Detached chain stitch

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

Detached chain stitch is a fun way to create embellishments, and can be easily modified by changing how long you make your stitch and how tightly (or loosely) you pull your floss.


In this post, I've provided instructions for how to do this stitch in written, photo, and video format (feel free to jump ahead, should video tutorials be easier for you to follow!


Photo of an embroidery hoop with detached chain stitches in yellow, pink, blue, and green on a dark blue fabric.
Finished detached chain stitches using simple modifications - lovely!

But first, doesn't this stitch have another name?


Detached chain stitch is also commonly referred to as the "lazy daisy," and I've referred to it that way in the past. However, I no longer care for the name "lazy daisy," especially when an alternative (i.e., "detached chain stitch") is right there. I wasn't officially diagnosed with ADHD until my mid-20s, and have been called "lazy" a whole lot. I don't care for the word. You can read more about the word "lazy" by Googling "is lazy an ableist term."


Step 1: Bring your needle up through your fabric, and pull.



Step 2: Bring your needle back down through the hole you just created, leaving a loop.



Step 3: Bring your needle back up through your fabric and through your loop.



Step 4: Pull your floss, gently tightening your loop.


How loosely you pull at this point will determine the final "look" of your stitch. If you prefer a loose stitch, pull loosely; if you prefer a tighter stitch, pull more tightly. You can see different examples of this modification further down; I've also demonstrated this in the video tutorial at the end of this post.



Step 5: To secure your stitch, bring your needle back down through your fabric, just above your loop floss.



For looser detached chain stitches, you may find that you need to gently adjust your floss using the blunt end of your needle after you've secured your stitch.



Modifying Detached Chain Stitch


You can easily modify this stitch by changing how long you make your stitches, as well as by how tightly you pull your floss through your loop. In the photo below, you can see examples of long and loose, long and tight, short and loose, and short and tight chain stitches.


Modifying detached chain stitch to fit your aesthetic needs is super simple!

Video tutorial for detached chain stitch


In this video, I demonstrate how to do the detached chain stitch, and then show a few different variations of the stitch based on simple modifications.



I hope this was useful, and I can't wait to see what you make! If you'd like to share your work with me, you can always tag me on your social media accounts (@hopebroidery on Instagram and Twitter, @hope.broidery on TikTok). If you don't have public social accounts, but still want to share, consider emailing me a few pictures (hope@hopebroidery.com), I would love the chance to tell you how much I love your work!


Happy stitching!