Create your own geometric triple stitch design
The last project I posted about was a cosy Issie Sweater made in blue French Terry. Because the pattern I chose was quite simple, I wanted some kind of design on the front panel to add interest. After looking at a bunch of commercial prints (none of which were quite right) I decided to machine stitch my own simple, geometric pattern.
I stitched this double grid pattern using triple stitch. When you select the triple stitch option on your machine, it stitches two stitches forward and then one stitch back. This means triple stitch looks a lot like straight stitch but it is stronger and visually bolder. Another great thing about triple stitch is that it has more give than straight stitch, which means you can use it on woven and stretch fabrics.
I’d never used triple stitch to create this kind of design before but it worked really well. The design is subtle, but it adds a much needed layer of detail to the top which would otherwise be very plain.
I’ve had some lovely comments and a few queries about this technique, so I thought I would put together a tutorial for anyone interested in giving it a go.
Before you start sewing your own triple stitch design, you will need to:
1) Make sure your sewing machine can do triple stitch. I believe most modern machines have a triple stitch option.
2) Purchase a water soluble fabric marker if you do not already have one.
3) Cut out the pattern piece you plan to decorate. Make sure you clearly mark the grainline on your pattern piece because your vertical grid lines will need to run along the grain.
Use a water soluble fabric marker to draw horizontal, evenly spaced lines across your pattern piece. They should be perpendicular to the grainline of your pattern piece.
These lines form the basis of your grid. You can make your grid as small or as large as you like. I used a 2 inch grid on my Issie sweater which worked well.
As you will see as you progress through this tutorial, I recommend only marking and stitching one set of lines at a time. I believe this helps ensure your pattern is even and accurate.
Stitch over your horizontal lines using triple stitch. Because triple stitch is very strong and the edges of your design will be seamed, you do not need to back stitch at the start and finish of each line.
Mark the vertical lines of your grid with your fabric marker. These lines should run parallel to the grainline of your pattern piece.
Stitch the vertical lines of your grid using triple stitch.
Mark the first set of diagonal lines with your fabric marker.
Stitch the first set of diagonal lines using triple stitch. Take care to ensure all your lines intersect neatly. The more accurate you are the more effective your design will be.
Mark the second set of diagonal lines using triple stitch. You’re almost done!
Stitch the second set of diagonal lines using triple stitch. Once again, take care to ensure all your lines intersect neatly.
Give your pattern piece a good press and you’re finished! Now you can use your beautifully decorated pattern piece to construct your garment (or whatever it is you’re making). When you have finished your project, make sure to wash it to get rid of your original markings and to help all the stitching settle into place.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have an suggestions on how I can improve it please let me know - I would love to hear from you!
If you create your own triple stitch design please share some photos with me, I would love to see how it turned out! You can tag me on Instagram using @stitchhour or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.