Bullion Buttonhole an interesting variety of buttonhole. This stitch consists of buttonhole stitch where the upright bars are worked as a bullion stitches. Since it is based on buttonhole you can use it to edge items or as a interesting border. Bullion buttonhole can look very interesting if you thread a thin ribbon or novelty thread under it.
Tip: For all bullion stitches use milliners needles as they are the secret weapon in creating wonderful bullion stitches. People either love or hate bullions, but most of the problems associated with working them is that people use the wrong needle.
I recommend milliners or straw needles because most embroidery needles have an eye that is wider than the shaft of the needle. Milliners or straw needles have an eye and shaft that are the same width which makes sliding the wrapped bullion knot along the needle easy.
If you are not near a needlework store you can buy Milliners Needles online (this is an affiliate link which means if you shop here I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. That is not why I recommend them!)
How to work Bullion Buttonhole
This is a version of buttonhole that has a bullion as the vertical stitch. It makes sense to be familiar with both basic buttonhole stitch and bullion knot stitch before you embark on this. So if you need a refresher work a few of both stitches on some scrap fabric and attempt this when your hands have a bit of muscle memory.
Samples worked in DMC perle #5 cotton using a #3 Milliners needle on 26 cnt linen.
The same as basic buttonhole bullion buttonhole stitch is worked from left to right over two imaginary lines.
Bring the thread out on the lower line. Insert the needle on the upper line making a straight downward motion and then loop the thread under the needle point as you would with regular buttonhole.
Wrap your needle 5 or 6 times. Make sure the wraps side side by side. Don’t wrap too tight as that will make it hard to pull your needle through. On the other hand loose wrap will make for a sloppy knot.
Pull your needle through while loosely holding the wraps between your thumb and forefinger. As you pull your needle through the bullion stitch will point towards the top imaginary line.
Some of the wraps may be a little wobbly. Tickle the bullion’s tummy with the point of your needle. Run it smoothly up an down the underside of the bullion. Do this a couple of times as this will even out wobbly wraps.
Your thread should emerge from the bottom of the bullion. Move along the row, repeating the same stitches.
By altering the lengths of the upright bullion stitches this variety of buttonhole can be very decorative
Like regular buttonhole stitches, rows of the stitch can be built up to create patterns.
Bullion buttonhole is a fun stitch to work once you establish a rhythm and if you want to add even more texture it looks good when you add beads.
Follow Pintangle and have it delivered to your inbox
You can have Pintangle delivered to your inbox by using the subscribe feature in the sidebar. Enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email make sure you say yes. Then you are all set!
If you are on a mobile or tablet you will need to scroll to the bottom to find the subscribe feature.
Have you seen my book?
My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results shares detailed practical methods about how to design and make a crazy quilt. From fabric choice, to balancing colour, texture and pattern, in order to balance and direct the eye around the block. I cover how to stitch, build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.