Satin stitch is one of my favorite stitches, but it wasn’t always so. This stitch looks easy, but it can be a little tricky when you first try it out. Once you learn the tips and tricks it really isn’t so bad, it just takes practice to get it right. I’m telling you all this right up front not to discourage you from trying, but so that when you are trying you don’t give up.
Before you start the actual satin stitch, it’s best to outline your shape with a split stitch. Back stitch can also be used, but I find that split stitch finishes with an even smoother line around the edge. Whichever stitch you choose for the outline it makes placing the needle during satin stitch a bit easier.
I use DMC stranded floss for just about everything I work on. With satin stitch this can get problematic because you don’t want twisted threads in your finished piece. As long as you’re paying attention while you are stitching you will notice when your threads are twisting. Just let your needle hang and the threads will untwist themselves. Also, I usually use two strands of floss for this stitch. It lays nicer and it’s very easy to spot twists.
Starting in the center of your shape also helps keep your satin stitching look smooth.
First half complete.
You can see below how clean my edge is, that is all from doing the split stitch outline first. It really helps you place your needle.
Satin stitch is most effectively used in small areas. This little teardrop or flower petal is smaller than a quarter, as shown below. If your area is too large there is a greater chance of twisting threads while stitching and pulled threads once your work is done and nobody wants their hard work to get messed up.
The best part about satin stitch is feeling it when you’re done, it’s soft and smooth and, I suppose, satiny! As always, ask questions if you get stuck or just need some encouragement to keep trying.