Welcome embroidery beginners, today I am going to teach you how to do a really fun stitch, chain stitch!
With this stitch, you’re making a chain of stitches that form a line, and once you get the hang of it, it’s quite methodical to do.
This is a really versatile stitch to use for shapes or lines with a bit more texture. You can also use rows of chains to fill in a shape. I find this quite a bit more forgiving than the more usual fillers such as Satin Stitch.
I have used this stitch in my embroidery patterns to add textural details such as a woven basket, smoke, and even embroidered words and letters. See below for some inspiring examples!
So, how do you do this wonderful stitch?
Bring your needle up through the fabric, and pull all of the slack through so that your knot is securing your thread at the back. Then poke your needle back down through the same hole (or just beside). Take care not to catch your needle on your knot.
Before you go and pull the slack of your thread right through to the back, stop and form a loop with your thread.
Now turn right around and bring the needle back up again. Poke your needle up through the fabric a stitch length ahead of where you went down. But when you bring it up – the key is to bring it up through the loop you’ve just made.
As you pull the slack through and tighten up your stitch, just go gently, and you’ll see how it forms a little chain link with the loop.
TIP: If you want your stitches to have a rounder loopy look, just don’t pull them too tight.
Now keep going with this process. So go ahead and poke the needle back down where you came from (yup, this will be right inside the tip of the loop you just made) to make a loop... and so on. As you make each chain, it secures the previous chain into place.
To make sure your last stitch is secure, do a little stitch over the end of the loop to hold it down.
Then knot this off at the back (or wind your floss around some other stitches to secure it) as you usually would when finishing a section of embroidery.
I am so happy you now know how to do this beautiful, textural stitch. You are going to have so much fun learning it and adding wonderful chain stitch details to your embroidery patterns.
So there you have it, all my favourite tips and knowledge you need to understand how to do chain stitch. Woo-hoo, go you!
Examples of Chain Stitch in my patterns
Let's look at some examples of how you can use this awesome foundation stitch in your work! First up, here's my Little Wildflower Meadow pattern. See the flower on the left? The stalk is made up with lovely little chain stitches.
Another example is my pattern The Night Before Christmas. Check out the basket, and how it's filled with Chain Stitch. Isn't that beautiful?
Let's look at one more example, with my pattern The Gardening Bee. There's lots of beautiful Chain Stitch in this pattern! You can see it used as fillers in the watering can, wheelbarrow and gumboot. I just love Chain Stitch!
This course takes you through all the beginner techniques and knowledge you need to make your first beginner pattern, Little Wildflower Meadow! Plus, it includes a beautiful second pattern, Blooming Lovely, which is a fantastic place to practice your newfound skills.
I would totally recommend this course, as it covers more stitch techniques than just chain stitch, and you can also do it at your own place. Plus, this is a great way to hold yourself accountable for your own me-time and continue on your path to becoming a modern embroidery superstar.