Five Basic Embroidery Stitches

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Earlier this week we shared some embroidery inspiration in the form of these two embroidered Lark Tees. Today, we’re circling back and breaking down five basic embroidery stitches with step by step instructions!

Here are the five stitches you’ll be learning today:

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
  1. Back Stitch: This stitch can be used for straight lines, curved lines, and is a great choice for outlining areas.
  2. Stem Stitch: This angled rope like stitch is perfect for flower stems, curved lines, straight lines, and outlining.
  3. Satin Stitch: The Satin Stitch as a filling stitch, use this to shade in solid areas.
  4. French Knot: Used as a decorative stitch, French Knots can be used for flowers, eyes, or other details.
  5. Chain Stitch: Another outline stitch that can be stitched straight or curved.

Back Stitch

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Begin by bringing the needle up from the underside of the fabric. Take a small stitch backwards from the original stitch point.

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Pull the thread taught. Then bring the needle up from the underside of the fabric above the original stitch point. Be sure to keep the stitch length uniform to the stitch you previously created.

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Again, take a small stitch backwards and then pull the stitch taut. Ensure that the stitches are smooth, uniform, and aren’t causing any pulling on your fabric.

Repeat the previous two steps. Continue until your Back stitch chain is your desired length.

Stem Stitch

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Begin by bringing your needle and thread up from the underside of the fabric. Take a stitch forward and begin pulling the thread to the underside of the fabric.

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Before the thread and stitch are completely pulled tight, bring the needle and thread up from the underside of the fabric halfway between the original and subsequent stitch. Pull the thread taut.

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Repeat the previous steps, and continue until your Stem stitch is your desired length.

Satin Stitch

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Begin by outlining the shape you’re planning to fill with a washable fabric marker or some other marking tool. We recommend testing the marking tool you plan on using on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure it can be removed without leaving any marks behind.

Then bring your needle and thread up from the underside of the fabric at the edge of the shape you will be filling.

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Stitch to the opposite edge of your shape. Pull your thread taut.

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Repeat the previous steps being sure to keep your stitches very close together. This will create a consistent fill.

French Knot

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

If you need to make the video larger, hover your mouse over the bottom of the video screen and click on the four arrows pointing in opposite directions to play the video full screen.

Chain Stitch

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Begin by bringing your needle and thread up from the underside of your fabric. Take a small stitch forward and pull taut.

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Take a stitch ahead of the stitch previously created. Then, loop the needle and thread underneath the previously created stitch.

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Bring the needle and thread back towards the previous stitch and reinsert the needle through the same hole. You’ve created your first chain!

Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio
Five Basic Embroidery Stitches | Grainline Studio

Repeat the previous steps to continue your Chain stitch until you achieve your desired length.

Do you have a favorite embroidery stitch? Let us know below!

6 replies on “Five Basic Embroidery Stitches

  • Peg Sullivan

    Thanks thanks. I just started embroidering some pouches. This article came just as I was about to begin searching for more than my basic stem and french knots.
    I was wondering if there is stabilizer behind the stitching on tees?

    Reply
    • Aimee

      You’re welcome! I didn’t use a stabilizer here, but you certainly could! If you’re working with a knit fabric we would recommend using a Tricot interfacing.

      Reply
  • Janet

    Thank you for the French knot video especially – I’ve been incapable of working this out on my own for ages! I had a proper aha moment watching this…

    Reply
  • bookie15101368

    Thanks for the stitch review. The word nerd in me can’t resist commenting that “taught” is for teaching and “taut” is for tight. Homonyms, they sound the same but are spelled different.

    Reply

Leave a Reply