How to do Fly Stitch

Fly Stitch

Fly Stitch

Also known, as the 'Y' stitch because of its shape, Fly Stitch is generally used as a decorative filling stitch.

I remember my mother using it to great effect inside the large leaf patterns on her Jacobean theme embroidered chair backs. I don't often see embroidered cloths over the backs of chairs these days, but then men have generally stopped using Brylcream on their hair too!

I've generally used these as stitches scattered around within an outlined shape but joined together in a row; a line of fly stitches can make a delicate border.

To stitch it you bring your needle up at A leaving a small loop when you carry the thread directly across to point B.

Bring your needle up again at point C (the middle point between A and B) and carry your thread under the top of the needle before pulling through.

Anchor the loop with a small stitch at point D.

This stitch can be sewn as separate scattered stitches, or when joined up, makes a decorative border as seen left.

The main points to remember are to make the 'arms' of the stitch the same length and to be careful when pulling thread through the loop, not to do it so vigorously that the fabric puckers - very easy to do if you are not using a frame!


Closed Fly Stitch

Closed Fly Stitch

Yet another stitch that can be used for leaves, I also found it useful to stitch ferns because it has a stitched central 'vein' and an open appearance. A variegated thread can create a realistic looking colouration to a leaf worked in this stitch. Why not try it in Autumn shades as well as greens.

You will need a central line for guidance.

First bring your needle up at A, at the tip of your outline and make a small stitch down the central line to point B.

You will need to slant the needle slightly to come up at C. Then carry your thread directly across to point D, leaving a small loop.

Make sure that when you bring your needle up again at the original point B you carry the thread under the tip of your needle so you can gently pull your thread through the loop.

As you repeat the sequence, point B becomes the new point A of the next stitch.

Closed Fly Stitch 02