Outline Stitch

Also known as: Crewel Stitch, Stalk Stitch, Point de Cable

As the name suggests, this stitch is used to mark outlines in an embroidery pattern. It is a flexible stitch that can follow easy curves. In looks and procedure, it is only subtly, but importantly different from the stem stitch. Please follow the instructions of both the stitches carefully to study the differences.

To make the logic clearer, I have drawn a temporary stitch line with a pencil. Now, note that all the stitch points in outline stitch will fall ON the stitch line. I will be working this stitch from left to right. This instruction is for right-handed learners.

Fig 1: Bring out the thread through A and take it in through B. Take the needle backward and bring the thread out through C. Make sure the point C lies under the stitch A-B. Fig 2: You need to note that the point C lies about halfway through A and B. Also note that C lies under the stitch A-B.
Fig 3: Take the needle in through D. Try to mark D in such a way that the point B will lie halfway through C-D. Bring the needle out through B. The stitch point B will be at the bottom of the previous stitch.
Fig 4: Continue this pattern of stitching with the needle coming out from the bottom the previous stitch always.
Fig 5: The reverse of the fabric will give you a back stitch pattern.
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29 Responses

  1. Pat United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Thanks, Sarah. This is the first time I have learned this stitch making sure the points are on the drawn line. What a difference it makes. Thanks for all you do.

  2. Tynker Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Really helpful for my project

  3. Sharon United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Hello: When you’re using this stitch to outline an item that you’re filling in w/ embroidery thread, do you put the outline in 1st or do you do your fill work 1st? Thanks for your help!!!

  4. Kyla Philippines Internet Explorer  Windows Phone OS 7.5 says:

    Great job I really hate outlines but I wanna learn more about stitches.

  5. Kyla Philippines Internet Explorer  Windows Phone OS 7.5 says:

    Great job

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