I love buttonhole stitch (it’s also called a blanket stitch). It’s so versatile that you can use it in any project, whether the look is modern or super traditional. Barrels of toxic waste probably fit in the more modern category.
Traditionally, the key to a beautiful buttonhole is consistency of the size and width of each stitch. I found a first and even sometimes now, it’s useful to trace out not only the line you will be stitching along, but also a second line for where you are hoping to have the top of the stitch finish.
Or you could draw four lines and end up with something funky like this, where the first row of spaced button hole starts on the bottom and goes up to the third, then the whole piece gets reversed and stitched between the previous stitches, again at the (new) first and third. This makes a beautiful border with a straight edge on both sides.
Neither of these are as pretty as up-and-down buttonhole stitches though. This stitch is an absolute wonder and is one of my favourites to doodle with since it can take a curve beautifully and is not at all hard to do once you manage to get it right a few times. The stitch begins with a regular looking buttonhole, but a loop is formed at the bottom of each stitch, as if you were finishing off a row (see the last stitch in the first picture). You come back up next to your tall leg, slide through the horizontal leg without taking up any fabric, and then you are able to start another regular style buttonhole stitch.
One day, when I have infinite time, I want to stitch a hardcore looking punk with a buttonhole mohawk. If anyone knows where I can find infinite time to work on infinte projects, please let me know. In the meantime, check out the post next week for some awesome patterns where you can use a buttonhole stitch to great effect.