Lace Border Stitch

Lace Border Stitch

I found Lace Border Stitch while browsing through a copy  The Batsford Encyclopaedia of Embroidery Stitches by Anne Butler. It looked interesting so I thought I would try it out

Lace Border Stitch looks trickier than it is. It forms a interesting lacy line which can be used on borders. To work it you need to be familiar with twisted chain stitch and scroll stitch. It may help some people to mark the width of the border they want to work.

Work from to to bottom starting your thread on the left hand side of your border.

Lace border stitch tutorial step 1
Start the stitch with a scroll stitch, worked horizontally across the width of your border.The scroll should sit on the right hand side of your border line.

Lace border stitch tutorial step 2
Next pass your needle under the bar formed. You do not take your needle through the fabric at this point in the process.

Lace border stitch tutorial step 3Pull the thread through and take it over the top of the bar.
Lace border stitch tutorial step 4
Take the needle to the left of your border and a little lower along the line work a small twisted chain stitch.
Lace border stitch tutorial step 5
The twisted chain is small and when you pull your thread through it should pull into a small knot like stitch that look like the photograph.
Lace border stitch tutorial step 6
Take your needle to the other side of your border and pass the needle through the loop formed with the first scroll stitch. At this stage you are passing the needle through the thread not the fabric.
Lace border stitch tutorial step 7
Pull the thread through.
Lace border stitch tutorial step 8
Move your needle down the border and pick up another small piece of fabric to make a twisted chain/scroll stitch and repeat the process working alternatively from side to side until you have worked the line.

Lace border stitch tutorial step 9 When moving to the right hand side don’t forget to pass the needle under the bar formed as it is necessary to form the knot.

Lace border stitch tutorial step 10Lace Border Stitch is effective worked in thicker threads and works up quite quickly. You can work the stitches closer together to produce a braid like effect.  It can also follow a curve well and you can widen the border in parts creating some interesting effects. Another contemporary twist is to use Lace Border stitch to couch a ribbon or novelty thread to a cloth. You can also work the bars of Lace Border stitch on a slight angle which produces a totally different look again. There are lots of ways to experiment with this stitch and I hope people enjoy working it.

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  1. I’ve figured it out. What was misleading me was that the beginning stitch moves from left to right, but the repeats of that stitch go the other way, right to left. So the bar the first stitch makes has a scroll st. at the R end of it, and you pass the needle under and over it to make a twisted chain on the left. Then you pass the needle through the knot to the R of the bar, and do another twisted chain, on the R. Then, you make a second ‘bar’ stitch with a scroll st on the end across to the LEFT. You then pass the needle under the bar moving towards the R and do a tw. chain. Then you pass needle through knot at Left end of bar.
    So where you were passing the needle under the bar and through a knot moving R when starting off, after that one time you are passing the needle under and through moving L.
    If you can follow that you are very clear-headed!!!

  2. Hi Sharon, I’m having a bit of a problem with understanding this stitch probably because I can’t seem to concentrate on it. I’m having cataract surgery on Oct. 17th and am getting things ready for that. This will put me a little behind as I won’t be able to stitch or use the computer for at least four days. I may get some more work on the stitch between now and the 17th …. otherwise will wait and work on weeks 41 and 42 together. Nothing new posted on my blog http://normasneedlez.blogspot.com

  3. Hi – I’m still having problems figuring out this stitch. When you say “When moving to the right hand side don’t forget to pass the needle under the bar formed as it is necessary to form the knot” which bar am I going under – the bar formed by the last stitch (on an angle) or the bar formed by making the next scroll stitch?


  4. Vivian – I just got a fatal error message on your blog so I can’t see what you are doing but the last image ie the finnished row is turned on its side to show the row.
    The second last image which may be the one you are talking about is not up side down

    You work from top to bottom when you go to the upper right you take the thread through the scroll then move down to make another twisted chain

    I hope this helps. I must admit that I feel inadequate answering because your blog is down I will check later in the day to see if it is fixed –

    let me know if you manage to sort it

  5. Hi Sharon:
    I’m having trouble with this stitch.
    First you do a scroll, go up through the bar and down on the left and do a twisted chain.
    Next you go through the scroll stitch and do a second twisted chain
    I get that far … but I’m stuck.
    The last photograph is confusing … is that up-side-down in relation to the previous stitch?
    When I do the next stitch, I’ve gone to the upper right to do the next scroll stitch and end up with a slanted stitch.
    I’ll post a photo on my blog. You will need to scroll down past my trip. I’m also posting #40.

  6. Hi Sharon,
    I am back from my holiday and I am catching up with the TAST stitches. week 38 and 39 are on my blog and Flickr page. Thanks again for your help to improve my stitching skills.

  7. That looks weird … I LIKE weird – can’t wait to have a fiddle … but I will have to wait until the weekend – I plan to spend the next 2 or 3 days sorting out the junk explosion that is supposed to be my sewing room, then I am going on a quilty retreat on the weekend – where I plan to catch up on this and the previous 3 stitches I have not done yet, and do more with a few of the stitches that I hardly did anything with and/or want to do more … but last night I finally did get around to blogging all the stitches I had not caught up with blogging about … and there are quite a few of those stitches I want to do more with, so I guess I have plenty of stuff to keep me busy at the retreat on the weekend 😉
    – Andrea
    disorganised in Dunlop (a suburb of Canberra, Australia).

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