Satin Stitches, free tips and tricks for hand embroidery projects
How many of you have had your embroidered satin stitched pieces look so nice on the hoop, but the moment you take it off the hoop, the entire piece just looks like one hot mess?
The satin stitch can be so intimidating!
Here are some simple ideas to help you get your satin stitches looking great
We’re going to discuss some tips and tricks to make your satin stitches look like a pro
One of the most helpful tricks I’ve learned is to cut down on the thread. It’s tempting to fill those areas in with a large amount of thread, especially when the instructions call for 6 strands. Don’t be so quick to follow those directions!
When you fill in large areas with many strands of thread at once, you risk your threads twisting, bunching, and pulling unevenly through the fabric. Personally, I use no more than 2 pieces of thread when doing satin stitching, and quite often only use one strand. It takes longer to fill the area, but I have more control over twisting and tension.
There are a couple methods to fill in satin stitch gaps, both of which I recommend that you try to find out which method suits you best:
- Place a stitch, skip a stitch width, and place another stitch, then go back and fill in the gap with a stitch. Move across the area stitching in-between stitch areas until the entire area is filled.
- Place a stitch, and then place another one almost directly on top of the previous one. This tends to work best with small satin stitch areas.
Other tips that help make great satin stitches:
Use a stabilizer on the back of your work to help stabilize your work. Sometimes you will need that extra stiffness when you are sending your needle and thread through an area multiple times.
Keep your hoop TIGHT! The tighter the better. If your hoop doesn’t want to stay tight, try these hoops, or these. Those two hoops are the tightest I’ve ever had with hoops.
Another issue people have when doing several satin stitches close together (like this piece) is the fabric showing through the two areas. That issue can be fixed by stitching as close as possible, or outlining your satin stitches with a backstitch.
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Best items for Satin Stitches:
The ideal guide for stitching (book)
A little tip some people use when doing satin stitches is to outline the pattern area with a back stitch or split stitch first. Then come up outside the outline of your pattern, and go down into the fabric just outside the outline. This will make the edges raised a bit giving it a slightly neater look.
If you absolutely must use 6 strands of floss, then go SLOW! Make sure you aren’t twisting your thread as you pull it through the fabric, and be sure that each stitch lays absolutely flat on the surface of the fabric. Using 6 strands of floss is not for the faint of heart.
If you have practiced until your fingers have bled and you just can’t get the hang of the satin stitch, why not try long and short stitches within the satin stitch area. It may not give the same effect as a nice shiny satin stitch, but it will fill in the desired area. Not every pattern has to be followed to the “T”, make the work your own giving it your own twist.
Think you’re ready for something semi-challenging to try your hand at satin stitches? How about this project? You can find the link for the pattern by clicking on the photo or by clicking here. Believe it or not, the leaf pattern below isn’t that hard at all.