How to Hand Sew a Running Stitch

The running stitch is an easy hand sewing stitch that can be used in many projects, it can also be used to gather fabric.

A smaller running stitch can also be used for embroidery and appliques.

You can also do a back stitch by hand. Click here to learn how.




Step 1: Prepare

If you want straight and even stitching, dot the fabric with a disappearing ink fabric marker or mark a piece of tape.

Knot the thread.

Step 2: Stitch

Start the stitch by going through the back of the fabric. Push the needle back through the fabric to create one stitch. Continue to come in and out of the fabric.

You can also vary the stitch length and make the stitches different sizes on the front and back.

Step 3: Finish

When finished, knot the thread at the back.


The running stitch is often used for basting. This is a temporary stitch that is meant to hold fabric together before the final stitching. Use a large stitch and it doesn’t have to look neat since it will be removed.

The running stitch can also be used to gather fabric. Make 2 rows of stitches and gather by pulling the thread. The stitch length depends on how large you want the ruffles.

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