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Backstitch video tutorial

Backstitch video tutorial

with 2 Comments


In this video, I demonstrate how to do backstitch, which is such a handy stitch to know. This stitch is pretty common in many cross stitch patterns and can be used in many ways and different types of embroidery. For those who have never seen it, backstitch is the black outline you see often in certain cross stitch patterns. It can also be used to outline details inside the pattern itself, such as eyes, whiskers, or lettering. It’s quite simple to do but it can take a while depending on the detail of the pattern. Backstitch can be done in any colour, but usually it’s done in black. In a pattern it’s often shown as a darker heavier line — you can see this in a portion of one of my charts below.


Wrought Iron backstitch sample


In this sample you can see the backstitch is indicated by a dark heavy black line (it’s even heavier than the grid lines). Backstitch can be done with one or two strands, depending on the pattern and whether you want a lighter or darker line. Sometimes it pays to experiment and see what works best with your fabric and that particular design. Often the pattern will indicate how many strands to use, but there’s nothing wrong with changing that if you want a different look. Just be aware you’ll use more floss of that colour if you decide to use two strands and the pattern indicates to use one strand.


In many of my designs and cross stitch patterns, I don’t use backstitch as I find it tends to make my drawings look more like an illustration. Most of my work is quite painterly, so that’s why many of my designs don’t use a traditional backstitch outline. However, several patterns do incorporate backstitch, particularly those in the Vintage Sass cross stitch pattern collection.


How to do backstitch



Links mentioned in the video:

The loop method and pin stitch


If you have any questions or comments, please let me know below. Or follow me on any of my social media accounts to see what’s new and what I’m working on currently! 🙂

Backstitch video tutorial
Article Name
Backstitch video tutorial
Video tutorial of how to do backstitch for cross stitch or embroidery projects -- give your patterns more detail and more definition!
Publisher Name
Peacock & Fig
Publisher Logo
Follow Dana Batho:

Artist and Designer

I am an artist, veteran, analyst, and mommy to the sweetest dog ever. I am constantly thinking of ways to use my creativity in everything I touch despite my physical limitations, and I love encouraging others to do the same.

2 Responses

  1. Jasmin
    | Reply

    Thank you for your tutorials. I am a beginner and am attempting my first large pattern (35×45 cm). I really really want to know how you can bring your needle up through the back of your aida without flipping the aida to see what you’re doing! It was easy to flip the aida with a very small softer/more flexible piece (10×14) but I have no idea how I am going to get through my bigger piece when flipping it is so awkward! I have tried it but poke my needle through 6 different holes before getting the right one and its frustrating. Any tips?

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Hi Jasmin! You’re doing it exactly right, you just keep poking until you find the right hole. 🙂 What usually helps is if you drag the tip of the needle across the back of your fabric, you’ll feel the tip “bump” into the holes until you get to the right one. Definitely don’t keep flipping your work, you’ll go bananas and you won’t get better at finding the hole from the front. It’s just practice, keep doing it and you’ll get there! You won’t always hit every hole every time you try, but you’ll improve a lot. You could also try the sewing method, that’s worked mainly from the front. But for that you don’t use a hoop (you just stitch with the fabric in your hand), and you do have to be more careful of your tension so you don’t warp the fabric. That’s how I stitch all my pieces now, is using the sewing method — https://peacockandfig.com/2017/01/cross-stitch-twice-as-fast-the-sewing-method/. Hopefully that helps! 🙂

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