Backstitch is a versatile stitch that can be used purely as decorative embroidery or functionally in hand sewing. Backstitch creates a single, unbroken line of stitches that can be straight or curved. The length of each individual stitch can be very short or very long, but the stitches should all be the same length.

Thread your needle and tie a knot at the tail of your thread.

Insert your needle from the back of the fabric to the front so that the knot is at the back of your fabric.

Make one stitch by inserting your needle down through the front of the fabric to the back of the fabric.

Make a second stitch by inserting your needle up through the back of your fabric to the front.

You've now made two running stitches! If you keep going like this, that's fine, but you won't be making a backstitch, you'll be making "dashed" running stitches.

Backstitch Step A: To make your first backstitch, insert your needle back down through the hole your thread previously passed through to the back of your fabric.

Backstitch Step B: To stitch forward, insert your needle two stitch lengths forward up through the back of the fabric to the front.

Repeat Backstitch Steps A & B for your backstitch!

Looking for some resources on embroidery at the Library? Check out some of these books!

Embroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 Stitches by Lucinda Ganderton
The Embroidered Garden: Stitching Through the Seasons of a Flower Garden by Kazuko Aoki
Embroidery: A Beginner's Step-by-Step Guide to Stitches and Techniques by Charlotte Gerlings

 

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