Embroidery Fundamentals: How to Do Seed Stitch

Need a good stitch to fill in large areas on your embroidery project? Look no further than seed stitch!

What You'll Be Creating

Need a good stitch to fill in large areas on your embroidery project? Look no further than seed stitch.


  • Muslin fabric (about 15cm square)
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery thread (or floss)
  • Embroidery transfer pen

1. Prepare Your Fabric for Stitching

Step 1

Draw a shape that you want to stitch onto your fabric using your transfer pen. I used a ruler to make a rectangle, but you can draw any shape you like.

Step 2

Secure your fabric into your embroidery hoop and tighten the hoop so the fabric is taut.

2.  Stitch Your Shape

Step 1

Thread your needle with embroidery floss. You can also experiment with different types of thread if you prefer.

Step 2

An individual seed stitch is basically a small straight stitch, but you generally make lots of little straight stitches in random directions to fill in a large area. Just imagine covering an area by tossing a handful of seeds on to it. This is the look you're trying to replicate. 

I usually begin at one end of my shape and stitch down to the other end of the shape, filling the entire shape as I go.

Step 3

Your stitches can go in several different directions, creating a random 'scattered' pattern, or you can choose to make all your stitches in the same direction. 

Likewise, you can make all of your stitches the same length, or vary the length so you have some smaller and some longer stitches. This creates a lot of texture in your work, as opposed to a smooth satin stitched shape.

Continue to stitch until you've completed filling your shape.

3. Finish Your Work

Step 1

Once you've finished stitching, tie a small knot in the back of your work or weave in the ends of your thread.

Step 2

Gently wash off the transfer pen pattern outline with a little water. If you like, you can stitch the outline of your shape with a backstitch or chain stitch, but you should be able to see your shape clearly without an outline.

Step 3

Allow your stitching to dry completely before displaying it in a frame or hoop. 

Practice Your New Skill

As you've learnt in this tutorial, seed stitch is a versatile stitch that's essentially used for filling in large areas and creating a different texture in your work. 

As you practice this embroidery stitch, experiment with different stitch sizes as well as the spaces between each stitch, until you find a style that you're happy to replicate in future work. 

Once you get the hang of it, you can create an pretty ombre look by increasing or decreasing the space between stitches in your work. 

Tell us: do you love embroidery? What's your favorite stitch for filling in large areas? I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments. 

Source: crafts.tutsplus.com