Backstitch - embroidery how-to, quick video, and step by step guide

What is the backstitch and how do I use it?

The backstitch is a simple outline stitch in hand embroidery. It joins straight stitches together to create a line that is simple and versatile. The backstitch has a "beady" look that gives embroidery patterns that unique, hand-made texture. For an outline stitch that looks a little more seamless, give the stem stitch or split stitch a try. In the Stitching Raccoon Sampler, the backstitch is used to outline the Raccoon's body.Backstitch in the Stitching Raccoon Sampler

Get the Stitching Raccoon Sampler for FREE.

Backstitch diagram

Below is what a typical diagram for the backstitch may look like in an embroidery pattern or on other how-to pages. 

Backstitch diagram

See the backstitch in action

Follow along with this quick video to see how each step of the backstitch comes together.

Step-by-step instructions:

Now, let's walk through each step in the backstitch together.

Step 1From the backside of the fabric, bring your needle up, about a stitch length away from your starting point.

Image of stitching the backstitch

Step 2: Now, going backward, insert the needle down at the starting point 

Image of stitching the backstitch

 Step 3: Come back up a stitch length away from your last stitch.

Image of stitching the backstitch

Step 4: Insert the needle down through the same hole as the last stitch. This will join the stitches. Continue along the line in this way.

Image of stitching the backstitchImage of stitching the backstitch

Save it for later

Want to remember how to do the backstitch? Pin the image below to Pinterest as a quick reference for later!

Give it a try, you can do it!

Now it's your turn to grab a needle, some embroidery floss, and give it a go! Practice the backstitch, along with other basic embroidery stitches, in the Stitching Raccoon Sampler. Get the embroidery pattern for FREE by signing up below!

Image of finished Stitching Raccoon Sampler

Watch the LIVE stitch along of the Raccoon Sampler with Alyssa and the Penguin & Fish family here!

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