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Stitchtember - Day 1 - Running Stitch

We are starting Stitchtember with the running stitch. It’s an easy stitch to achieve and often the first stitch many people learn. The running stitch is formed by bringing your needle up and down through the fabric to form stitches, which are a consistent distance apart to form a dashed line.

Although running stitch may be classed as a basic hand embroidery stitch, it’s very versatile and has many uses. It can be used within an embroidery design, or to gather fabric, quilt layers of fabric or just simply used as a decorative stitch. I love how it can be incorporated into sewing projects to give a hand stitched look and feel. You can also change the appearance of the running stitch by varying the stitch length.


· Fabric – cotton, linen or felt fabric works well. I used osnaburg fabric which is 100% seeded cotton, but you can use any spare fabric you already have.

· Stranded embroidery thread

· Needle

· Scissors


· Embroidery hoop

Just for your reference, during this tutorial I am using osnaburg 100% cotton seeded fabric, black DMC stranded cotton embroidery thread, a hand embroidery needle and a 5” DMC beechwood embroidery hoop.

Running stitch step-by-step tutorial:

1. Thread your needle using stranded embroidery thread. You can choose how many strands of embroidery thread you would like to work with. For this tutorial I am using four strands of black DMC embroidery thread. Tie a knot at one end of the thread.

2. Bring your needle through from the back of the fabric to the front at point 1. This will be the starting point of the running stitch.

3. Gently pull your needle and thread all the way through so your knot is secure on the back of the fabric.

4. Decide how long you wish the running stitches to be and put your needle back into the fabric at point 2.

5. Gently pull your needle and thread through the fabric until your stitch has formed.

6. Bring your needle back up at point 3, leaving a gap the same length as your first stitch.

7. Gently pull the needle and thread through the fabric so it’s secure on the back of the fabric.

8. Then put your needle back into the fabric at point 4.

9. Gently pull your needle and thread through the fabric until your second stitch has formed.

10. Continue making stitches of equal length until you have reached the end of the running stitch.

10. Once you have practiced the running stitch, try varying the stitch length to create different effects.

Running stitch can be used in straight or curved lines so once you’ve practiced you can play around with creating lots of different looks which can be used for various sewing projects.

Running stitch video tutorial:

I hope you enjoyed the first day of Stitchtember. I'd love to see your stitching so don't forget to comment below to let me know how you're getting on or tag me on social media by using @hannahburburydesigns on Instagram and Facebook.

I've also made my own fabric stitch book so I have somewhere to practice my stitches each day. There's 30 fabric pages so there's enough for one stitch, per page, per day. If you'd like to join me and make your own fabric stitch book too, then please see below for the start of the tutorial. This will give you the basic foundations of the stitch book. Once we get closer to the end of the month, I'll show you how to finish the book and make the front and back cover.

Fabric stitch book tutorial:


  • Fabric - cotton or linen fabric works well. I used osnaburg fabric which is 100% seeded cotton, but you can use any spare fabric you already have.

  • Embroidery thread

  • Needle

  • Scissors

  • Ruler/tape measure


  • Rotary cutter

  • Cutting mat

I chose to make a 4” x 4” book as my idea was to make a nice little book that felt tactile to use and the pages were a nice size that you felt you could experiment with the stitches but not too big that it felt like a big project each day. As this is a daily project, I thought it could be a place where you could experiment with stitching. Just like you would experiment in a sketchbook but it’s in fabric and stitch form instead.

You can choose to make any sized fabric book you wish. This tutorial will be for a 4” x 4” book but the process will still be the same no matter what size book you make.

1. You will need 30 pages, so start by cutting 15 pieces of fabric, measuring 8” long x 4” wide.

2. Lay two pieces of cut fabric on top of each other, fold in half and iron on the fold line to form the page. Place the folded fabric to one side for later.

3. Continue this for the rest of the cut fabric, leaving one piece of fabric remaining.

4. Fold the remaining piece of fabric in half and iron on the fold line to form the page.

5. Take one of the two-piece folded fabrics. To stitch the fabric together, open the fabric and work a running stitch down the centre crease line. I have used a dark thread to demonstrate this process, but I recommend using a colour thread that will blend into your fabric.

6. Once all the folded fabrics have been stitched together, place them in a pile on top of each other, with the single folded fabric on top. You should have 7 sets of double layer pages and 1 single layer page. Measure the height of the pages. My pages roughly measure 1 ½ inches.

7. Now we can make the hinge of the book. Cut a 4”x 4” piece of fabric and draw two lines in the centre of the fabric which measure 1 ½ inches apart.

8. Wrap the fabric around the pages to check it fits.

9. Then, place one folded set of pages close to the drawn line on the right side of the fabric.

10. Open the pages, leaving the fabric hinge underneath, and hand stitch the pages to the fabric hinge. I used two strands of thread and back stitch but a running stitch will work too.

11. Once you have finished stitching, secure the thread. Place another set of folded pages directly on top of the pages you have just stitched and repeat the same process to attach the pages to the hinge – open the pages and stitch the pages to the hinge, ensuring the fold line stays close to the folded edge from the last page.

12. Continue this for all the pages. Once you reach the last single folded fabric, repeat the same process to attach it to the hinge, only this time you will be stitching through one layer of fabric instead of two.

This forms the foundations of your fabric stitch book and you are ready to start stitching.

Please note, you may think there are too many pages. However, you will only stitch on one side of each fabric page and once you have finished stitching the pages, you will stitch two pages together and this will enclose the stitching on the back of the fabric pages. So you are essentially stitching on the first two pages (through one layer of fabric only), then leaving two pages (the back of the fabric pages), then stitching two pages, leaving two pages etc.

Happy stitching!

Hannah x


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