Crocheted embellishments and edgings like this one at Anthropologie are all the rage this season.

So, it was no suprise when recently a discussion erupted on the Crochet Partners e-mail list about how to make the holes in fabric necessary to add crochet to fabric. Lots of experienced thread crocheters use a tiny steel crochet hook to place the holes, but there are tools available as we learned from one member, Greta, who said I could reprint her post here:

“Wing needles (a sewing machine needle which makes holes automatically) and stilletto (a tiny awl used for sewing) are preferred for making ‘holes’ in the edges of woven fabrics like handkercheifs — they tend to pierce the fabric by spreading the fibers apart. The hole punches are ok for non-wovens, like fleece or felt — they tend to cut out a larger hole and will leave frazzled threads that pull and shift in the wash when it is done on woven fabric. Some linens and hankies also have hemstitched edges that are right ready to crochet into.

Also, consider if the edging is to be reused after the fabric wears out. I have collected some beautiful turn of the century pillow case edgings, some of which had been crocheted, and then sewn on, which could easily be removed and put on to other items; a few others that were directly crocheted to the material can’t easily be separated and have to be stabilized with extra stitches to be usable again. Sometimes you might want a ” breakaway basted” or less firmly attached edging so that you can remove a colored edging for the linen to be bleached, laundered, and or repaired and then rebaste it back on afterwards.”

I just love the idea of reusing vintage edgings. I had never heard of wing needles and stilettos, so I did a little research. Here are a couple of web sites that provide more info:

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Tools and Techniques: Wing Needles and Stilettos

4 thoughts on “Tools and Techniques: Wing Needles and Stilettos

  • July 24, 2005 at 9:03 am

    Amy, this is incredibly helpful! I was actually interested in adding some crocheted edging to an apron I am sewing…yeah, no jokes about the fact that I am making a functional item…LOL. Anyway, thanks so much for the tips!

  • July 24, 2005 at 4:36 pm

    Fabulous and informative post! Thank you!! I had joined the CP list but I couldn’t handle reading all the mail even on digest and had to drop off…so I appreciate so much this fabulous info that you are sharing from there!

    Thank you!


  • July 26, 2005 at 9:10 am

    Great tips! I have crocheted into bandanas to make halter tops. This advice should help with it the next time I make one!

  • July 30, 2005 at 6:38 am

    What a great idea. I zoomed onto the photo of the java tee and it looks as though it was sewn on to the t-shirt instead of crocheted on, therefore, the idea of using vintage edgings is terrific. This edging doesn’t look too terribly difficult, thread filet with a floral design, which could probably be found in any thread edging book. The Anthropologie tee’s crochet edging seemed to narrow under the arm which could be accomplished by increasing and decreasing. Now I just need to find a high quality tee. Thanks for the great post.

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