Assiut DIY: First Stitches

28 February 2019

We interrupt the ongoing Hulk posts to bring you some news on the DIY assuit front! If you all remember my video from a month or two ago, I had collected the materials to start this process and try to learn on my own.  I also have this resources The Cloth of Egypt by Dawn Devine which I referenced quite a bit (I wrote more about that on my Assuit Resize post)

I wanted to start with basic stitches in a straight line or a block with a smaller patch of fabric that I might be able to turn into a bra or bra strap/edging or something with my practice pieces. Ever being someone who doesn’t want to waste product I wanted to put it to good use!

I thought edging or a straight line of stitches might help me practice AND get me a product I could use. I started reviewing the materials on hand and added a few videos to my collection to brush up on technique.

Fair warning? or disclaimer- I speak no Turkish at all and these videos appear to be mostly in Turkish- so I was watching to learn- but not understanding the actual language. Good Luck.

Side note- I 100% need one of these embroidery rings- holy crap this thing is awesome.

A few things I noted right off the bat: they all use a fairly short piece of metal, they use a hoop and they jump 3 spaces from the top entrance point to the exit point of the first stitch, the re-enter the first space and go one over and one down- so NOT directly kitty korner- and that they jump directly over- same row for the next cross stitch coming out the bottom of the original last stitch. Pressing the metal down between each movement.

They pass vertical up through the last stitch before snugging it down entirely- then bend the metal to fatigue and then it breaks.  And they frequently use the top of the nail to press down and flatten the stitches.

If that makes no sense to you- it’s okay.

I took what I knew and the tools I had and sat down to try to make heads or tails of what I know. Step one was threading the needle! I sort of thought I knew- because I had watched a few videos, but then I realized I hadn’t paid close enough attention to which way the double headed needle was threaded! TOP TO BOTTOM OR BOTTOM TO TOP? which way are you suppose to thread through the tulle? How long is the tail suppose to be?


Once I sorted that out- I realized that the whole ” the tail of the thread isn’t that long” note I had made to myself was actually really relevant- if the tail is too long- the wide flat thread gets twisted and it messes up your stitches. Derp. Pay attention Jo- pay attention.


With that information sorted out, I made my first wobbly steps on learning how to make my own assiut, I was actually really pleased with this first stitch! It looked really nice I thought.

Beginners luck- the next ten weren’t nearly as nice!


And compared to the older assiut I had- I realized I have a long way to go!


I spent about 30 minutes working with it and thought I’d try to create a diamond shape- and continued to fuss with the plating thread and see if I could make it a little nicer- I definitely feel like I have a long way to go before I can make something more usable but no one’s perfect at the thing they first try- no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves!


So keep going! Doing the things making the progress!  I’m really happy to be learning a new skill and letting the art be the art for arts sake.  Don’t judge the work yo- just let the work be the work!

Good luck working with your projects this weekend and hopefully you make some progress on your craft!   Till next time fearless costumers!



  1. Hi Bam Bam, it’s Denise Leavitt, from your post on Dawn’s group this morning. I am at work (on the job, plus practicing my stitches. I have a BIG thank you for you! First, I followed your advice to go straight across, rather than kitty-corner. And, I am not so concerned about finished product at this point, and I am doing the smaller Egyptian ones. And you know what? They are coming out better than ever so far! I still must use scissors and a hoop, but so what! Plus, although I always loved to read your valuable comments wherever I find them on FB, I am not stalking you! I am just an admirer! Thanks again, Bam Bam! Denise Leavitt


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