How to do Whipped Running Stitch

Discover new embroidery stitches with our Stitch Library series of beginners embroidery guides. In this post, we'll show you how to work whipped running stitch.

How to do whipped running stitch

Whip up a flurry of embroidered snowflakes and up your embroidery game too with our beginners’ guide to Whipped Running Stitch. Alternate the colour of the running stitches and the whipped stitches for a different look.

Download, print and trace our template below onto your fabric. Use a white pencil if you’re stitching on to dark fabric so you can easily see the lines.

Snowflake template design by Lisa Jones. Stitching & instructions by Rebecca Reid.

Free snowflakes embroidery pattern 


Step 1

Start by working a row of running stitches over your traced lines. Bring your needle out at the beginning of one traced line then push it back in about 3mm (1/16in) away to make your first stitch. You can make this stitch shorter or longer depending on how open you want it to be.  

How to work whipped running stitch step 1

Step 2

Repeat this to make the next stitch, but leave a gap between this and your first stitch. The gaps between each stitch should be the same length as the stitches themselves. You can work several stitches in one go by pivoting your needle in and out of the fabric then pulling the needle through.

How to do whipped running stitch step 2

Step 3

Using a different coloured thread, bring the needle up beside the first running stitch. The whipped stitches are worked on the surface through the running stitches and not through the fabric itself. Take the needle down through the running stitch from top to bottom.

How to do whipped running stitch step 3

Step 4

Continue working the whipped stitches in the same way, always going down through the running stitches from top to bottom. This will give a twisted, two-coloured effect. Try using different combinations of threads or alternating the colours as we have done.

How to work whipped running stitch step 4

Try it out! Embroider snowflake decorations

Deck your halls with whipped running stitch snowflakes

Free Snowflakes embroidery pattern

Pretty little snowflakes all in a row! What a charmingly festive double-act this is – soft-grey fabric stars and stitched-on snowflakes, strung together and proudly displayed for guests to admire our handiwork. Whipped running stitch snowflakes in contrasting bright white and mint green embroidery thread give a fresh, two-tone look. Discover how to master this attractive stitching technique above above, then sew your own bunting using the star and snowflake templates above (and on our free downloadable sewing pattern sheets from issue 11 of Simply Sewing magazine).