Creating a chain stitch embroidery pattern

Embroidery is a beautiful type of textile decoration, for ornamenting your clothes or for creating wonderful pieces to hang around your house.

There are some basic stitches that will allow you to create many designs, and there are others that can be very complex.

The chain stitch is somewhere in between. It is one of the first stitches we can learn to use, but it is not super simple for a beginner. Here’s how to make a chain stitch embroidery.

chain stitch embroidery

Getting ready for embroidery

There are some basic considerations we have to keep in mind before starting any embroidery project.

  • The fabric
  • The threads
  • The needles
  • An embroidery hoop
embroidery materials

If you are just starting and you don’t have a lot of experience with materials, we recommend using regular canvas fabric with either polyester yarn or silk embroidery threads.

Canvas fabric is 100% and has a tight weaving that will allow thin strings to stay firmly in place, but it’s flexible enough to use a little thicker yarn.

Together with fabric and thread, you need to choose the right needles. You have to find a middle-sized needle that is not as thin as a sewing needle, but not as thick as a yarn needle, which besides doesn’t have a pointy end.


Starting your first project

Choosing a pattern for your first project can be a little difficult, especially when you don’t know how to make certain stitches, so the first thing we recommend is making a “sample sheet” to make every stitch step by step, test them and then use them in a real project, chain stitch included.

How to do a chain stitch

  1. For making a chain stitch, the first thing you need to do is cut a strand of thread or yarn.

    The size will depend on how long the chain section is going to be, but, for starters, I usually recommend using your own arm as a measuring unit for this. If you use a too-long strand, it will be hard and uncomfortable to manage.
  2. Make a knot on one end of the string and thread the needle. Place the canvas on the hoop, making it tight, and pass the needle from the back to the front of the canvas.
  3. Once you have pulled out the needle, go back in through the same hole you brought it forward, or somewhere very very close to that. Pull the needle gently, and stop pulling when you have a loop of thread on the surface.
  4. Decide what way you are going to and pierce the fabric to the front at a short distance from the first stitch, pulling the needle through the yarn loop you created. There you have your first chain stitch.
  5. Repeat this process, piercing the fabric close to the place where you took the needle out. There you have your chain stitch!
chain stitch

What chain stitch embroidery patterns can you make?

This type of stitch has many uses. For example, you can make the texture for a tree, you can use it for writing in cursive typography or decorate the borders of the piece you are making.

There are tons of options for your chain stitch embroidery!