Learn to: EMBROIDERY – stem stitch

In this post you’re going to learn how to do the stem stitch. It is similar to the back stitch but has more overlap and therefore creates a twisting effect. If you’re interested in the other more basic stitches in this series have a look here:

HOW TO: EMBROIDERY – 1. prepping the hoop

HOW TO: EMBROIDERY – 2. running stitch

HOW TO: EMBROIDERY – 3. back stitch

HOW TO: EMBROIDERY – 4. reverse chain stitch

HOW TO: EMBROIDERY – 5. split stitch

So lets get started with the stem stitch!


1. Cut a piece of embroidery thread/floss no longer than around 40cm. You could make it longer, but it will be a little cumbersome to deal with. Thread one side of the thread through the embroidery needle and pull through around 5-10cm of the thread. Tie a knot at the other end of the floss.



2. Thread your piece of floss through the back of your work until the knot stops you going any further. Then thread your floss through the front of the work. The length of this stitch is up to you. I like to work on small hoops so my running stitch tends to be around 5mm long each.



3. Thread your needle through the back of your work again and pull the floss all the way through.



4. Now thread the needle from the front of your work just under the previous running stitch as shown above.



5. Repeat the previous steps.

As you can see, the method is similar to the back stitch, but the needle threads under the previous stitch as opposed to the hole which the previous stitch came through.

And this is what it looks like in green! It creates a twisted line and is great for outlines and you guessed it, stems for leaves! I would discourage filling in a design with this stitch as it would be bulky and leave it purely for stems and outlines.

Stay tuned for more stitches!

LOve <3