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.
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 hands 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 an alternative to knots.
Make long slanting stitches on the edges catching both sides.
Come back and make slanting stitches in the opposite direction making an x.
On the good side, the stitches should look even and neat.
2. Blanket stitch
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
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
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
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.
Now come up with the needle through the middle of the stitch.
Twist the thread over the needle in the anti clockwise direction three times as in the picture below.
Pull up tight.
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.
6. Loop stitch with beads
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)
You will be making the same loops you made earlier – insert the needle between the stitch and the bead .
7. Scalloped edge stitching
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 cast on stitches over the loops.
8. Beads and cast-on stitch
Here beads are added along with the scallop.
First, the edge stitching is done; then the bead is inserted.
You have to secure the bead from both sides. Insert the needle through the bead from the other side as well.
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.; How to finish the edges of silk scarves
Updated on March 3, 2023 by Sarina Tariq
Beautiful ! The instructions are clear and I am looking forward to trying these edging stitches . Thank-you for sharing !
Your site is indeed a cornucopia of information
More strength dear
Do you make silk scarves? Be careful if you want to wet the edges to roll them, lest there are water spots.
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.