How to hand embroider Sailors Edge Stitch

Sailors Edge stitch and Sailors Stitch are similar. I think Sailors Edge Stitch is a variety of Sailors stitch as the main hand motions required to make the stitch are the same.  They are a good example of  how if you change one hand movement in the process it can totally change the look and usage of a stitch. I found this version in The Batsford Encyclopedia of Embroidery Stitches by Ann Butler.

 

How to work Sailors Edge Stitch

Work is stitch down a vertical line from top to bottom.

sailors edge stitch how to illustration

Have your needle emerge at the top-of-the-line. Move it down the line and take a small bite of the fabric as illustrated.

sailors edge stitch how to illustrationWith your needle pointing left keep the thread under the needle tip pull the needle through so you have a small buttonhole stitch.

sailors edge stitch how to illustrationInsert your needle at the base of the buttonhole stitch with the needle tip emerging at the other side of the buttonhole as illustrated. Wrap your thread under the needle as you would a chain stitch and pull the needle through.

sailors edge stitch how to illustrationContinue down the line in this manner.

As you work hold each loop on to the fabric with your left thumb (if you are right handed)  until the little chain stitch anchors it.

sailors edge stitch how to illustrationAs you can see it is quite easy to work and as a result it is a quick edging stitch. If you vary the tension of the thread between each buttonhole you will produce a looped edge.

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How to hand embroider Sailors stitch

sailors stitch sampleI first discovered Sailor stitch listed as a border stitch in Jan Eaton’s The Complete Stitch Encyclopedia listed as a border stitch but have discovered it is extremely versatile. Sailor stitch can be used as an edging stitch that can be worked along the hem or edge of an item. Since it s a buttonhole stitch with a chained base it forms a hard wearing ridge which makes it far more useful as a way to finnish and edge of something like a fabric postcard for instance, than regular buttonhole. It can also be used as an edge for appliqué work producing a ridged line around the shape.

Sailor stitch can to be working multiple rows to fill a shape or can be worked back-to-back. Most of the varieties of buttonhole will lend themselves to Sailors stitch too. A variation in threads will change the look of a stitch. Also this stitch can be used on plain or evenweave fabric. So although it is not very well known it is very versatile.

How to work Sailors Stitch

Sailor stitch is buttonhole with a chained base. To work this stitch you need to know buttonhole stitch and chain stitch

Work is stitch vertically from top to bottom

sailors stitch how to illustrationHave your needle emerge at the top-of-the-line and move it down the line and take a small bite of the fabric as illustrated.

sailors stitch how to illustrationWith your needle pointing left keep the thread under the needle tip pull the needle through so you have a small buttonhole stitch.

sailors stitch how to illustrationInsert your needle at the base of the buttonholes stitch with the needle tip emerging  further down the line. Wrap your thread under the needle as you would a chain stitch and pull the needle through

sailors stitch how to illustrationTo secure the the chain stitch tie it off with small buttonhole stitch by taking a small bite of the fabric as illustrated.

sailors stitch how to illustrationContinue down the line. I think of the rhythm as being buttonhole, chain button hole chain and so on.

sailors stitch how to illustrationAs you can see it is quite easy to work and as a result it is a quick edging stitch.

sailors stitch how to illustrationSailors stitch is similar to Sailors edge stitch. The two stitches illustrate, how if you change a little thing while working a stitch it can totally change the look and usage of a stitch.

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