Stem Stitch / Outline Stitch

These stitches can be used for curved lines, contours and fonts.


  1. Bring the needle up from behind your hoop.
  2. Make a single straight stitch.
  3. Come back up halfway between 1. and 2.
  4. Insert the needle one stitch length away on the pattern line.
  5. Come back up halfway between 3. and 4. (same hole as 2.)

Repeat 4. and 5. until the entire line is finished.

Stem Stitch vs. Outline Stitch

The thread always remains below the needle for Stem Stitch and above the needle for Outline Stitch. Stem Stitch is therefore better suited for left curves, Outline Stitch better for right curves.

Video tutorial for Stem / Outline Stitch

Alternative stitches

If you’re looking for a simpler alternative to the Stem Stitch / Outline Stitch, you can use the Back Stitch. Because the stem stitch / outline stitch is basically nothing else than the back of the Back Stitch.

Embroidery patterns for Stem / Outline Stitch

With a little practice, you will quickly get the hang of Stem and Outline Stitch, and with these embroidery patterns, practicing is guaranteed to be fun!