Since we are nearing the finish of our embroidery portrait tutorials, I wanted to give you a couple more stitches to experiment with. These are great for completing clothing or other details in your work. Today we are taking a quick look at the chain stitch vs. the reverse chain stitch. Essentially, they look the same, but are just a little different in how they are completed. I suggest trying them both and seeing which seems more natural to you.
Though it looks a bit intimidating, chain stitching is relatively simple once you get the hang of it. The stitch starts like any other.
1. Bring your needle from the back through to the front.
2. Next, take your needle back through the hole you just came out of being careful NOT to pull it all the way through. You want to leave yourself a loop.
3. From the back, bring your needle up about 1/4″ below your first two stitches. You want to make sure that you pull your thread through the loop you left. Now you can pull your thread snug thus creating the first in your chain!
4. Start from Step 2 and repeat until the cows come home!
5. Ready to end? Use a small stitch to pin down your last loop. Ta-da!
Keeping your stitches evenly spaced and your tension even is key to making this stitch look it’s best. If it’s easier, I suggest using your vanishing marker to make yourself a straight line. Once it fades no one will be any wiser and your chains will look nice and straight.
Besides using it for an outline, I have used it as a filler on clothing to create a textured or lace-like look. You can see this in the white dress I did HERE.
Reverse Chain Stitch:
Reverse chain stitch looks the same but upside down! Keep this in mind when you start so that your chains are running in the direction you prefer.
1. Start with a small straight stitch. In a standard chain stitch this would be your final or end stitch.
2. Bring your need from the back through to the front approximately 1/4″ down from your last stitch.
3. Run your thread through or under your original stitch pulling it all the way through.
4. Take your needle back down through the hole you just made and pull all the way through.
5. Start at Step 2 and keep on going until you’ve made your chain the length you want making sure to end on Step 4.
Yippee! You did it. Not so bad, was it? And pretty fancy looking if I do say so myself.
Okay, get stitchin’