Rachel’s cross stitch fabric covered button tutorial
There is little I like more than a modern spin on traditional craft, so it’s a thrill to have contemporary cross stitch designer Rachel Walker of The Brodrick Design Studio on The Daily Stitch today! Rachel has designed some fabulous cross stitch patterns for covered buttons and created a tutorial to show you how to make your own. Thank you, Rachel!
14 count Aida in cream (other colours can be used)
Metal self-cover buttons – small buttons for shirts and dresses (16 mm), medium buttons for coats and decorating cushions (22 mm) and large buttons for badges (38 mm).
Embroidery threads (see pattern sheet for colours)
Small sharp scissors
Click on the image to open a PDF of the patterns:
Cut your materials
Cut a circular piece of Aida 1 cm larger than the 16 mm and 22 mm buttons and 1.5 cm larger than the 38 mm buttons.
How to cross stitch
Use the centre point of the pattern to count the number of squares (each one represents a stitch) to the top, which will be your starting point of the pattern on the Aida fabric. Ensure you cross stitch your mofit in the centre of circular piece of Aida.
At the end of every cross stitch row, release the needle (let it hang freely) so the thread can unwind – this will prevent knots forming. When creating a half stitch or completing a full stitch, stop pulling the thread through the fabric when you feel resistance. This keeps the tension loose and creates more even looking stitches.
Cut 1 m of thread and separate the strands into three pairs of two strands. Thread the two strands through the eye of your needle and start your first cross stitch at the top of the design.
Full cross stitches
Bring the needle up through the back of the Aida, leaving about 2 cm of thread behind (A). Next, take the needle back down through the Aida, creating a diagonal half-stitch (B). Then bring the needle back up through the Aida (C), making sure that the remaining 2 cm of thread at the back is held in place (D). Continue until you have completed all the half stitches in the row (E). Then go back to create full stitches (F, G). Try to follow this same process, so that the stitches are uniform in direction.
Continue to stitch until you have finished the motif. At the end of the last cross stitch, the needle should be at the back of the fabric. To secure the last cross stitch, thread the needle through the back of 4 – 6 stitches and cut off with scissors (H).
This stitch is ideal to add detail or highlight designs with an outline.
Use a single or double strand of thread, see pattern key for instructions. Bring the needle up through the fabric at the point of the first stitch (I), leaving 2 cm at the back, and bring the needle back through the fabric at the point where the stitch will end (J), this creates one backstitch. Next bring the needle up at the point where the next stitch will end (K) and back down through the point where the first stitch started and continue until all the stitches have been completed (L).
This is an alternative way to start cross stitching. Use a single 2 m strand of thread and create a loop (M). Thread your needle with the two cut ends and bring the needle up through the back of the Aida and back down again to create a diagonal stitch (N, reverse view). Loop the needle through the hoop (O), securing the thread to begin stitching (P).
Fraction stitches are useful to provide more shape to a design than full stitches.
Multi-coloured fractional stitches
Multi-coloured fractional stitches are made up of two different thread colours. Bring the thread of the first colour up through the Aida and back through the centre of the square, this creates the first part of the stitch (Q). Then using the second colour, bring the thread up through the corner of the square and back through the middle of the square (R). Finally, using the second colour, complete the stitch with a diagonal half stitch (S).
Bring the thread up through the Aida and back through the centre of the square, this creates the first part of the half stitch (T). Then bring the thread up through the corner of the square and back through the opposite corner, finishing the half stitch (U).
Bring the thread up through the Aida and back through the centre of the square, this creates the first part of the quarter stitch (V). Then bring the thread up through the corner of the square and back through half way between the opposite two corners (W).
Bring the thread up through the Aida and back through the centre of the square, this creates the first part of the three-quarter stitch (X). Then bring the thread up through the corner of the square and back through half way between the opposite two corners (Y).
Making the fabric covered buttons
After you have cross stitched the motif onto the Aida, put it face down onto a flat surface and centre the front part of the button. Fold the extra Aida over the edge of the button, ensuring the motif is centred. Finally click the back part of the button in place using pliers.
Now your buttons are ready to sew onto clothes, bags or cushions, for example. Here are how all the button designs will look when finished!