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Taking flight  – The stumpwork butterfly

This project contains stumpwork

In the 4th part of this project we will embroider the butterfly in stumpwork.

For the first time, we will use the technique of stumpwork to realize the superior wings. The lower wings are simply embroidered with long and short stitch directly on the fabric.

The templates necessary for the realization of the insect wings can be downloaded HERE.

Surround the wings with split back stitch 1 thread.

Embroider the long and short stitch 1 thread starting from the edge of the wing towards the body.

Finish filling the wing using a different color.

Finally, the wing is lined with blanket stitch 1 thread and I added some straight stitches also 1 thread at its end.

Note that the color used to decorate the lower wings is the same that will be used for the body of the butterfly and to fix the wires that will support the parts in stumpwork.

I made this choice to preserve the unity of the insect despite the different techniques used.





The main part of the body is made using a cast-on stitch with 3 threads. You can replace it with a 3 threads bullion stitch made with a large needle.

To finish the body, I added 2 small straight stitches in a triangle with 2 threads, a large French knot 2 threads 2 wraps for the head and 2 straight stitches 1 thread for the antennas.

Using the downloaded template, reproduce the pattern of the wings on a piece of fabric independent of the main work and prepare 2 pieces of wire of about 10 cm each.


Secure the wire on the outline of the wing using small stitches with 1 thread.

To give a fluid shape to the wing, proceed slowly and avoid bending the wire. Do not forget to leave 2 floating pieces about 1.5 cm at each end of the shape. They will serve as anchors during the final assembly.

Embroider as thinly and evenly as possible a blanket stitch with 1 thread all around the wings.

Do the same embroidery work as for the lower wings.

I added a few French knots 2 threads 2 wraps to bring some animation.

Carefully cut the wings as close as possible to the blanket stitch but do not bite into the thread.

If your fabric is a little thick, it is always possible to tint the slice with the same color as the one used for the blanket stitch.

Here is the finished butterfly.

For the needs of the picture, I installed the wings without fixing them.

It is necessary to wait until the end of the work to fix definitively the parts of stumpwork to your embroidery.