Reversed Buttonhole Bar Stitch

Reversed Buttonhole Bar Stitch

Reversed Buttonhole Bar creates a textured braid-like stitch that is great to use as a textured border or edging. You can use it as a linear stitch too, making it a very versatile stitch to add to the stitches you use. This stitch is also known as Buttonhole with an extra line.

Reversed Buttonhole Bar is worked on a foundation row of buttonhole stitch.

How to work Reversed Buttonhole Bar

Reversed Buttonhole Bar
Commence this stitch by creating a foundation row of buttonhole stitches spaced evenly apart. In the sample, I have illustrated these with the aqua thread.

Turn your work so that the base of the buttonhole is at the top.
Work from right to left. Bring your needle out on the right of the first buttonhole ladder.
Tuck the needle under the bar, then wrap the thread under the needle like you would in buttonhole.

Reversed Buttonhole Bar 2
Pull the needle through so that the thread forms a loop around the bar

Reversed Buttonhole Bar 3
Note: You are not stitching through the fabric. You are just looping the thread around the bar.
I have changed the colour of my threads so that you can see clearly how the stitch is worked.

Reversed Buttonhole Bar 4
Move to the next bar and create the second loop the same way as you did the first. Continue to work your way along the band until you have reached the end.

Reversed Buttonhole Bar 5

Variations on Reversed Buttonhole Bar

All the written references to this stitch that I have seen, just leave the stitch at that. But you can increase the number of lines to produce a thick braid-like stitch.

This stitch is also very effective worked in a circle. Two varieties are illustrated here. The first has the foundation buttonhole arms pointing outwards, and the second points inwards.

Since the foundation of this stitch is buttonhole, it will follow a curve well and you can vary the direction and height of the buttonhole arms to create even more interesting effects. This is where all those experiments with buttonhole come in handy.

This stitch looks particularly good in a thread that has a firm twist, like perle 5, but the top looping stitches can be done in fine ribbons and textured threads. You can also add beads too!

I hope you enjoy experimenting with Reversed Buttonhole Bar stitch as once you get the rhythm of working you can be very creative with it.

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 fellow stitchers in mind. You can use them to 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. And we laser cut them in our own studio to ensure the best quality.

To see what they look like, find out about the free ebook of patterns that come with them visit the information pages. You can find out more about set 1 on this page . To find out more about set 2 visit this page
Or go directly to the Pintangle shop to purchase them.


  1. as usual your lesson is clear and I think we follow easily the class . I like your works . Thank you very much for your offers .
    I wish you a merry Xmas and that 2014 will give you , support , health and friendship
    best regards


  2. I have admired your work and dedication to teaching ever since I stumbled onto your site many years ago. Thank you for all that you’ve taught me. I don’t comment usually, but I really appreciate all that you do. I am signed up for your class next year so will be keeping in touch.

    Jayne Slovick

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