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8 stunning Decorative Edge Stitching techniques:Hand sewn

Updated on by Sarina

decorative edges

I have always admired the beautiful edges on some exquisite scarves and table clothes and sleeve hems and wondered whether they were made by machine or whether I will need to learn crochet or something complicated to master this -I thought I could never ever learn them!.

But learn them I did and found it to be quite easy. And here they are, for you to learn as well. When you do some of these stitches on edges it will look as if you labored 30 days 24*7 to make them this beautiful, without doing so. If impressing others with your stitching skills is anywhere on your mind – just add one of these edges!

Hand sewn Decorative Edge stitches

1. Overcast stitch

Let me start with the simplest edge stitch of all – the overcast stitch.

how to make decorative stitches on scarves

It is quite easy to sew this by sewing machine – you just need the hemmer foot – Here is the post explaining how to use the hemmer foot to sew this by machine .

To make this stitch by hand sewing, you need to first roll the fabric edges very carefully by hand – if the fabric is not pliable enough, use some wetness ( just dip your fingers in some water) and roll the edges as you make the stitch

Hide your knots inside the folds but if you do not want to make the knot at all, check out this post on starting the stitching with alternative to knots

Make long slanting stitches on the edges catching both sides

decorative hand sewing edges

Come back and make slanting stitches in the opposite direction making an x

decorative hand sewing edges

On the good side, the stitches should look even and neat

2 Blanket stitch

blanket stitches

Another pretty simple stitch – this is the most commonly used decorative edge stitch. Check out this post Blanket stitch for 10 more variations of this stitch as well as how to stitch the simple blanket stitch

3 Buttonhole stitch

hand sew decorative edges

This is a knotty blanket stitch – ie as you do the blanket stitch you make a simple knot – though the knot is simple, the resultant edge looks very attractive and not so simple

In this stitch, as you make the blanket stitch you make a loop by bringing the thread around the needle in an anticlockwise direction.

Pull up the stitch to tighten it.

Make more of the same.

4 Buttonhole stitch with bugle beads

decorative edge stitching diy tutorial

This combines beads with the buttonhole stitched edge. After the edge stitching is done with enough space for a single bugle bead in between, use a beading needle to insert the bugle beads in between the space of the stitches.

Related posts : Beading embroidery basics.

5 Knotty edging stitch

decorative edge stitching basics by hand sewing

This is a very attractive edge stitching with the loop making a bead like border.

You start with a buttonhole edge but instead of the single loop you will be making, on the same place, more loops so that a knot is formed which looks like a bead

Make a buttonhole loop stitch .

make decorative edging

Now come up with the needle through the middle of the stitch

how to make decorative edges for handkerchiefs

Twist the thread over the needle in the anti clockwise direction three times as in the picture below.

decorative edge stitches

Pull up tight.

make decorative edge stitches

A cute little bead is formed. Continue making these stitches.

If you make one more single loop in the same place the bead will be a little more bigger. This is optional.

making decorative edges for scarves

6 Loop stitch with beads

decorative edge stitches

Here, after every stitch (the double loop stitch No. 5) , a bead is inserted – you will be inserting the bead along with the edge stitching ( Not later)

sew beaded decorative edge stitching

You will be making the same loops you made earlier – insert the needle between the stitch and the bead .

7 Scalloped edge stitching

decorative edges

In this stitch, after the edge stitching with buttonhole stitch is done, you will be making scalloped edges over it made with cast on stitches

After the edge stitching is finished make loose loops. 

make decorative edge stitching

Make cast on stitches over the loops.

decorative edge stitching

8 Beads and cast-on stitch

decorative edge stitching for clothes

Here beads are added along with the scallop

First, the edge stitching is done; then the bead is inserted

decorativ edge stitching

You have to secure the bead from both sides. Insert the needle through the bead from the other side as well.

sew decorative edging stitches

Then the cast on stitches are made along the loop made when you inserted the bead.

The cast on stitches are made over the bead so that it looks like a true scallop.

Related posts: How to make scalloped edges; Fabric edge finishes – 16 easy ways.

6 thoughts on “8 stunning Decorative Edge Stitching techniques:Hand sewn”

  1. Beautiful ! The instructions are clear and I am looking forward to trying these edging stitches . Thank-you for sharing !

  2. Thanks, I will have to come back and see if I can print out some of these suggestions. I work in silk and would love to be able to handroll the edges neatly.

    1. Hi Patricia
      Do you make silk scarves? Be careful if you want to wet the edges to roll them, lest there are water spots.

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