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Stitchtember - Day 12 - Fishbone Stitch

Fishbone stitch is a type of filling stitch which is made up from multiple straight stitches worked into the centre line of the shape. It's perfect for leaves, feathers and flower petals.

Fishbone stitch 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.

· Stranded embroidery thread

· Needle

· Scissors


· Embroidery hoop

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

1. Thread your needle using stranded embroidery thread. For this tutorial I start by using four strands of DMC stranded embroidery thread. You can choose how many strands of embroidery thread you would like to work with.

2. Use a heat erasable pen, pencil or fine tip pen to draw a leaf shape on your fabric, with a straight line through the centre.

3. Bring your needle up through the fabric at the top of the leaf, point 1.

4. Pull your needle and thread all the way through so the knot is secure on the back of the fabric.

5. Work a straight stitch by inserting your needle at point 2.

6. Bring your needle back up at point 2, very close to the top of the leaf but slightly lower.

7. Insert your needle into point 4, just below your previous stitch.

8. Repeat the same process for the right side, by bringing your needle up at point 5 and back down at point 6.

9. Continue this process of working the right side and then the left until the leaf is complete.

10. Your fishbone stitch and leaf are now complete.

Fishbone stitch top tips:

  • Try using the stitch with different shaped leaves to vary the look

  • To vary the look of the leaf, change the length of the first straight stitch

  • Use variegated thread to add depth to your leaf

Fishbone Stitch Tutorial Video

Happy stitching!

Hannah x


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