Beaded Butterfly Chain Stitch

Beaded Butterfly chain stitch is a variety of Butterfly chain that has a little extra shine because you add beads as you go.

What needle Do I use for Beaded Butterfly Chain stitch? 

As for all the beaded stitches I am sharing the main thing is to use a needle you can bead with. Use a size 26 tapestry needle. Since the eye of a tapestry needle is long you can thread perle #8 and Perle #5 however the needle itself is thin which means you can add a bead to your working thread and the needle will pass through the bead. This means you can bead as you stitch, in other words the process of beading becomes part of the stitching, rather than added afterwards. This tip is key to success with this type of beaded embroidery.

A tip : If you have tension problems which result in puckering, work Beaded Butterfly chain stitch with the fabric stretched in an embroidery hoop. It really does help! If you need to know more about using an embroidery hoop see  How to bind and use an embroidery hoop This article covers not only binding a hoop but, what size to use and  how to tension it for surface embroidery.

How to work Beaded Butterfly Chain Stitch

Before you work beaded butterfly chain be familiar with regular butterfly chain stitch.

butterfly chain step 1Work a foundation of three vertical straight stitches arranged in blocks along a line.

butterfly chain step 2On the second journey, bring your thread from the back of the fabric and tie each group of stitches together with a twisted chain stitch. Pass the needle under the three straight stitches (not through the fabric) , and wrap the thread across the needle and then under the needle before pulling the needle through to form a twisted chain.

So far we are doing regular butterfly chain stitch. Now the stitch become Beaded butterfly chain by adding a bead!

Beaded butterfly chain step 2Tension the twisted chain stitch by pulling it snug then thread a bead on to the working thread.

Beaded butterfly chain step 3Pass the needle under the next three straight stitches, and wrap the thread across the needle and then pull the needle through to form a twisted chain. Add a bead then continue along the line.

As I say I think it easier to see the two stitches side by side.

Butterfly chain sample Also here are few samples to give an idea of what can be done with butterfly chain.

Butterfly chain sample Adding beads would enhance any of these samples!

Butterfly chain sample

Enjoy the stitch!

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11 Responses to Beaded Butterfly Chain Stitch

  1. Hi Sharon,
    I enjoy adding beads while working the stitches, your idea of using tapestry needle no.5 is very useful, never would have thought of it myself.
    my beaded butterfly chain stitch sampler-
    Thank you,

  2. Pamela says:

    Still trying to catch up. Here are my samples of 101 and 102 –


  3. Anneliese says:

    And Sharon, I love your samples – beautiful.

  4. Anneliese says:
    Here is my very little stitching – on my band sampler – later I wil use this stitch on a bigger piece of fabric.

  5. Maureen Bond says:

    Pretty stitch, even nicer with beads. I have just the one sample this week at

    So far I have done plain samples of the numbered stitches from 1-63 and on a separate cloth am working on this years lot.

  6. Angela says:

    Thanks for the great instructions for this stitch. It was easy to learn. I added some to my crazy journal project from last year. All of the block seams still need to be embellished. You can see it at

  7. queeniepatch says:

    It is great to see how the basic stitches we have learned so far can become beaded.

    • sharonb says:

      Hi Queenie yes I am enjoying experimenting not only with the basic stitches but also with what I call th todd ball ones too – some really pop when beaded.

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