Tuesday, January 8, 2013

100 Stitches - Hemstitch

This stitch is the hemstitch.  It is the latest stitch I have learned on my 100 Stitches journey.  This is from a new category in 100 Stitches - the Drawn Thread Embroidery category!  This type of embroidery is done by withdrawing threads from the fabric and then stitching decorative stitches over the remaining threads.  You need a fairly loose woven fabric to be able to withdraw individual threads which is why I am stitching on this beautiful linen:

This fabric is very easy to stitch on, I love it even though it is very wrinkle prone!  I love the white on white look of this floss on the linen, the floss is pearl cotton {dmc blanc}

To demonstrate this stitch, I am using pearl cotton floss in a pink {dmc color variations #4180} so it is easier to see my stitches.  A pair of small sharp scissors is needed to snip the fabric so the threads can be withdrawn.

You can see the weave of this linen - the horizontal threads and the vertical threads are really easy to spot.  For this stitch, the horizontal threads are going to be withdrawn:

Cut a slit between two vertical threads.  You will be cutting through all the horizontal threads but between the two vertical threads:

Cut another slit the same way and the same size a distance away.  I cut the second slit about 1-1/4" from the first slit.  All the horizontal threads between these two slits will now be free and you can carefully pull them out.  I found a needle helped to get them started:

You will be left with only vertical threads between the two slits.

To start the hemstitch, the needle comes up through the fabric on the bottom right hand side of the open area.

Pull the thread all the way through.  Bring the needle around and slip it behind a few of the vertical threads:

Pull the thread all the way through:

Now bring the needle back around and again go behind the threads and this time go into the fabric and back out a few rows below the bottom of the open area.  Notice when the needle emerges, it is going to pass under the working thread:

Pull all the way through.  That is the first hemstitch.  To continue, bring the needle around and slip it under the next few vertical threads:

Just continue with the same steps all the way across:

And then do the same thing for the top of the open area.  I turned the hoop upside down and started back across just like I had done the bottom.  This time it is a little easier because the vertical threads are already separated for you!

And complete!

One thing I did notice is that the edges of the slits are raw.  There are no instructions in 100 Stitches for how to finish these edges for this particular stitch.  In the general description for drawn thread embroidery, it explains that the threads are withdrawn from the fabric and the edges of the space of withdrawn threads are embroidered over.  Maybe I should have done the hemstitch along the vertical sides of the open area as well?  If anyone is familiar with this, I would love your advice!

*****Update!  A wonderful way to finish the raw edges I was concerned about can be seen here : http://www.needlenthread.com/2009/02/hemstitch-in-drawn-thread-embroidery.html on Mary Corbet's excellent embroidery site Needlenthread.com.  I can't wait to try this out!*****

Finally - here is a picture of the underside of the stitching:

This stitch was so fun to learn, it is really different from the other stitches I have learned so far.   I am really looking forward to the rest of this drawn thread embroidery category!  This stitch is #75.


Ana Love Craft said...

I absolutely love that kind of embroidering!Thanks so much for sharing it!
Happy week!

Hugs from Portugal,

Ana Love Craft

Kim said...

Thanks Ana! I do too - I am really looking forward to learning the rest of the stitches in this category. Have a happy week :)

Angela Lee said...

Kim, I have been wanting to learn this stitch as well. Now you have given me the confidence. I vaguely remember seeing this in one of my books on finishing the edges. I'll have to see if I can find it. Great job!!

Kim said...

That would be great Angela! I am doing a bit of research too. This linen ravels sooo easily, I would not want to leave those edges raw if I were actually using this on a project.

Kim said...

Angela - Look at this! http://www.needlenthread.com/2009/02/hemstitch-in-drawn-thread-embroidery.html
Mary Corbet on her blog answers this question and has a really easy to follow tutorial :)

Angela Lee said...

That's awesome! I was thinking along those lines but was afraid of the bulk. It isn't bulky at all. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This is a cool stitch..I don't think I've seen this one before~!

Kim said...

Thanks Cathy! I hadn't seen this one before either.

pipersmom said...

There is also another way to finish the raw edges. Instead of making the 2 vertical you make one vertical cut in the center of the 'opening'. You the unweave the the threads to the edge of the opening and reweave the threads in the ground linen. This takes longer but virtually disappears when done correctly.

Kim said...

Hi Jadesmom - Thank you so much for the info!! That would be a beautiful solution. I am going to try this, but I think I will try it on a more loosely woven fabric ;)