Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Embroidery Techniques: The Stem Stitch

The pictures in this particular post belong to me.

One thing that can be associated with Lolitas is embroidery. It was, after all, quite popular in Victorian times. Embroidery is sometimes even considered a "trademark" of a lifestyle Loli. Many people don't know how to do this, however, and would like to learn how. So, I've decided to post instructions, which are my own, for the beginning embroiderer.

The first stitch I learned, and the first stitch I'm going to teach you, is called the stem stitch. It's simple, and gives a nice outline, I think. Also, there's a reason it's called the "stem" stitch: it's great for embroidering plants, especially when it comes to stems and leaves.

On to the stitch!

First things first, you will find with embroidery thread that there are multiple strands of thread in the thread, making it thicker. I believe the standard is 6 strands per thread, but you're only going to need 3. To get the strands, take the thread and look for mini-threads in it. (This may be harder for people who can't see as well.) Take three, and slowly pull the strands and the rest of the thread away from each other. Cut your thread before you do this.

Second, you'll need to thread your needle.

After that, make a knot at the end of your thread (the longer end). There are several ways to do this, but I suppose the easiest is to simply tie a simple knot (an overhand knot).

Now, to the part where we actually embroider.

First, pull the needle from the back of the fabric to the front.

Next, push part of the needle into the fabric‒but not all of it.

Push the needle so that it's backtracked about halfway back to the starting point. Slide the whole needle through so that you have a stitch with the needle sticking up in the middle. (Sorry that I don't have a picture of that.)

Pull the needle up, and repeat!

Here's what the stitch looks like with huge stitches:

And with smaller, more normal-sized stitches (close-up):

So, that's the stem stitch! With it, you can make beautiful outlines, especially with plants. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.


  1. I have so much trouble with this stitch, things other people find difficult (French knots and the like) I can do no problem, but this, GAH!
    I think it hates me :s

  2. I've been wanting to learn embroidery for a while now and I just came across your blog. SO thanks! (:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...