Learn how to do fern stitch! Ferns, the delicate variety of greenery that makes a bouquet of flowers soft and subtle, translates into a beautiful, delicate embroidery stitch. The fern stitch is perfect for your embroidered garden design and can be used as a border to monograms and smaller designs.
Fern Stitch Embroidery
Fern stitch is very easy to learn and include in your embroidery repertoire. Fern stitch is basically three straight stitches carefully placed together and then repeated to create the delicate fronds of a fern.
In simple terms, each of the three straight stitches connects to the first stitch at a common point and then follows on in a pattern that looks like three points of a star.
Further Reading: If you are just starting to embroider, here is an article on embroidery basics.
Fern Stitch Supplies
- NEEDLE - You will need a hand needle with an eye large enough to thread the embroidery floss. Crewel needles are designed for embroidery and have large elongated eyes.
- THREAD - Fern stitch looks best with some thickness so use stranded embroidery floss. I usually use 6 strands for my samples.
- HOOP - Embroidery hoops hold your fabric taut and prevent the stitches from puckering. If you only have a small hoop you can move it around.
Fern Stitch Video
My basic stitches video includes the fern stitch. Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for weekly sewing and craft videos.
How to do Fern Stitch Embroidery
Before you start it is useful to mark 3 lines in which to create your fern stitch. You can also mark the arrow pattern of the fern for perfectly even stitches.
Like many sewing techniques, there are several ways you can do the order of the stitches. This is the one I found the easiest but as you start practicing, you may find it works better in another order. I'm right-handed and so generally embroider right to left.
Step 1 - Needle Up
Knot or start your thread and bring the needle up from underneath in the center of your design. You will be starting one stitch back from the tip.
This is point 1.
Step 2 - First Stitch
Stitch with a straight stitch to the tip of the fern at 2 and bring the needle out in line with the first stitch at 3.
Step 3 - Arrow Shape
Stitch a straight stitch of the same size to the left and enter the fabric at point 4 (this is the same as point 2) then exit at point 5.
Point 5 is directly underneath points 1 and 3.
Now take your needle and thread and insert the needle at 6 (same point as 2 and 4) and come up at the same distance but in a new point of entry at 7.
This is the start of a new fern stitch.
Step 4 - Repeat
The first part of the fern is complete, and you are ready to repeat the pattern to create new fern leaves.
Tips for Sewing Fern Stitch
- Fern stitch can become a very creative part of your design. As you work your way down the stem of the fern you can be free-spirited and make the stitches bigger to give the effect of the fern growing in your embroidery garden.
- Use fern stitches for a wreath effect as it can twist and turn decoratively.
- Fern stitch could also find its way in the underwater world of fish and seascapes, as it looks like delicate seaweed.
Imagination and three simple stitches are all you need to enjoy the beauty of this stitch.
Well now you can create beautiful leaves with your fern stitch, you will need some flowers to go with them. Flowers can be simple or quite detailed. Read how to make embroidery flowers and embroidery roses.
More Embroidery Stitches
- Blanket Stitch
- Buttonhole Stitch
- Chain Stitch
- Chevron Stitch
- Couching Stitch
- Cross Stitch
- Double Herringbone Stitch
- How to Embroider
- Faggoting Embroidery
- Feather Stitch
- Fern Stitch
- Fishbone Stitch
- Fly Stitch
- French Knots
- Hand Embroidery Stitches
- Herringbone Stitch
- Lazy Daisy
- Running Stitch
- Sashiko Embroidery
- Satin Stitch
- Seed Stitch Embroidery (Rice Stitch)
- Stem Stitch
- Straight Stitch
- Web Stitch | Embroidery Tutorial
- Whip Stitch