Creating this twisted thread illusion takes only a straight stitch, yarn, and the ability to count to 2!
I learned this Twisted Thread technique years ago from a sewing mentor back before embroidery machines were a thing. Today, it has become a FOREVER technique in our YouTube sewing library.
Couching is a great way to add fibers, yarns, cord,s and even ribbons to a fabric surface, but putting in this special twist is guaranteed to turn heads.
Items You Will Need:
- Open Toe Foot – super helpful, but a regular presser foot will work
- A variety of yarns, cords, ribbons, and fibers to find the look you like
- Thread to match the selected yarns or fibers
- Stabilizer – be sure to properly support the base fabric the twisted thread will be stitched on.
Needle Stop Down
This technique is much easier to master on sewing machines that have a needle stop down feature. For the best results, twist the thread back and forth around the needle when it is in the down position.
Open Toe Foot
An Open Toe Foot has no middle bar in front of the needle. When traveling along a line or a curve like on the Stitching Cosmos blocks, having a clear and open sight path will keep the twisted thread perfectly aligned.
Selecting the Right Fibers & Yarns
For the twisted thread technique, there is no right or wrong fiber. Experiment with different cords, yarns, and even ribbons. We have even seen two totally DIFFERENT weights of yarn twisted together.
When mixing and matching yarns and fibers, tie the two yarns together with a simple knot. Start the twisted thread technique with the knot behind the foot. Secure the beginning of the fibers with a back stitch before beginning the thread twisting.
Have a Fancy Sewing Machine?
Higher-end sewing machines have functions that can tell the machine to stop after so many stitches. On a Bernina it is called “Pattern End” and on a Pfaff, it can be found in the Single Stitch Program.
Techniques like the Twisted Thread technique are just one of over 25 other techniques featured in the amazing 6+ hour Stitching Cosmos Online Course. Watch 10 videos of the Stitching Cosmos online course for FREE here.
What If I Don’t Have a Fancy Machine?
If your sewing machine does not have a single pattern stop option, count two stitches and stop. If necessary, slow the sewing machine’s speed down to help stitch only two stitches at a time.
What If I Only Have a Mechanical Sewing Machine?
If your sewing machine does not have a needle stop down, employ a small child, grandchild, or a second person to turn the hand wheel two revolutions while you twist the threads. BTW…now is a perfect time to go shopping for a new sewing machine with the needle stop-down feature! Upgrade time!
We would love to see your Twisted Thread variations! Post your pictures to the Sewing Mastery Facebook Page today!