. This causes it to “cross” itself and create the loop.
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and you might think about how some stitches are related … if only in their way of creating them. For beginners … IF you can learn the freestanding chain stitch … then there are sure to be as many others (as mentioned above) within your reach.
Hope your stitching is fun. Hugs!
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