Introduction to Cutwork Embroidery

In our buttonhole stitch tutorial, we talked about creating connections between open areas of cutwork with buttonhole stitches. This article discusses two techniques for creating cutwork embroidery using the buttonhole and overcast stitches.

This is definitely an embroidery technique that you should practice on scrap fabric before using expensive fabric or a piece that you have invested a great deal of time already embroidering.

How to Create a Buttonhole Connector for Cutwork Embroidery

Where your embroidery pattern or design calls for a buttonhole connector, work the entire lower line of buttonhole stitch first.

cutwork embroideryNext work on the upper edge of the area to be removed, making tight buttonhole stitches up to where you wish for the connector to be. Drape your thread across the area to be cut away and slide the needle up and through one of the loops on the lower line of buttonhole stitch, as shown in the diagram. Pull snug enough to make the thread taught but not enough to pucker the fabric. Go down a second time to the lower row inserting your needle into the loop directly next to the loop where you worked the last time. Then cover the three threads between the rows thickly with button hole stitches.

How to Create Eyelet Holes Cutwork Embroidery

eyelet-cutout1Sew a running stitch around the area to be cut out.

Using a sharp pair of finely pointed scissors remove the eyelet hole.

Edge with overcasting stitches, worked from let to right.

When you have a long row of eyelet holes to make, outline the upper and lower halves alternately, first on one side and then on the other, using two threads, and then overcast them in the same way or use the buttonhole stitch as was done in the example below. The double crossing of the working threads between the eyelet holes makes them much stronger, than if each hole were finished off separately, and the thread passed underneath from one to the other.

eyelet-cutout3The example below is worked the same way except the bottom half of the eyelet is edged with overcast stitching and the top half is made using button hole stitches.

This is far from a full instructional guide on cutwork embroiderybut it should serve as an introduction to the technique and stitches used.

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