December 09, 2022

Embroidery Stitch Tutorial: How to do the Straight Stitch

By Tatum Schumann
summer daisies embroidery hoop

The straight stitch is the most basic embroidery stitch, and possibly the most necessary to learn in the beginning.

By practicing the straight stitch, you're able to get a feel for bringing the needle in and out through the fabric, which is important because many of the stitches you'll learn build off of the straight stitch.  

Early Scilla embroidery flower

The straight stitch is used to form single long stitches, but it can also be grouped together to create a unique design. 

I mostly use the straight stitch for creating simple flowers and leaves, but this stitch works well with creating geometric figures as well, and can even be used to add texture to a project. Although simple, adding the straight stitch to your designs can really amp up the look of any pattern.

Depending on the complexity of your pattern, you may want to mark your fabric before you begin, but it’s certainly not necessary. Especially when adding texture to a design, it may even be better to freestyle where you plan to arrange your straight stitches. But if you do have a specific plan for where you want them to go, I definitely recommend using a heat erasable pen to mark your fabric for guidance as you stitch, and then you can remove the ink when you’re done - I like using the Pilot FriXion ColorSticks in black!  

Instructions: How to do the Straight Stitch

For the straight stitch, I generally use between 2-3 strands of thread, but feel free to increase or decrease the amount you use to create a more refined or bold look! 

Step 1: Bring your needle up through the fabric and down one stitch length away

One stitch length is however long you want your stitch to be - there is no official measurement, only what feels right for you in the moment! 
stitching the straight stitch

Step 2: Pull the thread all the way through to the back. 

You want the thread to taut against the fabric but not so much that it begins to pucker. Getting the right tension can be tricky at first, and it's something you'll need to experiment with as you keep learning!
finished straight stitch

And it's that simple!

You now understand the most basic stitch and have a foundation for moving the needle in and out through the fabric. Familiarizing yourself with the up and down movement of the needle is necessary for learning additional stitches, and you’ll be able to work with more precision!

CLICK HERE to view a video tutorial for how to do the straight stitch, and be sure to give us a follow for future breakdowns!

Happy Stitching!

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