The buttonhole stitches, also called “Overcast” stitches, are worked in the hand. The needle should be sent down just over the farther line and brought up just in front of the nearer line. Remember the stitches should always be taken at right angles to the direction of the curve in the scallop one is working.
The silk should never be knotted to start the thread for buttonholing; instead run the thread in along the space to be covered and after laying one or two stitches cut it off close.
Finish it off on the back by running it under the laid stitches and catching it into the ground once or twice to make it secure. If possible, use a thread long enough to embroider one entire scallop or buttonhole. A new thread can be started along a scallop or buttonhole but one should avoid doing this as far as possible because it will make an unevenness on the edge which is very likely to be clipped when the scallops or buttonholes are cut out. The stitches should be placed very close.
The illustration below shows the double overcast stitch or buttonhole stitch in a straight line. After having traced the outline begin to work from left to right; fasten the cotton with a few stitches, hold it with the thumb of the left hand under the outline, insert the needle downwards above the outline, draw it out under the same above the cotton which you hold in the left hand, and draw it up. Repeat for all the stitches in the same manner; they must be regular and lie close to one another. Great care should be taken that the material on which you embroider is not puckered.
Illustration of the Overcast Stitch below. The double overcast and the button-hole stitches are worked from left to right, whilst back stitches, knotted and satin stitches are worked from right to left. The Overcast stitch is worked in the same way as the double overcast, only the needle must never be drawn out above, but below, the cotton with which you work, and which you keep down with the thumb of the left hand.
Other stitches in the Buttonhole Stitch category are the “Fish-net Stitch,” the Honeycomb Stitch, and the “Cat, Brier, or Coral” stitch.