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.




  1. 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. 🙂

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.


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