How to do Satin Stitch

Find out how to Satin Stitch with our step-by-step guide and 3 free embroidery patterns

How to do satin stitch

Satin Stitch is one of the most popular embroidery stitches as it covers the fabric well with a smooth, even surface. It’s a versatile stitch which can be used to fit any shaped area. The stitches can be worked in any direction for a different effect.

One of the most common filling stitches, Satin Stitch gets its name from its smooth surface, which similar to the surface of satin fabric. It consists of straight stitches worked parallel to each other so the base fabric doesn’t show through. It covers the fabric well with a smooth, even surface, and is versatile enough to be graduated to fit any shaped area. 

Satin Stitch can be tricky and fiddly to start off with, but with a little practise and using our instructions, tips and tricks you’ll have it mastered in no time. 

We have 3 embroidery patterns for you to try when practicing how to Satin Stitch. Perfect your Satin Stitch by sewing daisy centres in bold Satin Stitch on our hanging hoop, or use outlined Satin Stitch to make a laundry or undies bag, for sorting your smalls or laundering your lacies.

Watch our video from Love Embroidery to see how it’s done or keep reading for the step-by-step guide from Simply Sewing.

How to do satin stitch – step by step

You will need

  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery thread
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Fabric

You Will Need

  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery Thread
  • embroidery fabric
  • Embroidery hoop

Step 1

Bring the needle up through the fabric on the edges of the design line. Push the needle back in again on the opposite side of the design line to create your first Satin Stitch. Bring the needle back up again right next to the first stitch. Continue to stitch in this way to fill the area, always working in an under-and-over motion so that the back of the work looks the same as the front. 

how to satin stitch step 1

How to satin stitch step 1

Step 2

Pull the needle slowly through the fabric to make the stitch. Bring the needle up again to start the next stitch and continue working in this way. Make sure the stitches are touching so that you can’t see any of the fabric beneath. Use a thick thread to do this and keep your stitches close together. Using a fine needle will help with accuracy.

How to do satin stitch 1b


How to satin stitch step 2

Step 3

You can work your stitches horizontally, vertically or diagonally with a slight angle. However, it’s usually best to work your first stitch in the centre of the design as this helps the stitches lay properly and to keep an even shape. Stitch one half of the shape, then go back to the centre and work the other half, working your stitches parallel to the first one.

how to satin stitch step 2

Step 4

Outline Satin Stitch:
For an alternative, neater version, try outline Satin Stitch. This is easier for beginners to do. First, stitch around the shape to be filled using Backstitch or Split Stitch using half the number of strands you are going to work the Satin Stitch in. Then fill the shape with Satin Stitch in the usual way, working just over the stitched outline. 

how to satin stitch step 3

How to Satin Stitch daisy centres in a hanging hoop

To sew these satin-stitch-centred daisies, first download our free template below, then mount your fabric in an embroidery hoop to keep the tension even before you begin to embroider. Stitch the words and stems in split stitch and the petals in running stitch. Add the daisy centres using a bold satin stitch with our tutorial below.

How to do satin stitch

Free daisy embroidery pattern (PDF)

Template design by Lisa Jones, stitching & instructions by Rebecca Reid

Embellish a tee with embroidered daisies

Be it a pretty blouse or simple cushion, we can’t resist adding embellishments to our projects – especially when spring is in full swing and colourful blooms are popping up everywhere to inspire us! We have fond memories of making daisy chains, so have stitched our own onto the neckline of a plain tee. Try it yourself with your new satin stitch skills and our free embroidery pattern (above).

We used white running stitch for the petals and yellow satin stitch for the centres to create a simple motif that can be sewn in an afternoon. Practice stitching on an off-cut of fabric before getting started on your tee. 

how to embroider satin stitch
Look fresh as a daisy this spring with an embellished tee.

How to Satin Stitch laundry bags

These projects use outlined Satin Stitch, which is an ideal Satin Stitch project for beginners, as working with the outline help you to keep your Satin Stitch neatly. This project was designed by Rebecca Reid and originally published in Love Embroidery issue 3.

how to do satin stitch laundry


  • Cotton fabric: 45x40cm (small bag), 55x60cm (large bag)
  • Stranded cotton: 1 skein to coordinate with the fabric
  • Cord: 100cm (small bag), 150cm (large bag)
  • Sewing thread
  • Basic embroidery kit
  • Satin Stitch laundry templates

Step 1

how to do satin stitch step 1

Cut the cotton fabric into two pieces as follows:

Small bag: 41x17cm each, for the front and back.

Large bag: 51x27cm each, for the front and back. 

Transfer the lettering from the Satin Stitch laundry template onto the bag front fabric using your preferred method. Position it so that the lettering sits centrally across and 12cm up from the bottom of the small bag front, or 17cm up from the bottom edge of the large bag front.

Work the letters in Satin Stitch. We used outline Satin Stitch for our designs as this gives a neater outline and is easier when working both curves and straight edges. First work the outline in Backstitch using two strands of the same colour you are going to work the Satin Stitch in. See our How to Backstitch article for advice on working this stitch.

Step 2

how to satin stitch step 2

Once this has been completed, fill the area in Satin Stitch using four strands. Start by stitching at the centre point of the first letter, working the stitches at a slant, then stitch outwards from here to the edge of the letter. When this is finished, go back to the centre and stitch outwards in the other direction. 

Step 3

how to do satin stitch step 3

When the Satin Stitch is complete, press the fabric on the WS, placing a towel underneath to avoid flattening the stitches. Place the stitched bag front and the bag back RS facing and pin together. Measure 13cm down from the top on the right side and mark, then measure 2cm down from this and mark. Measure and mark the left side in the same way. Stitch the front and back together down the sides and across the bottom, but leave the 2cm marked gap unstitched, reverse stitching either side for strength. This will be the gap for the casing. Press the seams open. 

Step 4

how to do satin stitch step 4

Topstitch around the edge of the casing on each side to strengthen the edges of it and hold the seam allowances open and flat.

Step 5

how to do satin stitch step 5

Turn the top edge of the bag front and back over by 1cm to the WS and press. Turn over again by 7cm to the WS and press. Stitch the turned under edge into place all around, close to the folded-under edge. Stitch another row 2cm above this to form the casing channel. 

Step 6

how to do satin stitch step 6

Turn the bag RS out pushing out the bottom corners, then press. Cut the cord in half. Then, using a safety pin, thread one piece of cord through the casing, starting and finishing at the same side. Knot the ends. Repeat to thread the other length of the cord, starting and finishing at the opposite side. Knot the ends to finish.

More Satin Stitch to try

We have more Satin Stitch ,makes for you to try on Gathered! Take a look at our How to sew padded Satin Stitch hanging hoop project, or  Learn embroidery stitches with this easy pincushion to perfect your Satin Stitch.