Dorset Pin Workshop

Diane Mugford © 2009

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Dorset Pin Workshop

Time: 1 to 1.5 hours

You can make the Dorset pin in 5 easy steps:

  1. Buttonhole Stitch around the outside of the ring.
  2. Make the shape for your bouquet.
  3. Make a webbing for your flowers. 
  4. Add flowers and bow accent.
  5. Sew the pin on the back.


  • 1" x 1.5" brass ring or hoop
  • 1" x 1" pin
  • 1 skein DMC floss or #5 perle cotton or similar thread (such as Caron Watercolours) for Blanket Stitch and backing.
  • Other threads and beads for flowers and embellishment.


Step 1: Take four yards of thread (one 6-ply strand of DMC, one strand of Watercolours, one strand of perle #5 or similar weight) and wind into a ball small enough to fit through the ring. Tie the thread onto ring, leaving a 2-3" tail. Use Buttonhole or Blanket Stitch around the ring with the top stitch on the outside of the ring. If you can buttonhole over the tail, catch it in for a half inch and then cut it off. If this is difficult, leave the tail, it can be woven in later. Pull the Buttonhole Stitches snug to the ring, but not too tight. You should be able to easily slide the Buttonhole Stitches left and right on the ring. Continue until the ring is covered and you cannot see the ring underneath. Do not cut the thread. Slide the Buttonhole Stitches to the inside of the ring ready for the next step.

Step 2a: Create the beginning of the background for the pin. Using same thread from the first step, thread in needle and make the beginning of a fan as shown below: hold the pin so that your thread is at 7 o’clock. Determine where 12 o’clock would be and that will be the top of your pin. Take your thread across the ring from 7 o’clock and come up at 2 o’clock. Come back across the ring going down just inside the 7 o’clock stitch. Come across the ring and come up just inside the 2 o’clock stitch. The stitches on the top part of the ring will be about 1/32nd inch apart while the stitches in the bottom will be quite tight together. You will be able to see between the top fan stitches.

Step 2b: Continue across the ring, making the fan by filling in so that you end up with a thread travelling from 10 o’clock to 5 o’clock(see below). Check that it is wide enough by placing the pin across the top part of the fan at its widest point. The length of the pin is about the correct width for the fan. When done, wrap thread around center where lines intersect. Pull tight then tie a knot to keep in place.

Do not cut the thread yet.

Step 3: Using the balance of thread, approximately two feet, weave horizontally, then vertically to create a grid. You may not be able to “weave” but go up and down over and under the fan spokes. This is the base onto which you will sew the flowers. You are finished when you cannot see any light through the webbing. If you did not catch the first tail into the Blanket Stitch, thread it now and weave it through your webbing to secure and then cut it off.

Step 4a: With a different thread (6-ply DMC cotton, Watercolors, or similar weight), sew French Knots onto the grid above the intersection. This makes the flowers of the bouquet. You can do Bullion Knots or any other stitch you like. You can add beads too!

Step 4b: Tie a bow around the intersection knot. Use the background thread, the flower thread, or some other thread or ribbon.

Step 5: Sew pin onto back.

All Done!

Assistant Editor's note: This pattern for a different twist on a Dorset Button comes to us from Diane Mugford of British Columbia. Diane had recently published the pattern in the Fraser Valley Needlearts Guild newsletter, and graciously allowed us to reprint it. Thanks to Kerry Leslie for the heads up!

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