Gathering (or Straight) Stitch: A how-to tutorial

Posted under Stitch dictionary


straight stitch pm


If you know just a few basic stitches, you can pretty much sew anything. My favourites are blanket stitch, gathering stitch, backstitch and daisy stitch and a bullion knot for embroidery embellishing.



Children can do them too. Simply thread a needle, tie a knot on the tail to stop the thread going right through, and bring the needle up through the back of your material.


I use single thread, but when I sew with children, I show them how to make a double thread with a knot at the end to stop the thread falling out.




Poke the tip of the needle back into the material from the top. You can make a big or a little jump.  My standard jump is about 0.25 to 0.5 of a centimetre.  Children will tend to make bigger jumps. I show them to gauge it by their pinky finger. If it is wider than that, they need to make the jump smaller.



In the same motion, bring the tip of the needle back up through the material.



And out again to make a stitch.




With a little practice, you can make several of these ‘duck dives’ in one go and don’t need to pull the thread out of the material so completely.  This is too time consuming.



Gathering stitch can be used around the edge of a felt circle. Leave an inch long tail at the end of the thread before you begin, then at the end, simply pull the front and back thread tails together to make a little felt pouch bag.


Gathering stitch is helpful for decoration on embroidery.  You can outline your shapes drawn on cotton with a tiny stitch so small you almost don’t see the gap in between.  Change thread colours as you go for a embroidery painting.


You can use gathering stitch to attach or tack a piece of material to another.


Happy stitching!

Do you have any other uses for gathering stitch or any other hot tips?  

23 Responses to “Gathering (or Straight) Stitch: A how-to tutorial”

  1. Renée M-B.

    it’s nice to do a gathering stitch on a strip of ribbon and attach it as an embellishment to a card or scrapbooking page ;-)

  2. ecoMILF

    I have a little gnome tutorial I plan on publishing in the next few days and his hat is made with gathering stitch. I might link back here so everyone can read the directions- thanks! xx m.

  3. Amber Greene

    Sure thing. This week, I’ll feature another stitch too. Blanket stitch is also featured in the Tutorials section. Can’t wait to see it. Cute!

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