Stem stitch is a simple, basic embroidery stitch but has the potential to add outlines to your work and to write creative messages. Once you learn how to do stem stitch, you can use it for samplers, a humble bookmark and of course flower and plant stems! Look at the interesting effect you can create using a variegated color of embroidery floss.
How to do Stem Stitch
Before you start, thread your needle with a single thread. If you are having trouble threading thick embroidery thread, read my article on how to use a needle threader.
Step one: Mark out your stem stitching line by transferring your design to the fabric.
Start with your needle and thread coming up from the back of the design at 1.
You can start either with a knot or a long tail of thread which you will work in at the back after you have finished.
Step two and three: Insert your needle down into point two.
Return to the right side of the fabric half way between points one and two. This is point three.
IMPORTANT: Make sure your thread loops below your needle. You can see this more clearly below – the thread at point 3 sits above 1 and 2. Rember to do this for each stitch so you get a consistent look to your stitches.
Step four and five: Repeat the process, going back to the underside of the fabric at point 4 and coming up at 5.
Notice that 5 is just above point 2. (It is not the same hole)
Continue in this way as you follow the marked line in your pattern.
Remember always that the needle comes out above the other stitches to create the continuous line and the effect of a stem.
Stem stitch is a great beginner stitch, but can also add value to intricate designs. One of the wonderful qualities of stem stitch is its ability to be a writing tool and spell out messages and capture memories on your treasured embroidery creations.
Other Embroidery Articles
- Satin Stitch
- Running Stitch
- Herringbone Stitch
- Fishbone Stitch
- Fern Stitch
- French Knots
- Chain Stitch
- Seed Stitch
- Cross Stitch
- More Embroidery