Stem stitch is my favourite stitch for embroidering words or outlining detail. It is such an elegant looking stitch, don’t you think?
Draw your design on your material with a pencil or chalk. Practice on a straight line. Curves are more tricky as you sometimes have to switch from side to side with your backward jump to ensure you keep a curve. Tip for curves, as in S shapes: Do half-size stitches and take your time going around the bends. (Oh, embroidery to send us round the bend…. Literally, crafty madness. Love it.)
Thread a needle with your favourite coloured thread. Bring the needle up from under the material at the beginning of your design.
Jump your needle one step forward along the design. I like 1/2 cm stitches mostly. The perfectionists among us might go smaller. Children will go bigger.
The next time you come up from under the material, jump back half way along. Direct your needle slightly to the left (or right- doesn’t matter really, just be consistent) of the design, in the midpoint of the previous stitch.
Jump forward your normal width and land once again right onto your design.
Continue this process. Come back up with your needle slightly to the left of the design and half way back… and take another regular step forward, sticking to the line.
When you are done, this is what your design will look like.