The Eyelet (or French Eyelet, to distinguish it from the Shaped Eyelet and the Padded Eyelet) is a little hole in the fabric, with the edge bound in tiny Satin Stitches. This is the foundation of Eyelet Lace. Although you can buy pretty eyelet fabric in every fabric store, the eyelets are made by machine, and don't look that good close up.

This stitch is made in several steps. First, mark a small hole on the fabric with a washable marker or pencil (Step 1). Without making a knot in the thread, stitch a small Running Stitch around the line, with the last running stitch splitting the first one (Step 2). Leave the needle dangling under the fabric. Next, take an awl, stiletto, or tapestry needle, and poke a hole in the center of the circle (Step 3). In this step, you are not cutting the fabric thread, but merely pushing them toward the edges. Twist the stiletto as you poke; you want the threads pushed as far aside as they will go.

Now the binding stitches begin. Starting at the point on the edge where the needle is attached, come up from under the fabric to a place just outside the Running Stitches (Step 4). To make the next stitch, stick the needle down into the hole and up through the fabric, just outside the Running Stitches and just next to the previous stitch. Continue stitching all around the circle, with each stitch wrapping around the running stitch line and drawing the pushed-aside fabric threads up to the edges (Step 5). You may need to reinforce the hole with your stiletto as you stitch.
The final binding stitch fills in the last gap of fabric on the edge of the circle, and the needle comes up right at the first biinding stitch (Step 6). Before drawing the final binding stitch tight, insert the needle under the stitch (Step 7). Now the final stitch will not come loose. Bring the needle to the back invisibly (Step 8). Turn the fabric over. Weave the thread under 3-4 stitches on the wrong side of the fabric to hold, and clip the thread close (Step 9). There is no need for a knot.

Finished Stitch:
  • Always clip the thread between eyelets. Don't try to carry the thread to the next stitch. The eyelet should look the same on the back as on the front.
See also:
  • Eyelet Embroidery
  • Padded Eyelet
  • Shaped Eyelet