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Making Decorative Knots

This is a very basic embroidery technique that will serve you well. It’s sometimes called a french knot or a bullion knot. It’s a nice decorative touch. It’s also the absolute fastest way to tie off a thread when you’re sewing – just make the knot on the inside of the garment instead of the outside, and bury the threads!

beginning the knot
Take a very tiny stitch - I've gone under two threads. Wrap the tail of your thread around the needle three or four times.
decorative knots spaced in an edge stitch
Pull the needle to complete the stitch. I find it works out best if I cover the stitch and fabric with my thumb - otherwise I get knots where I don't want them! This stitch makes tiny, cute little thread dots. I've worked them between and edge stitch to add a little happiness to a hem.

This works exactly like the cheater-easy-thread-knoting-trick, but with fabric in the way.  (More technically, the aforementioned trick works exactly like a bullion knot, but without the fabric.)

I spaced the knots above by taking stitches on the underside of the fabric. After each knot, I push the needle down right next to the knot, and push it out where I want the next knot. I thought I should mention that, because I remember when my great aunt Gin first showed me these knots when I was like, 5, I was completely baffled by why there was no string between them. (I come from a long line of amazing embroideresses, who are probably wondering what went wrong… Le sigh. I sew. I do not particularly embroider.)

When I need to tie off a thread that I’m sewing with, I push it through to the back of the fabric, and make this same knot. It’s brilliant. If I’m extra worried about strength (which is almost always), I make a second right next to the first. You can tie off a thread in about 3 seconds.

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