Feather stitch

Feather stitch is a fun and easy way to stitch vines, wreaths, or general embellishments. You can modify feather stitch in a few ways:

  • Changing how many strands of floss you use. I'm using all six strands of cotton embroidery floss in the examples below, but you can change the look of this stitch by using fewer strands if it helps you get to your desired effect!

  • Changing how long you make your spokes (or "leaves," I like to think of them as leaves!).

  • Changing the distance in between each leaf. If you make the distance between each leaf longer than in the examples below, your curve won't be as smooth (which is totally fine if that's your desired effect!). If you make the distance between each leaf shorter than in the examples below, your curve will be even smoother!

I've written out the steps for this stitch below, and at the end of this post you'll find a full-length video demonstration.


Step 1: Draw your guidelines.


I wanted two curves for my demonstration hoop; I used a smaller hoop as a guide for drawing, but you could also free-hand your drawing. I used a heat-erasable pen to draw so I could remove my marks later with heat (e.g., from a blowdryer), but you can use any transfer method you like!

I chose to make my spokes/leaves pretty close together so I could make sure the stitch would follow a curve pretty well. Again, this is really just a matter of personal preference!


Step 2: Bring your needle through your fabric.


A general tip to keep in mind as you do this stitch is that each time you bring your needle up, you'll be coming through the initial curve that you drew.


Step 3: Bring your needle back down through your fabric, through the end of your first spoke/leaf.


Each time you bring your needle down, you'll be going down through the end of your next spoke/leaf. When you bring your needle down, do not pull all the way - make sure to leave a loop of floss.


Step 4: Bring your needle back up, through the portion of your spoke/leaf that touches the curve.


Remember, each time you bring your needle up, you're coming up through that initial curve you drew as a guideline.

Pull your needle through the loop you left for yourself in the last step.

Here's what your first feather stitch will look like once you've pulled tightly!


Step 5: Repeat until you're finished with your line of stitching.


Here are a few photos of me stitching the second and third feather stitches on this line of stitching.


Finished Feather Stitch


Here's what two lines of finished feather stitch will look like! If you stitched this as practice and want to keep your practice hoop, you could use this as an opportunity to practice your French knots, using them as accents to pull the whole thing together!


Video Tutorial


I think this is such a fun and easy stitch, but sometimes a video tutorial is more helpful than photos or diagrams!


I hope this post is helpful for you! If you're looking for more, make sure to check out my other blog posts. I also have loads of kits perfect for beginners available in my shop - and a lot of them come with full-length, stitch-by-stitch video tutorials!