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Pistil stitch

Pistil stitch is essentially a modified version of the French knot (so you'll want to make sure you already know how to do a French knot before taking on the pistil stitch!). This stitch is perfect for stitching up quick flowers, falling stars, or any other sort of decorative accent you like!

A photo of an embroidery hoop with flower-like designs stitched in pink, blue, and yellow onto green fabric.
Finished pistil stitches in fun, retro colors!

Because pistil stitch is basically a French knot with a long tail, you can modify this stitch not only by modifying how many strands of floss and wraps you use (as is the case in modifying the French knot), but also by changing how long or short you make your "tail."

In this post, I'll take you through the steps toward achieving the pistil stitch; there is also a brief video tutorial at the very end of this post, should that be easier for you to follow!

Step 1: Gather your supplies.

I'll be stitching on two layers of cotton fabric and using just three strands of cotton embroidery floss for this example. (You can purchase the scissors I'm using in this example in my shop!)

Step 2: Bring your needle through your fabric, and pull.

Step 3: Wrap your floss around your needle.

In this example, I'll be wrapping three times; that said, you can wrap your needle as many times as you like (most people choose to wrap either once, twice, or three times at this step).

In wrapping, you'll be using the same motion you use to achieve the French knot.

Step 4: Bring your needle back down through your fabric, any distance you like.

As I mentioned above, you can make your "tail" as long or as short as you like!

If you've learned the French knot, you know that it's important to hold your loose floss at this stage so as to prevent your knot from unraveling. If you're having difficulty at this stage, I recommend reviewing my post, "8 Steps to Perfect French Knots."

And now you have a finished pistil stitch!

Here's what three pistil stitches, stitched closely together, might look like:

Video tutorial for pistil stitch


Your new favorite hobby awaits with these beginner-friendly embroidery kits!

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