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Fancy Stitches 4

Now pay attention. You are able to create astonishing effects with the fancy stitches detailed on this web page. Discover how to do Hemstitching, Smocking, Quilting and Applique to get a professional result.

Be prepared to put in the effort and patience to complete any of these fancy stitches to perfection. It will certainly take some practice to start with, but . . . believe me, it's worth the effort.



fancy stitches: hemstitching, smocking, quilting, appliquehemstitchingHemstitching: Draw out several threads of fabric at line to be hemstitched. Start at right, pass needle under three or four threads, draw up through a loop and take a small stitch down through fabric. Continue. Double hemstitching is done on both sides. Used as a trim on garments and on table linens and doilies. 


 fancy stitches Diagonal hemstitching: Do line of plain hemstitching at one side. For second side, catch half the threads of two groups together, and take a stitch up through fabric. 


smockingSmocking: Worked over groups of dots that form the corners of squares. Start at first row, make a small stitch over dot from right to left, repeat at second dot, and pull two dots together with another small backstitch at first dot. Pass needle under fabric to second dot in second row. Make a small backstitch, another at third dot and back to second to pull two together. Go back to first row. Continue. At end of row, fasten thread and start again at left for third and fourth tows. For this smocking, known as honeycomb smocking, you will need twice as much material as the finished effect that is eight inches for a four-inch smocked section. Smocking is a lovely hand finish which may decorate almost any type of garment, but in particular children’s clothing. 


fancy stitchesImitation smocking is done by working a variety of stitches over a series of machine gathering lines. Gathers must be even; make as for gauging. Use stitches as outline stitch for bottom and top rows, and chevron stitches over one or two lines of gathers in between or zigzag chain and cable stitches. 


cable smockingCable smocking: Make dots as for honeycomb smocking, and make tiny backstitches in first and second dot pulling them together, but allow thread to alternate above and below needle with successive stitches. Work on one line straight across. 




 appliqueAppliqué: Cut out appliqué and baste in place. Finish with blanket stitch, couching with heavy thread, cord, or braid; fine hemming or slip stitches, or sew on with zigzag machine using narrow zigzag stitches. Gives a strong accent and becomes center of interest on garments, towels, slipcovers. 


 quiltingQuilting: Baste fabric to cheesecloth or muslin with thin layer of cotton wadding between. Draw design on wrong side and stitch on wrong side. Do all the lines in one direction first, then all the cross lines. Use long stitches and heavy, slightly loose bobbin thread for puffy effect. Machine quilter attachment may be used. Do not press. 


trapunte - quiltingTrapunte (quilting in a raised design used as trimming): Mark line of design on lining of cheesecloth or muslin. Stitch by machine or hand running stitches through both sides of design. Pull a heavy yarn through between lines of stitching, between outside fabric and lining, pulling out yarn and re-inserting around curves or at points. At wider part of the design, insert extra padding of yarn or cotton wadding, pushing in with a pencil or orange stick, so that each section completely padded. The padded parts stand out in relief. Do not press. Also called Italian quilting. Very dressy for rich fabrics, such as velvet. Used for slip covers, too. 


And this is not all. The next page in this Fancy Stitches series covers the embroidered arrowhead, crow’s foot tack and bar tack.  


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