Hello and welcome to another stitch tutorial! This time, it’s another of my favourite ones: the leaf stitch. There are so many ways to stitch leaves, but the leaf stitch is definitely one of the easiest. Essentially made up only of straight stitches, it’s a quick and accurate way to embroider a leaf.
The leaf stitch is very similar to the fishbone stitch in appearance, and to the satin stitch in technique. I find it even easier than either of those though, particularly for embroidering very small leaves. It’s also a very easy stitch for beginners to learn.
Leaf Stitch Tutorial
1. You can draw a leaf outline on your fabric if you wish, or simply free-hand it. Not all stitches are easy to free-hand and keep straight and neat, but this one can work.
2. Bring your threaded needle up from the back at point A, the very tip of the leaf. I’m using 2 strands of moss green floss. Go back down at point B in the middle of the leaf, forming a straight stitch. This first stitch is usually quite short, only a few millimeters.
3. Bring your needle up again at point C, just below point A along the leaf’s outline. Go back down again at point D, forming a second straight stitch that ends just below point B, along the middle (this will form the leaf’s midrib – the middle vein). This stitch should lie on a slight diagonal angle.
4. Continue to repeat this step until one half of the leaf is complete. Your stitches will get longer and more angled around the middle of the leaf, then get gradually shorter again. Always end them right along the midrib. You can start a few stitches just outside the outline if you wish to create a jagged edge.
5. Then, do exactly the same thing to fill the other half. If your leaf is quite big, I recommend snipping off the thread and starting again at the top instead of dragging it across.
Ta-da! A cute little leaf!
To add more depth, you can use a different thread colour and run straight stitches along the middle and towards the outer edges to create the veins. I like to do this with 1 strand of a darker shade.
And that’s it friends, as promised this one is a very simple stitch, but one that looks so good! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and here’s the pinnable image if you wish to save it:
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I have other stitch tutorials you might be interested in! They can all be found in the Stitch Library on the main page’s menu.
I’ve also been posting short Reel tutorial videos over on Instagram, if you’d like to see the stitch done that way.
Until next time!
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