Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch

up and down buttonhole sampleUp and down buttonhole is a variation of buttonhole stitch which is also known as Mirrored buttonhole stitch. Up and Down Buttonhole is easily worked on all types of fabrics. The line this stitch forms is made up of a pair of stitches which are crossed with a tie at the base. Up and down buttonhole is an incredibly versatile stitch. It is simple to work yet a little unusual. Do  look at the directions as this is not two buttonhole stitches close together or with simple tied bar. The stitch can be worked in a square or long a line as illustrated below.

How to work Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch

Work this stitch from left to right. Each stitch of the pair is separate step. Up and down buttonhole step 1Starting as you would with buttonhole work the first stitch of the pair as a regular buttonhole stitch with your needle pointing downwards wrap the thread under the needle and pull the needle through. Up and down buttonhole step 2For the second part of the stitch, insert the needle and take a bite of the fabric so that the tip of the needle is pointing upwards as illustrated. Up and down buttonhole step 3Wrap the working thread under the needle and pull the needle through the foundation fabric. As you pull the needle through pull the needle towards you instead of away from you. As you do this hold down the loop that forms with the left thumb to prevent it slipping. The loop forms as you stitch. Up and down buttonhole step 4Note I have noticed online that some instructions create a loop then lace the working thread through the stitch. This is wrong the loop is created as you stitch and once you have the rhythm of the stitch it is easy and quick to do. This loop forms the bar at the base of both stitches. This forms the first pair of tied stitches. Up and down buttonhole step 5Work along the line. Once you have the rhythm of the stitch it is easy and quick to do. Up and down buttonhole sample 5As I have said Up and down buttonhole is an incredibly versatile stitch. Along a line the spines can change angle or length. Up and down buttonhole sample 3The stitch is easily worked in a circle with spines pointing inwards or outwards. Up and down buttonhole sample 2You can also work it along a curve.   Up and down buttonhole sample 4 Return to Stitch Dictionary Index page

Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

marking a seam using my stitchers Templates As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery, I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates, you can create hundreds of different patterns to apply to your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box. Templates set 1 you will find here  Templates set 2 you will find here  a tangle of pinsFollow Pintangle and have it delivered to your inbox You can have Pintangle delivered to your inbox by using the ‘follow’ feature in the sidebar. Just enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email make sure you say yes and you are all set! If you are on a mobile or tablet you will need to scroll to the bottom to find the ‘follow’ feature.



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51 Responses to Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch

  1. vero says:

    merci pour ce point je suis vraiment en retard mais je continue …

  2. Yuma Tatter says:

    Just a note that I’m still stitchin’…just behind. I have finished all of June’s work now..you can see it on my blog. Just starting on July…hopefully can get caught up at some point…we are traveling this summer, and there just isn’t as much time to stitch. 🙂

  3. Hello Sharon,
    My sampler for Up and Down Buttonhole stitch is in my blog

  4. Dianne says:

    I have jumped from Week 20 to Week 28 due to travelling around the countryside. Have posted my sample called Felt Donuts on my blog here: http://dinkydideequilts.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/felt-donutstast-revisited.html

  5. Hi Sharon, I’m back from my lovely holiday and this is my sample…….you can find it here………………………
    chris richards

  6. maneki says:

    I haven’t been able to participate since the bullion knots, but last week I picked up my needle and thread again. This stitch is one I’ve wanted to learn for some time — and it turned out to look trickier than it was.


  7. Anneliese says:

    somewhat belated but here it is:
    -The cactus garden is growing –

  8. Hello
    Here is my sample for the up and down buttonstitch:

  9. Lucy Landry says:

    Another new stitch that I found very interesting. This one was lots of fun. I’ve made a snake!


  10. Claudia says:

    Hi Sharon and everyone, again this was a new stitch for me and I really liked to learn and use this stitch. I had lot of fun with my little embroidery! Thanks for all and have a nice week!
    Happy Stitching! Claudia

  11. Beth B says:

    I haven’t posted a picture of my mini-sampler in a while. I’m keeping up by doing at least a small sample of each stitch, but haven’t had time for much more. Still enjoying the challenge though.

  12. Ann says:

    I really enjoyed learning the up and down buttonhole stitch! Tried it by itself and then couched/wove a couple strands of perle thread in the stitches. Added these samplers to my TAST embroidery journal:


  13. jacqui boyd says:

    here is a link to this week work on the Up and Down buttonhole stitch plus the bonnet and palestrina stitch. This project is keeping me sane for the time being !


  14. Hi Sharon,
    Nice stitch. I have blogged about it :
    and added it to the Flickr group:


  15. Rose says:

    My Up and Down Buttonhole stitch scribble is done. I agree with Christina on the ergonomics of this stitch. It took me a while to get a good left hand approach to it.


  16. I’m behind, but determined to get caught up!! At least I’m on time for this week’s stitch. You can see my Up and Down Buttonhole sampler here: http://www.linda-hubbard.blogspot.ca/2012/07/tast-week-26-up-and-down-buttonhole.html
    Thanks for stopping by!!

  17. Annet says:

    I enjoyed experimenting with this stitch again. The details are on my blog:
    My up and down buttonhole stitch sampler is on my Flickr-page:

  18. christine says:

    Thanks Sharon for this very nice stitch!!!

  19. Niina says:

    I fell so far behind because of personal reasons, (damn those personal reasons), but I’m decided not to give up and stitched five samplers in one sitting. Here are my samplers from 11 to16:
    French Knot
    Stem Stitch
    Satin Stitch
    Barred Chain
    Whipped Wheel

    Can I be proud of myself now? Anyhoo, thanks Sharon! You are an inspiration to me.

  20. SusieW says:

    It feels strange, but good to be caught up and posting so early in the week. My seam is here http://www.flickr.com/photos/susie_w/ I am learning so much from these exercises. While working toward my goal of creating a complicated, combination seam each week, I always seem to lag part way through. I think “well ….. not every seam can be fabulous ….. just get on with it”, but I hang in there and somehow come up with the “right” combination and am pleased in the end. Thank you for the inspiration and format that is teaching me to let go and trust in my own creativity.

  21. My sampler is completed. You can have a look if you want
    http://j-en-revais.blogspot.com/2012/07/tast-28.html I like this up and down buttonhole stitch very much.

  22. Reba says:

    Did a small sample…might create a small pillow or perhaps an ornament,…Blessings to all

  23. Debbie says:

    I didn’t do the Bonnet stitch last week, so I combined it with this week’s Up and Down Buttonhole. http://debbiesfiberwork.blogspot.com/2012/07/tast-weeks-27-and-28.html

  24. Hi Sharon,
    I have started working on this stitch sampler, the details are here-
    Thank you,

  25. ValerieL says:

    I did my sampler already. You can find it here:

  26. crazypatch says:

    un point bien agréable à travailler. pour voir ma réalisation c’est ici:http://carrementcrazy2.canalblog.com/archives/2012/07/11/24685670.html

  27. Karrin Hurd says:

    As it was my day off, I did the stitch Tuesday for a change. You can see it here: http://karrinscrazyworld.blogspot.com/

  28. leelagovind says:

    this time i made my sampler immediately as it is one of my favourites..here is my sample of up and down buttonhole..


  29. Annet says:

    Here’s my weekly post with old up and down buttonhole stitches:
    I’m looking forward experimenting with this stitch again!

  30. Diane says:


    Here’s my latest mini-project while I search out the right cloth to finish the last half year of stitches for TAST.

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