Satin Stitch embroidery by hand & by sewing machine

What comes to your mind when you think of Satin – Smoothness, softness – everything that your satin stitch should be. Satin stitch is that stitch which you think about as soon as you have a design to fill. Let us see how you can go about making those soft as silk  satin stitches – by hand and by machine.

how to do satin stitch

Somethings to take care of while doing the satin stitch by hand

  • You can make two sides embroidery designs with the satin stitch – they look the same on both sides of the fabric. Just do the stitching neatly and be careful not to knot
  • Ensure that the stitches start and end right on the outline of the design.
  • Ensure at all times that the outline of the design are covered with stitches
  • Ensure while doing the satin stitch that the thread on your needle is always smooth. A twisted thread will not make a smooth satin stitch. Railroading the thread, that is going in between the thread will prevent tangles 
  • Always start and end very near to superseding stitches, resulting in even stitching
  • When you take the needle to the back , make sure that it is not pulled too tightly. Puckering is not good for smooth satin stitches
  • It is always a good idea if you start from the center of the design or the widest part of the design and work to the sides. This will balance the stitches without any distortion.

How to do Satin stitch

Step 1

Draw the outline of the design. Transfer the design using any of the methods detailed in this post on embroidery transfers. 

Step 2

Thread the needle with a single strand of  thread which is about 25 inches long. Knot the ends with the thread ends together. Bring up the needle to the front of the fabric at the left side of the design you are going to fill. You will be starting from the middle of the design

satin stitch

Step 3

Now take  the needle and thread to the other side of the design (right side) and take it down to the back of the fabric. You may want to slant the satin stitches in one direction throughout the direction or make straight stitches. Ensure that you insert the needle always on the outline of the design 


Step 4

Now take the needle all the way (on the back of the fabric) next to the first stitch on the left side. 

Step 5

Take down the needle again near where the first stitch went down

Step 6

Continue making stitches in the same way  to one end of the design  . After one side is finished start again from the middle to the other end. 

How to fill large designs with Satin stitch

You cannot do even satin stitch on designs more than 1/2 inch wide. If you want to you will have to make rows of satin stitches of 1/2 inch wide and then blend it together with in between stitches.

Using satin stitch you can fill any large design easily enough. Make rows of satin stitch inside the design. Then make connecting stitches between them.

Make another row of satin stitch

Connect between them with straight stitches filling the void smoothly and neatly

1. Padded satin stitch

padded satin stitch

This is a satin stitch worked over seed stitches filling a design.It provides a beautiful 3 D effect to the design because of the raised stitches

One idea to get all the satin stitches start and end in the outline of the design is to make an outline stitch on the design border. Now start and end all the satin stiches just outside the outline stitch. This way you will have an even outline for your design.

How to do a padded satin stitch


padded satin stitch

Step 1

First give an outline to the design with back stitch 

Step 2

Fill the design with seed stitch.Decide on the direction of the satin stitch. Make the seed stitches perpendicular to this direction.

Step 3

Work satin stitches over the design.Make sure that the satin stitches land just outside the outline of the shape. Fill the design with satin stitches worked closely together

2 Long and Short stitch.

This stitch is a variation of the satin stitch . Checkout the detailed post on Long and short stitch

3 Rhodes stitch

Rhodes stitch is overlapping satin stitch, which is usually used to work the insides of circles. The overlapping stitches make for a very smooth surface and at the same time dimesional

4 Machine stitched satin stitch

This stitch is also called the applique stitch as it is used to do applique work . It is made using a closely worked zig zag stitch with zig zag pressure foot. Some tips on making a nearly perfect satin stitch are outlined below

  1. Use interfacing below the work area always – this will make sure that the satin stitch remains smooth, not sucked in by the machine or end up puckered
  2. When sewing satin stitches in circles, move the pedal slowly. Move the fabric slowly as per the arch of the circle as you guide the fabric.
  3. Ensure that whenever you move the fabric while stitching, the needle is in the down position. If not you will be sewing stitches outside your design, unless you want that.
  4. Experiment with correct sewing tension and stitch length you need on a scrap fabric before working on the fabric.
  5. When you sew the perfect satin stitch none of the bobbin thread will be visible on the face of the fabric

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