Thursday, November 9, 2017

To two or not to two...

I'm at the point on Jane's Lady Band that I need to decide how to do something and I'm in a dither.  Working on Lady Jane herself, (nearly) everything is finished except the parts of the dress that are to be filled with detached buttonhole stitch.

Here's Lady Jane in her partially finished dress.  The bits that are filled are done with perle cotton couched with every-day DMC.  I think it looks rather cool.

Have never done detached buttonhole before, but it doesn't seem like it should be hard.  I've certainly done enough normal buttonhole stitch on crewel projects.


Except that the stitch instructions provided with Jane Turner say that TWO foundation threads should be laid for each row, and the stitching is to be done left-to-right in the first row, then right-to-left in the second, then left-to-right and so forth.


Each and every tutorial I've found online calls for ONE foundation thread for each row, and each row to be worked in the same direction (I think they all call for stitching left-to-right).

I will be using my doodle cloth to ... um ... audition both versions - though I do sort of resent the time it will take to lay TWO chain stitch rectangles and work blocks of the stitch in both methods since it won't be actual progress on the real sampler.

What would you do?  

Execute the stitch as instructed in the directions?  Or using the (likely more consistent looking) method found in online tutorials from Tricia Nguyen, Mary Corbet and others?   My Jane is an adaptation rather than a reproduction at this point as there have been any number of changes (both intentional and unintended), so authenticity is hardly the issue.  

I welcome your thoughts!



  1. Do what you want! It's your sampler. And the Stitching Police are nowhere to be found.

  2. Deb, this is no help, I know, but I am following your progress and stitch decisions with much interest. I have this kit but am yet to start it. Your stitching is absolutely gorgeous and I think you should go with whichever stitch method you are most happy with. The main thing is that you're happy with how it looks in the end. Good luck with it and please post your final decision. Thank you.

  3. I've never done that stitch, so I'm no help. :)
    I say like the others, do what looks and works best for you, and don't make it too tedious!

  4. I've also never done detached buttonhole, but agree with the others and would do what you are most comfortable with. I understand you not wanting to "waste" time doing samples, but perhaps just a small sample could help with your decision.

  5. That blue in her skirt is stunning!! I would probably go with the method that you are happy with and know will look good already.

  6. I've studied and done a lot of detached buttonhole in historical reproduction embroidery and have never heard about two foundation threads. About the direction of the stitching, in some old embroideries the foundation thread can be a separate thread that goes from left to right and back right to left and the "working" thread, the one that makes the stitch, can be another thread so the stitching can go L to R and R to L.Maybe this is could be what the instruction intended and didn't explain well. In some old pieces the foundation thread was also a gold or silver passing covered with silk in buttonhole stitch but this isn't your case. Hope this helps.

  7. It's looking wonderful! Definitely go with what's easiest and works for you the best.