Backstitch Tutorial

This post is part of my Tutorial Tuesday series.

The backstitch is another essential stitch to have under your belt. I consider it my MVS (Most Valuable Stitch). The backstitch can be used for outlines, stitching words, adding details – you name it, you can use the backstitch.

Make a straight stitch in your fabric.

Push your needle through the front of your fabric, leaving a space as long as your first stitch. [Like I mentioned in the last tutorial, I am left-handed, so I tend to stitch left-to-right. I have added some right-to-left photos this time around – do they help?]

Place the tip of your needle at the end of your first stitch, then push through. This is why the stitch is called the backstitch – because you are literally stitching backwards!

Keep stitching as long as you would like. Remember to try and make your stitches even and straight. You want to push the needle through the hole from the last stitch, so there is no fabric between the stitches.

I showed one way to tie off threads in the Embroidery Basics tutorial. Here’s another that doesn’t involve knotting the thread. I prefer this method, because I don’t like lots of knots on the back of my projects.

Push the needle under your last stitch. Make sure you are not pushing through the fabric. Pull all the way through until snug.

Push your needle under a few more stitches (I usually do 3-5) to make it extra secure.

Now you can snip the thread (remember to leave a short tail!).

Congratulations, you’ve learned the backstitch!

Since the backstitch is so versatile, you can do all sorts of things with it. Try stitching in lines, curves, circles – any shape you’d like. You can even use backstitch to stitch words.

I asked my family members to write out their favorite quotes, and then stitched them up. Here are my mother’s and brother’s quotes (can you tell which is which?)

Find other embroidery tutorials.


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