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Embroidery Stitching Full Guide

Welcome to the Stitch Guide section of Paraffle! This corner of the website is here to teach you new stitches and techniques, taking you from a starter to a pro in no time! Whichever level you start from, this step-by-step guide of embroidery stitches is here to help at every stage. If you're wondering what you need before you start stitching, check out my Ultimate Beginners' Guide to embroidery here. Once you have your materials - and your pattern is transferred to your fabric - you're ready to get started!

Starting Off

First things first: starting off your embroidery. As with many aspects of embroidery, there's a few ways to do this - and none of them are wrong! My favourite method is to use 2 strands from a skein of thread, and to tie a simple knot in one end. There's a brief tutorial on how to do this here.

Embroidery Stitches

It can be hard to know which embroidery stitches to learn first - there's so many to choose from! I've separated this list of embroidery stitches into different uses - creating lines, flowers, and other effects. Each one is labelled with a difficulty level, so you can choose which level you want to start with!
Embroidery stitch sampler showing 7 different stitches

Embroidering lines


Stitches to create lines are perhaps the best to start with. It's easy to create all sorts of designs with just a few simple stitches!

Embroidering flowers and plants


Once you've mastered embroidering lines and outlines, try out some floral effects! Stem Stitch (above) is perfect for plant stems - and the stitches below are great for stitching simple flowers.

Six-point Stars


Six embroidered yellow stars on white fabric background Six-Point Stars are perhaps the easiest of all flower stitches. They're made up of three single stitches, crossed over on a centre point. I like using these to fill small spaces, or to frame more intricate stitches.

Lazy Daisies


Three embroidered Lazy Daisy stitches in pink thread on white fabric background Lazy Daisy Stitch is my favourite way to create flowers. Each petal is made of a single detached Chain Stitch (see above) - and the thread lies on top of the fabric, creating a more textured effect.

Filler stitches and other effects

Satin stitch


Blue embroidered satin stitch on a plan fabric background Satin Stitch is a gorgeous filler stitch in hand embroidery. The trick to it is making sure that the stitches are all parallel - this lets them create a shiny, glossy effect that can really show off vibrant thread colours!

French Knots


Embroidered French Knots in blue and green on white background French Knots are my favourite stitch for creating a touchable, bobbly effect, for things such as cherry blossom or animal fur. They can be really tricky to master - but once you get the hang of them, they're a great stitch! My trick is to make sure the thread is pulled tight, halfway through creating the knot (check out the video) - and plenty of practice!

Finishing Off

Backing with felt

My favourite way to finish off embroidery is to back it with felt. The felt covers the (very) messy back of the embroidery; and at the same time, it helps to keep your embroidered fabric at the front really tight, too! I use a simple whipped stitch to attach felt to the back of my embroidery - and have created a tutorial to show you each stage of the process, too!
The reverse of an embroidery hoop backed with teal felt
Sammy Bishop

Sammy Bishop

Sammy is the Founder and owner of Paraffle. She set Paraffle up as a side-venture whilst she was completing her PHD. After finishing her PHD, running Paraffle is now her full time hobby and job!

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