Whenever I get asked how I cut around the buttonhole stitched hardanger pieces, the very first thing I say is: VERY CAREFULLY. Cutting into the buttonhole stitches of a finished piece and ruining so many hours worth of stitching can be really frustrating. I know, I have been there and it is not a happy place.
Being extremely careful while cutting, using a pair of sharp scissors and sometimes even a magnifier still didn't feel like safe or precise enough, so before actually cutting my pieces out, there is one more step I make: I cut and remove the first fabric thread outside the buttonhole stitches, all around the piece. I have never had a cutting mishap ever since I have been doing this, and besides being able to make a safer cut, the cut out pieces do have a much neater look, too.
Here I have two hearts (the ornaments being double sided) ready to be cut out:
To start I turn my embroidery face down
and cut the first fabric thread outside the buttonhole stitched line, next to both ends of the line,
then pull it out:
In the corners, the fabric thread that I cut first is the one that is on top of the other in the weaving.
I keep going like this, VERY CAREFULLY NOT TO CATcH ANY OF THE BUTTONHOLE STITCHES with my scissors, and remove the first fabric threads all around my embroidered piece.
As you can see in the close up photo above, the nice space left by the removed fabric thread makes it so much easier to see where and what I am cutting.
When the fabric threads have been removed from all around the buttonhole stitches, with my embroidery facing up I start cutting around the piece, just behind the loops of the buttonhole stitches. VERY CAREFULLY...
And here is the result, the heart cut out, safe and sound :)
Well, at least this is how I do it and it has always worked for me... Hope it does for you, too.
Part 2 of the Tutorial on finishing the hardanger ornaments is coming up in a couple of hours, so stay tuned.
Happy cutting, Everyone!