Learn how to do the running stitch and practice with the free embroidery pattern!
Here’s a seriously under-appreciated embroidery stitch! The running stitch is often cast aside in favor of fancier stitches and yet, so many brilliant patterns, both modern and traditional, rely on it. This simple over-and-under straight stitch takes a bit of practice to get right and can look very graphic all on its own!
You’ll find the running stitch used in various types of embroidery, from Japanese Sashiko with its geometric patterns, to the organic depictions of Kantha work from India.
While this embroidery stitch is essentially very simple, it takes some care to achieve consistency in stitch length and intervals. Head down for the running stitch how-to and grab the free pattern to practice!
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HOW TO do the running stitch
To start, tie a knot at the end of your thread. Insert the needle into the fabric from the back and bring it to the front.
Insert your needle into the fabric about 1/4″ to the right from where your thread came through. Bring the needle from the front to the back.
Bring your needle to the front 1/4″ to the right from the last stitch. Continue this pattern by going over and under the fabric at regular intervals.
You can vary the look of the running stitch by playing around with the length of the stitch and the intervals!
It’s sometimes possible to load several running stitches onto the needle at once.
This definitely cuts down the time it takes to stitch a design but the method is not always suitable and requires a lot of practice to get the intervals right!
I never do this when I’m embroidering a pattern while the fabric is stretched on a hoop because the needle movement is difficult when the fabric is taut.
PRACTICE WITH A PATTERN
The running stitch is deceptively simple but it’s actually less forgiving than other stitches like the backstitch! The stitch and interval length need to be regular for this stitch to look good, and that takes practice.
To help you master this pretty stitch, I created a modern pattern made entirely of running stitches. In the pattern PDF, you’ll find 2 variations depending on how you want to approach this practice. The first pattern is plain with continuous lines so you’ll have to figure out the best stitch length through your own practice. The second pattern includes dashed lines which you can transfer to your fabric if you need visual guidance.
RUNNING STITCH HOW TO – Pin IT for later!
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