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Hand Embroidery: Complete Beginners Guide Part 2- Learn Basic Stitches with Illustrations

Updated on May 20, 2015

I have written part one of this series before. If you are new to this series and want to learn from the beginning please read the first part first and then come back and read this hub. As I told you before in hand embroidery we can start embroidering after learning only basic stitches. There are some basic stitches we should consider. Let’s just learn 6 basic stitches today. So, let’s go to straight to the point.

First of all forgive me for giving ugly photos to teach you. I captured the photos with my web camera. Believe me. It was hard to get at least this much of clear photos. I had to try more than 5 times to get one clear picture. So, I’ve done my best. Hope you will satisfy.

Update : Photos are replaced with clear and quality photos for better user experience.

Straight Stitch
Straight Stitch

Straight Stitch

This is the most basic stitch of all stitches and most difficult stitch to learn :P (if you are not a human.) Even a child can sew this stitch although does not give any fancy.

To start this stitch, bring the thread up from the fabric. Keep some space and insert the needle to the fabric. That’s all. If you want to continue you can stitch as the picture at right side. It’s that easy.

Back Stitch
Back Stitch

Back Stitch

Back stitch is mostly used for outlines of designs and also used as a foundation of compound stitches. This stitch can be used as an alternative to straight stitch of sewing machines because of the look of this stitch is similar and this stitch is strong enough to hold more fabrics.

Start this stitch by bringing the thread upward from the back of the fabric. Make a small backward stitch through the fabric. Bring the needle through the fabric a little in front of the first stitch. Again make a backward stitch by inserting the needle to the first position which you brought the needle upward. And again bring the needle through the fabric a little in front of the stitch. Repeat this system until you get enough length of line.

Blanket stitch / Buttonhole stitch
Blanket stitch / Buttonhole stitch

Blanket Stitch/ Buttonhole Stitch

The first decorative stitch we are going to learn is Blanket stitch. The same stitch is used to sew button holes therefore this stitch is also called as Buttonhole stitch.

As you can see in the picture this stitch depends on two imaginary lines. To start this stitch bring the thread upward from the lower line from position A, insert the needle at position B in the second line, make a straight downward motion and pull the needle from position C looping the thread under the needle point. Repeat this process along the line.

The stitch can be more decorative when altering the length of upright stitches and attaching beads to the empty places of the stitch.

Satin Stitch
Satin Stitch

Satin Stitch

This stitch is used very often in hand embroidery as well as Machine Embroidery. When you are in need to fill an area with a single color you can use satin stitch to fill the field with thread. Satin stitch is another basic stitch which is very simple and is used in large variety of projects.

To start this stitch you need to have a shape which should be filled. Stitch straight, stitches across the shape you are making. Fill the shape with straight stitches and try to keep the edges smooth. This is called as Satin Stitch.

Stem Stitch
Stem Stitch

Stem Stitch

Stem stitch is mostly used to outline flowers, leaves and make stems. This is one of the oldest stitches sewers used. So, this is being taught at the very beginning when learning Embroidery.

The picture at the right side gives perfect explanation to sew this stitch. First take upward the thread through position A, insert the needle to position B and pull out the needle from C. Repeat this process to the end of your line.

Chain Stitch
Chain Stitch

Chain Stitch

My favorite stitch is this because chain stitch is the basis of large group of decorative stitches. Chain stitch can be used to stitch curved lines as well as to filling shapes. To start this stitch, bring the thread at the beginning of the line hold it down with the left thumb. Insert the needle where it first came out and bring the point out a short distance away. Pull the thread through, keeping the working thread under the needle point to create a loop.

And this is the end of this hub. More stitches can be found from other parts of this series. They are about to come though. If you didn’t read the first part you can read Basic Requirements to Hand Embroidery from my first hub.

And I won't blame you if you leave a comment. So, don't be hesitate to leave a comment below. :)

And if you like this hub please vote up this hub. That will bring me inspiration to write more hubs.


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    • profile image

      Hanan hamza 

      4 years ago

      Great work . Plz continue

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thank you, easy to follow instructions. Now for the French Knot .....

    • profile image

      pooja nagre 

      4 years ago


    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thanks! this is great!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I am a tailor and my daughter loves sewing. I told her to search for an online teacher. As I write she is rejoicing with her third trophy for sewing this year.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Please show hub page hand embroidery stitching tutorial in utube.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i think this is enough to study ebmroidery.thanks a lot

    • M.N.Kassier profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Sri Lanka

      Thank you Bharti Saxena.

    • Bharti Saxena profile image

      Bharti Saxena 

      6 years ago from Noida,India

      it's nice, I love hand embroideries very much .though i know it all bcoj i teach traditional indian textiles in the college, but believe it was a real pleasure watching your hub... keep it up.

    • M.N.Kassier profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Sri Lanka

      @mary Thank you very much for your encouraging comment. Your comment forces me to write more about this topic and I'll continue the work. Sooner I'll write another series of this Hub. Until then, please wait.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Since I am a very, very basic beginner I found this extremely informative and more than useful. The instructions were very easy to understand and follow. I am anxious to try all the stitches and looking forward to seeing more of the basics. Thank You.

    • Cuselax profile image


      9 years ago

      great hub i love when someone actually shows us how to do something.

    • kellydove profile image


      9 years ago

      great hub very nice


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