Detached buttonhole vs chain in a very tiny space

Last time I wrote about how difficult it was to work detached buttonhole stitch inside the tiny shapes at the bottom of the purple flowers. These little petals are only 1.5 cm/1 inch long and 0.5 cm/1/4 inch wide. By the time I worked chain stitch around the edge, there wasn’t much room for any detached button hole stitches in the center! I tried doing back stitch around the edge but I couldn’t get the needle under the stitch without stripping the gold wire of the Gilt Sylke Twist. Impossible.

Although I managed to complete two leaves, they look like a mess of twisted thread rather than any recognizable stitch. Well, if the shape is too small to accommodate the stitch, then change the stitch. Seems obvious now but I was determined and only gave up after pretty obviously being unsuccessful.

So I asked myself , “What was the defining look of detached button hole stitch that I wanted here?”  An open, airy look. What could I use that would achieve a similar effect? Chain stitch. Good old reliable chain stitch. And it worked. It looks great. It wasn’t difficult. The gold wire didn’t strip off the silk thread of Gilt Sylke Twist. It fills the shape nicely and adds a lovely texture to the bottom of the flower.

So, after much trial and even more error, my recommendation is to use chain stitch rather than detached buttonhole stitch in a very tiny space.

Seeing it as it will be…

It has not been a good weekend for stitching. Maybe it’s because I’m unsettled about going to England on Monday. I’m thinking about what to take, what not to forget, what I might need, what I think I’ll need and then reject as unnecessary…Or maybe it’s just a slump. Slumps happen and they never feel good when they do.

I worked on the purple flowers at the bottom of the design most of the afternoon. Doing the detached buttonhole stitch in such a small shape was really difficult. I couldn’t get my needle to go under the threads properly so it ended up looking crowded.

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Snip snip snip…

Having decided to remove the shaded stitching on the long, narrow leaves, I sat down to carefully snip them out. I had to remove three kinds of thread: the gold passing thread on the top, the Gilt Sylke Tiwst all around the edge and finally the tiny stitches of silk. For the gold and the GST, I used my goldwork scissors. I NEVER use my “regular” scissors for anything but embroidery thread – silk, wool or cotton.

I started to remove the stitches using my regular scissors but the stitches were so tiny and so tight that I was terrified I would cut the fabric so I stopped. Then I remembered a pair of scissors that one of my students brought to embroidery class – they would be perfect for this task! So I hot-footed it down to the shop and purchased the very last pair. Whew!

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