Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Stem Stitch (Embroidery How To)

Learn how to sew the stem stitch in today's tutorial.

The stem stitch is a popular outline stitch because it is easy follows curves easily. It's also an easy stitch to learn. 

There are a few different names for the stem stitch, including crewel stitch, stalk stitch, and South Kensington stitch.


stem stitch

This stem stitch tutorial is part of the heart sampler stitch along.

Come stitch along with us! Each day we are learning basic embroidery stitches while we create this darling Valentine's heart sampler.

Begin by learning how to transfer embroidery patterns

Then learn the following line stitches:

Next, we'll learn the couching stitch.



This lovely stitch is ideal for both straight lines, curvy lines and tight curves. It molds well to the shape of the line. The stem stitch is ideal for many embroidery projects.

You can create a thicker line by using all strands of floss.

Thin lines are created by decreasing the number of strands of thread used.

↓ ↓ ↓ PIN IT ↓ ↓ ↓ 
collage of stem stitch images
↑ ↑ ↑ PIN IT ↑ ↑ ↑

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Learn better visually? Then watch the video tutorial

I find that this stitch is easiest for me to sew if I work from left to right. 

collage of images depicting how to do the stem stitch

Bring the thread up at the beginning point the line. Bring the needle down a stitch length away, and back up at the halfway point. Pull the thread through.
how to sew a stem stitch

Bring the needle down a stitch length away and back up at the point at the end of the previous stitch. 
how to sew a stem stitch
Continue this process until you get to the end of the line. 

When finished, tie off on the back of your work.

Stem Stitch VS Outline Stitch

The stem stitch and the outline stitch are essentially worked the same. The main difference is which side of the stitch your working thread is coming out. 

With stem stitches the thread is kept on the upper side of the stitches.  (In the picture above, the thread tail is coming out above the stitches.)

With outline stitches the thread is worked on the bottom side of the stitches. 

Want to watch the video?  ↓↓Click the link ↓↓


Coming soon:
  • Satin stitch
  • lazy daisy stitch
  • french knot

Don't forget to pin it!!
collage of images showing the stem stitch

collage of images of the stem stitch

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