FREE SHIPPING for US orders over $10 (Canada $100+ / International$200+)
FREE SHIPPING for US orders over $10 (Canada $100+ / International$200+)
Cart 0

Embroidery How-To: Fill the void with chain stitches

how to tutorial


Embroidery Tutorial: How to embroider a chain stitch

The straight dope on the split stitch

Continuing on our embroidery stitch odyssey, today's lesson is the split stitch. It's a simple stitch with 3 steps, and when you string multiple split stitches together, you can form a chain. 

This makes it ideal as a fill stitch.

Wait, fill stitch what?! 

Okay, let's back up. A fill stitch isn't an actual stitch, it's a term used to describe stitches ideal for filling in a larger area. It could really be any stitch, including the split stitch. See, embroidery is like that. Once you break down terms and stitches, it's not complicated at all. 

Onto the lesson

Step by step straight stitch embroidery tutorial

1) Make a straight stitch

2) Bring your needle up through the middle of the initial straight stitch

3) Poke the needle back through, just like the first stitch. 

4) To make a chain, just repeat steps 3 & 4 as many times as you like. 

Size matters

When you string a bunch of split stitches together, you can vary the way it looks with the length of each stitch. This group below is closer together, and looks chunky.

Embroidery tutorial by Erin Eggenburg of wrenbirdarts

And here below, the stitches are farther apart:

Lengthened split stitches by erin eggenburg

When you stitch farther apart and start to curve, the longer stitches will feather out, which can be really great for texture. 

Here are a few more examples of split stitches in context:

Rainbow hankies by wrenbirdarts


Embroidered art by Erin Eggenburg

The tree trunk is made of of split stitches in varying shades of brown. I really love layering split stitches over the top of other stitches for added texture and depth. 

DIY Denim Patch by wrenbirdarts

The middle is varying lengths of straight stitches and the petals are made of connected, spiraling split stitches. That's all, 2 stitches that you now know. 

Now what?

Now you can throw around the term "fill stitch" like a boss. Now go and embroider your heart out! Speaking of hearts, wouldn't split stitches make a great fill for a heart shape? 

Love these tutorials? Sign up to hear from me on the regular here:


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
What are you interested in?

Want more?

If you are just finding this blog, and like it, here are a few more posts that you might enjoy:
Straight Stitches
Scallop Stitches
What you need to start embroidering

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published