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Stitchtember - Day 20 - Pistil Stitch

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

The pistil stitch is easy to achieve and a versatile stitch too. It resembles the pistil of a flower which makes it perfect for stitching flowers, highlighting the centre of a flower or stitching grass/foliage. It also works as a standalone stitch and can be used to add texture and interest to your embroidery designs. The pistil stitch is basically a straight stitch and French knot combined to form a little stem, with a knot at one end. Pistil stitch is a variation of a French knot, so you may wish to try a French knot from day 3 of Stitchtember, before the pistil stitch.

Pistil 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, 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 am using six strands of DMC stranded embroidery thread. You can choose how many strands of thread you would like to use.

2. Bring your needle through from the back of the fabric to the front, at point 1.

3. Hold your needle in one hand and the thread in the other and wrap the thread around your needle twice.

4. Keep hold of the thread in one hand as you insert the needle into the fabric at point 2. The point you insert your needle will determine the length of your stitch.

5. Keep hold of the thread as you push your needle into the fabric and pull through to the back.

6. Continue to pull your needle and thread through to the back of the fabric until your stitch has formed.

7. Your pistil stitch is complete.

8. Repeat a few times to practice the stitch.

Pistil stitch top tips

  • Vary the length of your pistil stitch to change the look.

  • Work a few pistol stitches close together, working from a centre point to create a flower.

  • Layer pistil stitch on top of an embroidered flower to create the look of a stamen.

  • Vary the number of threads you work with depending on your project or the look you would like to achieve.

Pistil Stitch Video Tutorial

Happy stitching!

Hannah x


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