Filling in a space with satin stitch

Satin stitch is a wonderful option for filling in a space and a great option for beginners, even though I personally avoided satin stitch for as long as possible. I don't know, for me? It looked like it was going to be hard and fiddly to get right - I was a little bit right, a little bit wrong.


I eventually taught myself satin stitch, figured out a few ways to increase my chances of having a nice satiny finish, and now use it in a lot of my work (including patterns for kits!).


I've written out a few steps and tips below, but if you're more of a visual learner (like me!), I've also included a tutorial video below.


STEPS:

  • Satin stitch is basically the process of making multiple straight stitches right next to each other, resulting in a satiny finish.

  • Your fabric needs to be tight! I cannot overstate the importance of tight fabric when doing satin stitch, especially if you're using multiple strands of floss.

  • I always recommend starting from the middle of your shape and working your way out to the edges. This helps you keep your lines as straight and uniform as possible.

  • If your shape is larger, I also recommend starting by making a few guideline stitches - this essentially breaks your shape down into more manageable and fillable pieces; it will also help keep your lines straight! You can draw these guidelines rather than stitching them; but to be perfectly honest, I can't draw a straight line to save my life - stitching out the guidelines works much better for me. Do whatever works best for you, there are no rules in hand embroidery!

  • Continue filling in your shape until it's full - if you finish and realize there's a gap here or there, you can always go back and fill in those gaps at the end.

In the video tutorial below, I demonstrate how I fill in a small space with satin stitch, as well as how I fill in larger spaces. Although some would argue that you should use a different stitch to fill in a larger space, I maintain that with proper fabric and floss tension (i.e., TIGHT), you can achieve beautiful results.