Faggoting Stitch Embroidery – How to Sew a Faggoted Seam

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Faggoting stitch embroidery is a handed down style of stitching from the Victorian era.  Faggoting or fagotting or faggoting, (you can spell it 3 ways) took its name from bundles of sticks collected together. It is, in fact, a delicate way of joining pieces of fabric and was once extensively used for ladies’ lingerie.

faggoting stitch, how to do faggotingPinFaggoting Stitch Embroidery


Faggoting Stitch Preparation for Faggoting StitchStep 1 – Hem EdgesStep 2 – Backing FabricHelpful TipsTwisted Faggoting StitchStep 1 – Exit NeedleStep 2 – Needle UpStep 3 – Back DownStep 4 – RepeatStep 5 – Remove BackingFaggoting Stitch – In ConclusionMORE EMBROIDERY STITCHES

Faggoting Stitch

Faggoting stitch uses soft satins and linens with a delicate style of linking two pieces of fabric together at a hem level or to create a decorative seam. It is also a great way to add some interest to table napkins.

The stitch is simple, and the method merely requires a piece of paper or scrap fabric and some parallel lines to keep your work evenly spaced.

Faggoting Stitch EmbroideryFaggoting Stitch EmbroideryPinFaggoting Stitch Embroidery

Preparation for Faggoting Stitch

If you are new to embroidery, read my article on how to embroider which will show you all the tricks and tips you need to get started as well as some simple tools and supplies. For a faggoting stitch, it is usually done without an embroidery hoop. If you do use a hoop a larger size is easier.

Step 1 – Hem Edges

Start by hemming the edges of the two pieces of fabric you wish to join. This should be a narrow hem.

Step 2 – Backing Fabric

Once you have prepared your fabric with a narrow hem, tack the fabric to a piece of paper or scrap fabric following two parallel lines about ½ inch (12mm) apart. Using a different color can make your embroidery easier as the backing will be easy to identify.

I used some fabric scrap and I will refer to this as the backing.

Do not tack right next to the edge of the fabric because you will need a small margin of space to stitch the faggoting stitches between the gap.

Helpful Tips

It is worth marking insert points along the edge to guide your needle especially if you are a beginner at this stitch.I marked every ¼ inch (6mm) for a medium-sized faggoting. You may want your intervals much smaller than this for fine work.Remember you are not going to stitch through the backing as it is merely there to guide your stitches and will be removed at the end of stitching.

faggoting preparation of edgesfaggoting preparation of edgesPin Faggoting Stitch Embroidery – Preparation

Twisted Faggoting Stitch

This is worked from right to left.

Step 1 – Exit Needle

Bring the needle up at point 1 which is about ⅛ inch (3mm) from the edge.

Step 2 – Needle Up

Insert the needle in a stabbing motion towards the gap at point 2. 

Make sure the needle passes over the top of the thread to create a twist. Notice this is offset from point 1 by about ¼ inch (6mm).

faggoting step 1faggoting step 1Pin Faggoting Stitch Embroidery – Steps 1 and 2

Here is how it looks when you have pulled the needle through. Notice the twist in the thread.

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Step 3 – Back Down

Move left for another ¼” and insert the needle into the upper edge with a stab motion again.  Bring the needle out into the gap with the thread behind the needle.

faggoting step 2faggoting step 2Pin Faggoting Stitch Embroidery – Step 3

Here you can see steps 1 to 3 when the needle is pulled through. Notice the twisting between the edges of the fabric.

faggoting step 2faggoting step 2Pin Faggoting Stitch Embroidery – Step 3

Step 4 – Repeat

Continue in this way as you twist the thread and fill the gap with stitches only stabbing the edge of the fabric and not stitching into the backing.

faggoting step 4faggoting step 4PinFaggoting Stitch Embroidery – Step 4

Step 5 – Remove Backing

:Remove your basting stitches from the backing.

faggoting step 4faggoting step 4Pin Faggoting Stitch Embroidery – Step 5

All finished and looking delicate and open.

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Faggoting Stitch – In Conclusion

Faggoting stitch is really a reminder of the days when Victorian ladies had the patience to sew their own undergarments.

A beautiful skill from the past and something to treasure if you apply the stitch to some fine table linen as you attempt to create vintage napkins for your next dinner party.

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