Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tutorial: Split / Chain Stitch Combo

&Stitches tutorials

Stitched Letting Tutorial

For those of you who enjoy stitching text - quotes, monograms, even alphabet samplers - I have a fun tip to share with you today. This little trick is especially good for script lettering, but can of course be used in loads of different ways.


As an example, I have stitched up a simple ampersand (& for &Stitches!). My ampersand is based on the one above, in a font called 'Plantagenet Cherokee'. You'll notice that my ampersand has thicker bits and thinner bits - a common effect in lettering, creating a semi-calligraphic feel.

But how to stitch it and get the same effect? I've used a combination of split stitch and chain stitch, since they look nearly identical other than scale. Put another way: although they are worked differently, chain stitch is just a fatter version of split stitch.

Stitched Letting Tutorial

So, starting with the skinnier split stitch, I work up until the line gets a bit thicker and switch to chain stitch. On the last split stitch, just bring your needle up through the stitch, then work a chain stitch just as you would normally. It really blends quite seamlessly!

Stitched Letting Tutorial

Now you're able to switch back and forth between the two stitches, creating a line that goes thick and thin wherever you please! To make the transition extra smooth, you can try making your first and last chain stitches of each thick area a little bit longer, which makes them a touch thinner. And as we saw the other week, chain stitch is extremely customizable, so go experiment and see what happens!

Julie is a knitter and stitcher, born in the US but now living in the UK. She loves vintage embroidery books and bad slasher movies. With her mum, Julie designs embroidery patterns inspired by literature under the name Little Dorrit & Co.


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