Following a curve with whipped back stitch

So, you're starting a project with curves and you're not sure how to start. Maybe you've been googling, "how to follow a curve in embroidery," or "how to stitch lettering in hand embroidery," something like that? Maybe you've even reached out to somebody for advice! If it feels confusing looking for an answer to your question, that's because there really isn't a right or wrong answer to your question!

There are so many ways to follow a curve in hand embroidery. One of my favorite ways is whipped back stitch - it's super easy, it's fun to do, and it provides incredibly satisfying results.

I've written out instructions for whipped back stitch here, but if you're like me - videos are way easier to understand! That's why I've also included a video below of me using whipped back stitch to complete my cloud embroidery pattern.


  • Start by back stitching your lines. To back stitch, you simply make one single straight stitch, pull your needle up the same distance as that initial stitch, and then bring your needle back down through the hole created by your first stitch. Continue until all of your lines are back stitched. In the video below, I've already back stitched my cloud.

  • Take a piece of floss and bring it up through one of the holes created by your back stitches. Now comes the fun part - whipping! To whip, you'll bring your needle underneath each back stitch without piercing the fabric. The key is to go in the same direction as you whip - for example, if you start by whipping from left to right, you'll want to continue whipping from left to right until you're done with that line.

  • To complete a whip stitch, you'll simply bring your needle back down through the hole created by the last back stitch you whipped.

Wow, written out - that sounds more confusing than it actually is! You can watch whipped back stitch in action below!