Master the Eyelet Stitch


Eyelets, padded satin stitches, granitos, stem stitches and buttonhole scallop stitches make up this design.

When you’re looking for an elegant stitch that will add detail to a project, you can never go wrong with the eyelet. This lovely stitch is a must-know for any heirloom embroidery enthusiast, and one that has been featured on many MPC designs over the years. Simply put, an eyelet involves sewing a running stitch in a circle and then cutting away the fabric inside. Below, I’d like to share a tutorial for hand sewing an eyelet from one of our favorite embroidery experts, Wendy Schoen. The instructions are included in Wendy’s “Whitework Embroidery in Blue” tutorial in issue #154 of Sew Beautiful.

Note from Wendy: This stitch requires the aid of a stiletto or awl, but I have seen very tiny eyelets worked without either. Stilettos and awls can be tapered allowing the embroiderer to make myriad-sized eyelets or render many eyelets all the same diameter. I like both types but prefer to control with size of the opening with the consistency of the foundation stitches instead of relying on the tool. Large eyelets are cut open and therefore more difficult to master. Tiny eyelets are the easiest to stitch.


1. Sew a running stitch around circle, taking tiny nips in fabric (fig. 1).

2. Open center with a stiletto making sure to open it entirely. Stiletto’s side should brush up against running stitches (fig. 2).

3. Work a series of closely laid whipstitches around edge of opening, sewing into hole and out on outside edge of running stitch. Feel free to reopen center as many times as necessary (fig. 3).


4. To tie off, sew very close to stitches, but not through the same hole as last stitch, to bring needle to back of work. Make stitch as short as possible and as close to stitches as possible (fig. 4).

5. Sew through a few stitches on back to tie off (fig. 5).

6. Re-shape eyelet once it is completed (fig. 6).

Master more techniques with these other great products from Wendy:

Learn more about Wendy on her website!