Vandyke Stitch tutorial

Vandyke Stitch is one of those useful hand embroidery stitches that many people don’t get around to exploring but it is well worth investigating. I admit that I don’t use it enough, but without fail every time I do I think to myself I should use this more!

Vandyke stitch is traditionally used as a border but by varying the width you can create nice leaf shapes that have a central line up the spine of the design.

Tip! When working Vandyke Stitch keep your tension slightly loose as if you pull the stitches too tightly the center plaited line will not form nicely.

Vandyke stitch looks good worked in thread with a firm twist such as a cotton perle #5 or #8.

How to hand embroider Vandyke Stitch

Vandyke stitch step 1This stitch is worked between two invisible lines. If needed you can mark the outline with a dissolvable marker. I find this stitch works best when you work it from top to bottom.

Bring the thread through from the back of the fabric on the left hand side of the line to be worked. Make a small horizontal stitch at the centre point between the two edges of the line.

Take your needle through the fabric and insert the needle on the right hand side of the line.The working thread should make a narrow cross.

Vandyke stitch step 2Bring your needle out on the left hand side or the line a little below the first stitch.

Vandyke stitch step 3The next part of the stitch does not go through the fabric as you need to pass the needle under the crossed threads.
Take the needle to the back of the fabric on the right hand side of the line.

Vandyke stitch step 5Bring the needle out on the left just below the stitch and continue working down the line.

Vandyke stitch step 6

Hope you enjoy the Vandyke Stitch.

Return to the Index of my Stitch Dictionary here 

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15 Responses to Vandyke Stitch tutorial

  1. Hi Sharon,
    I am working the samples of this stitch here-
    Thank you,

  2. So behind on my TAST stitches! Have used 73, 74, 75 and 76 in this sampler version of Wonder Woman’s costume….

  3. queeniepatch says:

    Busy times so forgot to place my link here on your comments. I LOVED the Vandyke stitch, but it does use up a lot of thread…:

  4. Annet says:

    I experimented with the pistil stitch, I wrapped it like a colonial knot. It was much easier to control the tension of the stitch. I wrote about it here:

  5. shirley says:

    Haven’t worked this weeks stitch yet, but I am starting to put together a fabric book of my Tast samples

  6. Angela says:

    I like this stitch and my version of it! You can see it here

  7. Annet says:

    This is such a great stitch for experiments. I shared a few of them in my weekly post with old Vandyke stitches:

  8. Hi Sharon,
    Samples of this stitch worked during the earlier challenge are here-
    Thank you,

  9. Margaret says:

    oh dear I did not realise how far behind I am last stitch I did was stitch 62, will now start to try and catch up!!

  10. Faith says:

    I have probably always known the name of this stitch, but whenever I see it, I think “millipede stitch.”

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