FLY STITCH Embroidery – Step by Step Easiest Method

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Fly stitch is a great way to add graceful detail to your embroidery.  Think of wings and the way you drew them in your childhood pictures as birds flew across the page.  Little Y shapes joined together. Fly stitch embroidery is simple to make and can be joined or just be stitched separately.  Big or small, broad or narrow, this is a stitch to try out and enjoy.

fly stitch embroidery PinFly Stitch Embroidery


Fly Stitch EmbroideryFly Stitch – SuppliesHow to do Fly Stitch EmbroideryStep 1 – Bring Needle from UnderneathStep 2 – Insert Needle Down and Up Step 3 – The TailFly Stitch VariationsSizingPositionVerticalHorizontalLeavesFly Stitch – In ConclusionMORE EMBROIDERY STITCHES

Fly Stitch Embroidery

Fly stitch are filling stitches that can be used for leaves, flowers or to decorative effect. Fly stitch can be horizontal or vertical and can also act as a filler stitch. Look at all the effects you can do with just the one versatile stitch. If you do the stem really small, you can turn the Y shape into a V! My favorite is the curved leaves.

Fly Stitch – Supplies

FABRIC –You can use any fabric with an open weave such as linen, Aida or calico. I used an unbleached calico for these samples. NEEDLE – Hand or embroidery needle that has a large eye designed for thicker threads.THREAD – Embroidery floss is best for this stitch. You can use all 6 strands or separate them for finer work. HOOP – Embroidery hoops keep the fabric flat and prevent you from pulling too hard and puckering the fabric. fly stitch embroideryfly stitch embroideryPinFly Stitch – Separate Stitches and Joined Stitches

How to do Fly Stitch Embroidery

If you are just beginning to sew embroidery, have a read of my article on how to embroider. This will show you the basic tools and stitches you can use to build your skills.

Here I have used unbleached calico fabric. You can use Aida cloth or linen as well. Mark your design with a removable fabric pen or tailor`s chalk. For practicing, you can do your sample with lines marked in lead pencil. If you stitch carefully over the pencil, your won`t see the lines.

Step 1 – Bring Needle from Underneath

Prepare your hoop and design.  Thread your needle and bring your needle out from underneath for the first part of the stitch. Your thread can be secured with a knot or placing some tape on the ends underneath.

fly stitch step 1 bring thread to the right sidefly stitch step 1 bring thread to the right sidePin

Step 2 – Insert Needle Down and Up

Insert your needle in at point (2), directly opposite point (1).

Bring the needle up at point (3) which lies between point (1) and point (2) and is slightly forward. This will form the V shape.

It is important that the thread is positioned under the tip of the needle as it exits at (3).

fly stitch step 2 - insert the needle at 2 and exit at 3 fly stitch step 2 - insert the needle at 2 and exit at 3 PinNotice how the thread is under the tip of the needle as it exits at (3)Fly StitchFly StitchPinFly Stitch

Step 3 – The Tail

Finish the V shape and make a small stitch at the point (4). The distance you place (4) is up to you. If it is really close to (3), it will look like a V shape and the further it is away the more it will look like a Y shape.

This makes one stand-alone fly stitch that now looks like a Y on the fabric.

Fly StitchFly StitchPinFly Stitch

You can leave your fly stitches as singles or add extras in strings to form leaves or coral.

Fly StitchFly StitchPinFly Stitch

Fly Stitch Variations

Variations in your fly stitch can be achieved by altering the stitch sizing, position, orientation and density.


Variety can be added by changing the length or width of the stitch and lengthening or shortening the tail.


Fly stitch makes an interesting filler if they are alternated in rows.  One row of fly stitch the right way up and another underneath upside down. This can give quite a geometric look to your design.


Make a stitch line for your design and ensure the tail of the fly stitch is running along this line.  Each new stitch is joined to the next as you stitch along the line and join the tails together vertically.


Once again there needs to be a line to follow as you join each fly stitch together following a horizontal line. This is achieved by connecting the stitch at the top of the V by bringing the needle out at the top point of the V and continuing in a horizontal line.


Use joined fly stitch as a beautiful leaf filler. The center straight stitch resembles the vein of the leaf. The size of the outside of the Y shape is varied from small to big to small again to look like a nice crescent-shaped leaf. You can alter the density of the stitches to look like different leaves.

Fly StitchFly StitchPinFly Stitch

Fly Stitch – In Conclusion

This is really a simple, but effective stitch guaranteed to help you fly through a design and beautify your embroidery with the simple basic stitch or take it further with variations to a theme.


Embroidery is a wonderful, relaxing hobby. Here are more embroidery stitches to try.

BackstitchBlanket StitchButtonhole StitchChain StitchChevron StitchCouching Embroidery TutorialCross StitchDouble Herringbone StitchHow to EmbroiderFaggoting EmbroideryFeather StitchFern StitchFishbone StitchFly StitchFrench KnotsHand Embroidery StitchesHerringbone StitchLazy DaisyRunning StitchSashiko EmbroiderySatin StitchSeed Stitch Embroidery (Rice Stitch)Stem StitchStraight StitchWeb Stitch | Embroidery TutorialWhip Stitch

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