Following a curve with whipped back stitch

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

Whipped back stitch is a simple, easy way to follow all sorts of curves in hand embroidery.


Photo of an embroidery hoop with black and white flowers stitched onto green fabric.
The stems in this pattern were created using whipped back stitch.

In this post, I provide step-by-step written and photo instructions for whipped back stitch; if video tutorials are easier for you to follow, I have two at the end of this post (feel free to jump ahead!).


Step 1: Draw a guideline.


I'll be stitching the stem of a flower, which has a slight curve to it. You can use any transfer method you like to draw your guideline; I've used a blue water-erasable pen for my project.



Step 2: Back stitch.


I'm using just one strand of embroidery floss here, but you can use however many strands you like. If you're brand new to embroidery, I have a fuller tutorial for back stitch itself on the blog as well.



Step 3: Bring your needle up through your fabric just next to the hole you created when you started your line of back stitching.



Step 4: Weave your needle underneath the first back stitch, without piercing your fabric, and pull.



Step 5: Following the same direction (in this example, I'm going from right to left), continue weaving your needle underneath each back stitch.



Step 6: To finish, bring your needle down through the last hole you created on your initial line of back stitching.



Video tutorials for whipped back stitch


I have two video tutorials for you - the first is a video of me finishing the second stem of the flower pattern from this post, and the second is an older video of me stitching my cloud pattern. I hope they're helpful!