Some people are terrified of satin stitch and I can understand that – it does take practise to get a nice even looking stitch – but boy its worth it when you do. It is not quick and it does take a lot of thread also. The most important thing is tension so a hoop I think is imperative for a nice result.
so, into the hoop you go. now remember, these are my tips and instructions – I am sure there are many other ideas and versions out there, but this is what gets the best result for me.
Firstly I always outline my area to be satin stitched. You can outline with any stitch really – backstitch, split stitch would the two I use mostly but you can use a small chain stitch, stem stitch and more.
Split stitch is good (but slower than backstitch) because each stitch is really locked into place and cannot be pulled out of shape when using it as an outline for the satin stitches over the top. To do a split stitch:
first take a single stitch as you would for backstitch
Now we use this outline as our border or holding shape to lay th satin stitches over. For circles I like to start in the centre. Bring the needle up right under the outline stitch. I bring the needle up flat on the fabric so that the angle of the thread comes from tight against the outline stitch.
then bring it across to the opposite side (now you need first to decide on the direction of your stitches and all stitches need to keep evenly in this direction) and again with the needle flat on the fabric take it down right in under the outline stitch on the bottom edge.
now as i said the important part is the tension of your stitches. If it is too tight your piece will pull, not sit flat and go out of shape, if too loose the stitches will sag- we want them to sit flat and firm and lay straight snuggly next to each other.
When you take your second stitch you need to ensure it lays flat right next to the first one, use a finger to position as you tighten if necessary. continue laying stitches next to each other across the shape, then return to the centre and work the other way until your shape is covered.
so three points to note: tension, stitches all going at same angle and laying flat next to each other – some things to help here
use a hoop, the angle of the needle as it enters and exits under that outline stitch and let your needle dangle from time to time so that there are no twists in your thread – this will not help in laying them flat and straight – they will twist and want to go all over the place.
Some further examples:
This one has been outline stitched after with a backstitch- stem stitch is also often used to outline after – I sometimes think if I outline its really to cover up my bad satin stitch edges! But it can also be used for effect as in this example.
Padded satin stitch – a variation. Outline your shape and then fill it roughly with straight stitches or seed stitches – just randomly. Then satin stitch over the top – this makes your satin stitch really sit up from the fabric and is very dimensional.
I mentioned the stitches all going in the same direction on the same angle – for ribbon type designs this is sometimes difficult so you need to decide where to start. If you look at the centre of each ribbon segment below and make that your directional point – ie in the centre you will go straight across (across) the shape, then turn slightly as you turn the segment along the ribbon – to turn, you place the stitches closer together on one side and slightly wider apart on the outer curve. Satin stitch is really only good for smaller shapes. If you have a large shape to fill you may like to divide it into sections and satin stitch each section at a time or use a brick stitch (like an offset satin stitch) or a long and short stitch as is used in thread painting techniques.
So onto this weeks page for practise. You can download it here… Download Satinstitch
A few more samples I found quickly around my house and many more on my pinboard here.