Buttonhole stitch

Buttonhole Stitch

Buttonhole stitch is a variation of the Blanket stitch. As the name suggests, we use it to fasten the edges of buttonholes in hand sewing.

Some embroidery books and online sources say Blanket stitch and Buttonhole stitch are the same. The only difference – how dense the stitch is. Others say that these two are different stitches. I think so too. The embroidery techniques are different. Also, Buttonhole stitch creates a more robust edge which is excellent for areas with a lot of friction (like buttonholes).

Other Names Of The Buttonhole Stitch

Sometimes it is also called Button stitch or Buttonhole stitch edging.

Stitch hand embroidered with dark red thread on white background
Buttonhole stitch hand embroidery back side

Applications Of The Stitch

  • As the name suggests, the most common application of the Buttonhole stitch is to fasten the edges of the buttonholes.
  • This stitch can secure any textile edge – a dress hem or a tea towel.
  • Used in decorative embroidery, this stitch will create a line of “L” shapes with a little bump on top.

How to embroider buttonhole stitch

Buttonhole stitch embroidery step 1
Buttonhole stitch embroidery step 3
Buttonhole stitch embroidery step 2
  • Buttonhole stitch is embroidered from right to left.
  • Come up with a needle at the starting point.
  • One stitch away, make a stitch from the top downwards and pass a needle in the loop of the working stitch.
  • Pull your working stitch upwards to close the loop.
  • Repeat the stitch.
  • Finish with an anchor stitch.

Video tutorial

If you are a visual learner, watch a video tutorial below or on the Practical Embroidery YouTube channel. In this video, you’ll find easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions that will have you creating the Buttonhole stitch like a pro in no time.

What’s next?

If you’re in the mood to explore more hand embroidery stitches, check out the Stitches and Techniques page for the list of other fantastic stitches available on my blog. From timeless classics to modern twists, a whole world of stitches is waiting for you to explore and master. So, grab your hoop and needle, and let’s stitch our way to creative bliss!

Need More Guidance?

The top 10 hand embroidery stitches to learn is a free online course created for beginners.

White sashiko stitches on purple fabric