How to Create the Satin Stitch
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If you want to create a simple fill for a shape quickly and easily the satin stitch is a great go-to stitch. This basic embroidery stitch is perfect for beginners and is one of the most used stitches when it comes to filling in shapes. It’s essentially rows of thread stitched closely together and they can be laid out vertically, horizontally, or diagonally for all sorts of shapes. You can even add the satin stitch over another stitch to add a bit of padding.
When the shape is completely filled in with the satin stitch, whether it’s an open-fill (where bits of fabric still shows behind the stitches) or a closed-fill (the stitches completely hide the fabric below), the satin stitch will leave behind rows of stitches that travel from one end of the shape to the other.
Step-by-Step Satin Stitch Tutorial
- To begin, draw a simple shape to fill in such as a leaf or cup shape like the receptacle of a flower.
- I like to divide my shape and fill one side, and then the other, but you can also start on the left or right side of the shape and work your way across. There’s really no right or wrong.
- So for this flower receptacle, I’ll start at the middle.
- Come up on one side of your shape.
- Return to the back at the opposite end to make one straight stitch.
- Come up next to the starting point of your previous stitch then return to the back on the other side of your shape.
- Continue doing this until one half of your shape is filled.
Then fill in the other side using the same steps.
- If you're filling in a large shape starting in center and dividing your shape into a few sections will help you keep the lines nice and parallel to each other as you fill them in.
- From time to time, your thread might start twisting. Try to straighten out your thread every so often. This will make your stitch more uniform and clean.
- The satin stitch uses a lot of thread so make sure you have plenty before you start.
- This tutorial went over a closed fill which covers the fabric below. To create an open fill, spread your stitches out so bits of your fabric show through. The spread can be even between each stitch you add or they can be varied.
- Add padding to the satin stitch by adding two layers that lay perpendicular to each other. Or, make the bottom layer using other stitches such as randomly placed seed stitches or outline the shape first with the chain stitch.