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10 Hand Embroidery Stitches For Beginners

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Brush up on the basics, or even learn a new skill today with this step by step hand embroidery stitches tutorial. Whether you are working on embellished jeans, a decorative throw pillow or learning how to hand embroider a shirt, DIY embroidery designs are on a comeback.

With these 10 basic hand embroidery stitches, you can easily learn how to hand sew your own clothes, alter a hem and hand stitch a seam! This step-by-step hand stitch sewing guide will show you exactly how to hand sew, the basic hand stitches for beginners and also the best hand stitches for sewing projects.

When you learn how to hand sew, you can easily hand stitch a hem, hand sew a seam or even fix torn clothes. Using the 15 basic hand stitches for beginners, you can understand how to hand sew and easily make basic clothing alterations.

Hand Embroidery Stitches Beginners Must Know

Hand Heart Sign DIY Embroidered Shirt Tutorial (For Beginners) | Fashion Wanderer

There is no need to own a fancy sewing machine if you know hand stitching techniques and how to hand sew for beginners. There are many DIY sewing projects that replicate these basic hand stitches. Within no time, you will master the necessary skills aimed at how to hand sew for beginners.

There are so many fun DIY sewing tutorials, refashion old clothes projects and fun ways to make dresses from scratch. A sewing machine can be a little intimidating when it comes to knowing exactly what to buy or even how to use all the functions and features.

Start with 10 basic hand stitches and learn sewing skills like how to hand sew for beginners. These ten hand embroidery stitches are essential for building a great foundation to your sewing skills. Take your hoop to the next level by learning how to hand embroider a shirt today!

1 . Running Stitches

running stitches hand embroidery stitches

The running stitch is a quick and easy way to outline the border of a design. Running stitch is the most common hand stitch technique.

The straight stitch can be made on a sewing machine, but also is quick hand stitch that can be used where the sewing machine cannot reach.

  • Weave the needle in and out of the fabric using your desired stitch length.
  • You may also make several stitches before completely pulling the needle through the fabric.
  • Lock the running stitch when finished.

2. Backstitch

backstitch hand embroidery stitches

The backstitch is useful for certain outlines or text because it creates a solid line. Full backstitch is the strongest hand stitch and is used to replicate sewing machine stitches.

  • Pull the threaded needle up from the backside of the fabric.
  • Then, make a single running stitch and pull the thread to keep the stitch taut from the backside of the fabric.
  • Bring your needle up through the fabric again maintaining an equal length to the running stitch.
  • Repeat the process until you finish the full backstitch pattern.

3 . Split Stitch

split stitch hand embroidery stitches

The split stitch creates a solid line with a braid like texture, and is a great option for text, outlines and filling in designs. Slipstitch is used to make hidden seams in between two folded pieces of a flat edge. The best way to use this stitch is to bind, close a lining, to sew an appliqué patch and closing ends of any straps.

  • Iron the folds of the fabric and bring the threaded needle from the backside of the fold to hide the knot.
  • Pull the needle and thread through the folded edge.
  • Grab a bit of fabric from the opposite side of the fabric fold.
  • Pull the needle through.
  • Insert the needle back towards the opposite side and then repeat the slipstitch pattern until you close the folded fabric opening.

4 . Stem Stitch

stem stitch hand embroidery stitches

The stem stitch is used to create flower stems and vines, but is useful for anything that bends or curves.

5 . Satin Stitch

satin stitch hand embroidery stitches

The satin stitch is perfect for filling in designs with a smooth appearance.

6 . French Knot

french knots hand embroidery stitches

The French knot is an attractive stitch that adds design enhancement.

7 . Chain Stitch

chain stitch hand embroidery stitches

The chain stitch is another great option for an outline or to frame around an embroidery design pattern.

8. Lazy Daisy

lazy daisy hand embroidery stitches

This is a version of the chain stitch that is frequently referred as a “detached chain stitch” or “lazy daisy.” Instead of continuing the chain, a small stitch is created over the end of the loop. The result looks like a daisy pedal.

9. Feather Stitch

feather stitch hand embroidery stitches

The feather stitch is another variation of the chain stitch that uses the second stitch to anchor the loop of the previous stitch. This chain stitch is useful if you want to cover more space.

10. Seed Stitch

seed stitch hand embroidery stitches

The seed stitch is a great way to provide randomness within your embroidery. Use various spacing and different angles to create a wide fill or even layers of depth with seed stitch.

With these 10 best hand embroidery stitches, you can simply upgrade your plain old t-shirt with any Tumblr inspired anatomical heart, hand heart sign or even a hanging houseplants motif.

From beginner to intermediate and advanced levels, these must know hand embroidery stitches are essential. Master these hand embroidery stitches before starting your next project.

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Saturday 10th of December 2022

My Japanese mother was an excellent seamstress. She'd make all the gowns for the bridesmaids for a wedding, custom sew and fit women's and children's clothing, do alterations, hemming, upholstery, etc. There were always people coming to the house to be fitted. I loved watching her sew. So I asked when she would let me use the sewing machine when I was 9 (this was in the 60s). She said I had to learn hand stitching first so she ordered me a book to learn from. That way I could learn on my own and she would critique my efforts. I mastered them. I was so excited when it was time to use her trusty Brother sewing machine!

So throughout high school, I made my own clothing, except for jeans. My first sewing project when I was 13 was a pair of bell bottoms. I was so proud of them and everyone couldn't believe I made them. Thanks, Mom!

I ended up opening a vintage clothing store, doing alterations, and even occasionally sewing custom items (some very complicated and without patterns), just like my mother. It was fulfilling.

One thing I noticed that was not included was the blanket stitch. Maybe add it and now it will be 11 stitches for beginners? Hehe. I like that stitch and use it a lot, especially when I'm doing decorative hemming on a pair of jeans.

Hand sewing has pretty much gone by the wayside. It's a skill that is so useful to develop.

Thanks so much!!!


Monday 12th of December 2022

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story! I am definitely familiar with the blanket stitch and have used it many times. Great idea to add it to this post.