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Smooth And Neat Satin Stitch Embroidery Tutorial

The satin stitch is a beginner friendly embroidery stitch that is very commonly used in hand embroidery. It’s usually used to fill in areas where you want to achieve a neat, smooth appearance.

While it seems really simple in practice, it can be really challenging to get the edges of the stitches neat and the overall appearance of this stitch to be smooth. This post will show you how to do the satin stitch and share some extra tips to get your satin stitches looking perfect.

a variety of different abstract shapes filled in using the satin stitch

If you enjoy this tutorial, please check out some of the other embroidery stitch tutorials.

How To Do The Satin Stitch

satin stitch step 1
  1. Make a straight stitch across the shape you want to fill in.
satin stitch step 2

2. If you find it hard to get the stitch perfectly straight, pull the working thread across the shape and then place your needle directly beside it.

satin stitch step 3

3. Fill in the entire shape with evenly spaced out stitches. This will help keep the stitch direction more uniform.

satin stitch step 4

4. Fill in the gaps so the shape is densely filled in.

You can work the satin stitch vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. You can choose the direction you want to go!

When I am deciding on which direction to fill in a shape, I usually choose the direction that will allow me to make shorter satin stitches.

Stitching Irregular Shapes

For long, irregular shapes such as leaves, I like to split stitch the outline first. These stitches will serve as a guide, making it easier to keep the edge of your stitches neat. It also adds a little bit more dimension to the stitch.

fill in irregular leaf shape step 1
  1. Make split stitch along the outline of the shape you plan to fill in.
fill in irregular leaf shape step 2

2. Begin making satin stitches over top of the split stitches. For this example, I made the stitches at a slight diagonal.

fill in irregular leaf shape step 3

3. Work your way down the shape, filling it in.

irregular leaf shape

Tips For Creating Super Smooth Satin Stitches

  • Mark the fabric before stitching so that you have a defined shape to follow. You’ll be able to achieve neater edges this way.
  • Pay close attention to the ends of each of your stitches. Try to make them line up as closely as possible with one another.
  • Try not to pull the stitches too tight. Leaving them ever so slightly loose will allow you to achieve a fluffier appearance.
  • When you’re working this stitch along curves, gradually change the direction your stitches are going. The stitches may slightly overlap one another at certain points, but you should still be able to line them up neatly.
  • Some people like to strip and condition their embroidery floss to make it appear more smooth and flat. If you’re interested in learning how, Sublime Stitching has a tutorial for how to strip and condition embroidery floss.

Should You Use Satin Stitches For Large Areas?

Satin stitches are more suitable for smaller shapes and areas. Try to avoid carrying the thread over too large of an area.

Making satin stitches that are super long may pucker the fabric or cause the stitches to not lay as neatly.

Don’t worry, though! There are a few stitches that work really well for covering larger areas of the fabric. Stitches such as the long and short stitch or couching are better choices for large areas.

Ways To Use the Satin Stitch

how to embroider a rainbow popsicle

The satin stitch is great for pretty much any shape. It is great to use for leaves, abstract shapes, or more generally to fill in smaller areas.

It’s also a great choice for flower petals! Head on over to this tutorial to learn how to make a satin stitch flower.

With practice, you’ll get the hang of how to do the satin stitch. I guarantee you’ll be using this stitch in pretty much all of the embroideries you do!

Want to learn even more embroidery stitches?

This workbook is NOT your usual stitch encyclopedia. Most embroidery books don’t actually show you how you can use each embroidery stitch and they also don’t come with many tips. This workbook is packed full of helpful information to make you a better, more confident stitcher.

It comes with:

  • embroidery stitch tutorials
  • helpful tips for each stitch that will maximize your learning and improve the way your embroidery looks
  • fun, modern embroidery patterns you can use to learn the stitches with ease

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