We have something a little different for you today! Instead of a new project, we are posting a beginner’s guide to embroidery. Below we are sharing 10 basic embroidery stitches with step-by-step photo tutorials to guide you through each stitch as well as project ideas so you can practice.

Follow our free guide to learn each stitch and then keep practicing to improve your hand-stitching skills!

10 Basic Embroidery Stitches

Our designer Krista created this embroidery guide for beginners, but it’s also great for anyone who may need a little refresher on some basic embroidery stitches. These are 10 basic embroidery stitches we have used many times for our felt crafts. And once you get them down, you will be able to hand-sew so many amazing projects!

Blanket Stitch

The blanket stitch is a basic embroidery stitch that is used along the edge of fabric to finish it off in a decorative way. It’s a simple stitch that’s easy to learn and a great starting point if you’re teaching little ones how to sew. We use it to create a decorative finished seam on all of our felt stuffies as well as to attach appliques.

Here are a few projects you can practice this stitch on.

basic embroidery stitches: blanket stitch tutorial

Whip Stitch

Whip stitch, also called an overcast stitch, is another simple embroidery stitch that finishes the edge of fabric. We use it to sew fabric together, finishing the seams of our projects, and to attach appliques. It’s a great alternative to blanket stitching when you need to sew small pieces together or don’t want to create bulky decorative seams. We like to use it for our standing stuffies when sewing together the legs to the undersides, as it creates a nice smooth seam when turned inside out.

Here are a few projects you can practice this stitch on.

 

basic embroidery stitches: whip stitch tutorial

Applique Stitch

An applique stitch is where you sew a fabric piece cut into a shape of a design onto the surface of another fabric. There are multiple ways to do this, and we mostly use blanket stitches or whip stitches. Blanket stitches will make your details a bit bulkier because of the looped thread that sits on the surface and are best used for bigger appliques. Whip stitches will attach to the fabric more seamlessly and are better for working with smaller details.

Here are a few projects you can practice this stitch on.

basic embroidery stitches: applique stitch tutorial

Straight Stitch

The straight stitch, or running stitch, is one of the most essential hand stitches. It’s used for sewing fabric together, gathering fabric, or adding decorative elements. You can use multiple straight stitches as a foundation to create geometric designs and patterns or to fill in areas. We like to use straight stitches to make clusters of short straight stitches, commonly called seed stitches, and the tiny mouths and other details on our stuffies.

Here are a few projects you can practice this stitch on.

Double Running Stitch

The double running stitch is a variation of a straight stitch and an alternative to the backstitch, where the stitched line will look identical on both the front and back of your fabric. This is useful for projects that are double-sided, like our felt baby bat stuffie.

:basic embroidery stitches: straight stitch tutorial

Backstitch

A backstitch is a basic hand-embroidery outlining stitch. Each stitch is made backwards from the direction that the line is going, overlapping itself on the backside of the fabric. It’s used to make decorative lines or serve as a guideline for satin stitching. It is also great for lettering on fabric.

Here are a few projects you can practice this stitch on.

 

basic embroidery stitches: backstitch tutorial

Chain Stitch

A chain stitch is a decorative looped stitch that works well in a straight or curved line. It’s used as a basis to make variations such as detached chains and lazy daisies that can be used to make leaf or flower shapes in embroidery.

Here are a few projects you can practice this stitch on.

 

basic embroidery stitches: chain stitch tutorial

French Knot

The french knot is a decorative stitch that is made by wrapping thread around a needle to make a knot that sits on the surface of the fabric. It has a reputation of being a difficult stitch, but once you get the hang of it with practice, it will quickly become a favorite. It’s great for creating texture in a project and filling space, or even for making tiny eyes on an animal.

Here are a few projects you can practice this stitch on.

 

basic embroidery stitches: french knot tutorial

Satin Stitch

A satin stitch is a series of straight stitches that fills in a shape with a smooth, satin-like appearance. It can be used to fill in any shape big or small, and is a great alternative to cutting out and sewing on tiny little applique details. 

Here are a few projects you can practice this stitch on.

basic embroidery stitches: satin stitch tutorial

Fly Stitch

A fly stitch is a versatile decorative stitch that can be worked with as a single stitch or in rows, much like the chain stitch. As a  single stitch, it can look like a Y, V, or U depending on the tension of your thread. You can also use it to fill in areas with some texture. When you use this stitch as a continuous line, you can create beautiful embroidered branches or ferns, or use it as a decorative border. 

Here are a few projects you can practice this stitch on.

 

basic embroidery stitches: fly stitch tutorial

Chevron Stitch 

A chevron stitch is a geometric zig-zag stitch made between two parallel guidelines. Use this stitch as a decorative border or outline stitch. Our stuffed felt saguaro cactus is a great project to practice this stitch on.

basic embroidery stitches: chevron stitch tutorial

Explore More

We hope you enjoyed learning these 10 basic embroidery stitches! If you have questions about any of these stitches, just comment below. 

While this beginner’s guide is free, all of our embroidery projects are for members only. Become a member and get instant access to all of our felt crafts along with thousands of other DIY projects.

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