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How To Do A Running Stitch

Embroidery enthusiasts often call it straight stitch or basting. And indeed, by its name, you already have a bit of idea about the form of stitches it creates. Running stitch is one of the convenient options for newbies who want to try embroidery. It is somehow one of the simplest, quickest, and most popular methods, and we couldn’t agree more.

This primary hand stitch works in an up and down movement at a consistent distance. While it is so easy, you would be surprised to know the variety of projects it can tackle. Use it in conjunction with curved or straight lines to portray a shape. You can additionally use it as a fill or pull a finished embroidery design together.

How to Do a Running Stitch?

Thread the needle and knot the thread’s endpoint. Bring the needle upward through the fabric from the wrong side. Then, make a stitch either to the right or left – wherever the thread traversed. Create a knot on the backside of your design once finished. Running stitch provides a similar look both on the front and back of the fabric, making it more coveted.

Step by Step Guide to Do a Running Stitch

Imagine saving hundreds of dollars from clothing repairs. You can even rescue your old or unused garments. Mastering this technique will allow you to unlock more subtle stitches. All of which you can use to make obscured seams or repair outfits. Yes, the possibilities are endless.

But in the meantime, start with the very basics. And this guide might be of utmost assistance. Among the tools you will need are an embroidery needle, floss, sharp scissors, and a piece of fabric cloth. Here’s an exact procedure on how to do a running stitch:

Step 1: When threading the needle, you have the option to use whether the single or double thread. Secure the end of the thread by binding it.

Step 2: Insert the needle from the backside or on the wrong side, then come up directly above. The knot should be on the bottom and concealed from the naked eye. However, don’t be confused when working on the direction of stitches. Left-handed persons must use from left to right and the opposite for right-handed people.

Step 3: For your first stitch, place the needle back down through your fabric. Ensure maintaining only a short distance, perhaps around 1/4 inches, mainly if you’re trying out. Create a robust seam by making shorter stitches adjacent to each other.

Step 4: Just continue stitching and repeat the process until you fill in your design. Be sure to maintain even stitches until the end of your line. Lock the thread at the back once finished.

Essential Tips for Successful Running Stitch

  • Cotton is the most recommended type of fabric when practicing running stitches. Beginners find it easier to handle and control since it’s less stretchy.
  • A medium-length needle usually works for running stitch.
  • Clip or pin to hold two pieces of fabric together.
  • Use a marking tool or pencil to draw lines. The marking tool you will be using should allow these lines to fade or erase quickly.
  • The spaces between each stitch must be of similar size.
  • The stitch length varies depending on your purpose for using it. Although in general, the thread becomes more apparent on the fabric’s right side. Emergency seam fix can have an approximate 1/8 inches long and the basting stitch with 1/4-3/8 inches.
  • Try alternating the lengths of your stitches. For instance, you can try varying space lines and even stitches through lines of asymmetrical stitches.

Different Variations of Running Stitch

Forget those boring lines. Be adventurous with these different variations and see where your creativity brings you!

1. Double Running Stitch

It is an ideal stitch if you want to work on long lines. A double running stitch is somewhat a practical and decorative hand stitch. It is also known as Assisi stitch and Holbein stitch in some regions. Moreover, it works on curved and straight lines. It also provides the same form of stitches both at the back and on the front.

Another advantage of using a double running stitch is the less use of thread. Doing it is just simple. Just follow the pattern line and stitch in a single direction. Go around and return once again as you reach the end. Fill out those missing stitches. Then, you’re done!

2. Whipped Running Stitch

For a more twisted effect, the whipped running stitch can feed up your interest. Also called laced or cordonnet stitch. You can even use it for fillings! It makes use of a distinct or similar thread. Here, the needle doesn’t go into the ground material in the least. When making this stitch variation, you can start by marking the shape or line. Outline using the basic running stitch. A dull tapestry needle is usually suitable when whipping as it makes it easier to insert the thread in and out of the stitches. Create several designs – the pretty little snowflakes are among the popular.

3. Seed Stitch

It may not look effortless, but seed stitch is straightforward. It is another popular form of running stitch perfect for new sewers. Considered a great filler stitch for hand embroidery projects as it adds excellent texture to the overall design. It consists of tiny stitches of equivalent length placed randomly on the fabric. There is no specified outline on how you should do seed stitches. It’s up to you. So, making mistakes is unlikely to happen. Begin with a single stitch, then proceed with a double stitch. Both are just the same thing and should not confuse you. The only difference we see is the two corresponding stitches in all positions.

4. Threaded Running Stitch

It is also called laced stitches. It comprises a pool of stitches categorized by a foundation stitch along with a second thread. Stitch two rows of running stitch to start. Lace one direction with a different or the same thread. You can also try the double-threaded running stitch. Mostly ideal for adornments and patterns for curved or straight lines. Use it as a background fill as well with any lines, such as diagonal. Again, circle it with a complementary or similar thread. You may want to shift the thread weights to create distinctive textures and a finished look.

5. Interlaced Running Stitch

How about getting that ‘chain’ and lacy look? It is done by interlacing the second thread with the foundation stitches without going into the ground material. Examples of interlaced running stitch are Pekinese stitch, Maltese cross stitch, laced herringbone, and sham hemstitch. It makes a great decorative border that involves basic run stitches. And similar to most types, you can also use similar or different colored threads. The width must parallel, plus the spaces are squarely away from each other. Prevent piercing the foundation of your running stitch with a quality tapestry needle. Its perfect proportion signifies a balance of dark and light hues.

How Many Floss Strands Should I Use for Making the Running Stitch?

When it comes to running stitch, the standard rule is to use a single or double thread. However, you can increase the number of floss strands depending on your embroidery project. Use three strands to make a pattern form. While for basic patterns, six strands are commonly used. Almost all types of threads are compatible with doing running stitches.

When Should I Use a Running Stitch?

The uses of a running stitch are as varied as most hand stitches. Create hand sewing seams or basting. You can also use it for sewing sheets of fabrics and batting together (quilting). It makes a decorative stitch, too, from the simple flower stem to the intricate whirling outlines. And if you find heavy fabrics challenging to gather by machine, a running stitch is a great alternative.

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