Fly stitch is a great way to add graceful detail to your embroidery. Think of wings and the way you drew them in your childhood pictures as birds flew across the page. Little Y shapes joined together. Fly stitch embroidery is simple to make and can be joined or just be stitched separately. Big or small, broad or narrow, this is a stitch to try out and enjoy.
Fly stitch can be horizontal or vertical and can also act as a filler stitch. Look at all the effects you can do with just the one versatile stitch. If you do the stem really small, you can turn the Y shape into a V! My favorite is the curved leaves.
How to do Fly Stitch Embroidery
If you are just beginning to sew embroidery, have a read of my article on how to embroider. This will show you the basic tools and stitches you can use to build your skills.
Here I have used unbleached calico fabric. You can use Aida cloth or linen as well. Mark your design with a removable fabric pen or tailor’s chalk. For practicing, you can do your sample with lines marked in lead pencil. If you stitch carefully over the pencil, your won’t see the lines.
Embroidery hoops are useful for holding the fabric tight and are necessary for this stitch if you don’t want the fabric to pucker.
Step one: Bring Needle from Underneath
Prepare your hoop and design. Thread your needle and bring your needle out from underneath for the first part of the stitch. Your thread can be secured with a knot or placing some tape on the ends underneath.
Step two: Insert Needle Down and Up
Insert your needle in at point (2), directly opposite point (1).
Bring the needle up at point (3) which lies between point (1) and point (2) and is slightly forward. This will form the V shape.
It is important that the thread is positioned under the tip of the needle as it exits at (3).
Step three: The Tail
Finish the V shape and make a small stitch at the point (4). The distance you place (4) is up to you. If it is really close to (3), it will look like a V shape and the further it is away the more it will look like a Y shape.
This makes one stand-alone fly stitch that now looks like a Y on the fabric.
You can leave your fly stitches as singles or add extras in strings to form leaves or coral.
Fly Stitch Variations
Variety can be added by changing the length or width of the stitch and lengthening or shortening the tail.
Fly stitch makes an interesting filler if they are alternated in rows. One row of fly stitch the right way up and another underneath upside down. This can give quite a geometric look to your design.
Make a stitch line for your design and ensure the tail of the fly stitch is running along this line. Each new stitch is joined to the next as you stitch along the line and join the tails together vertically.
Once again there needs to be a line to follow as you join each fly stitch together following a horizontal line. This is achieved by connecting the stitch at the top of the V by bringing the needle out at the top point of the V and continuing in a horizontal line.
Use joined fly stitch as a beautiful leaf filler. The center straight stitch resembles the vein of the leaf. The size of the outside of the Y shape is varied from small to big to small again to look like a nice crescent-shaped leaf.
This is really a simple, but effective stitch guaranteed to help you fly through a design and beautify your embroidery with the simple basic stitch or take it further with variations to a theme.
MORE EMBROIDERY STITCHES
- Blanket Stitch
- Buttonhole Stitch
- Chain Stitch
- Chevron Stitch
- Couching Embroidery Tutorial
- 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