Working the Chevron Stitch

Chevron Stitch Diagram
Chevron Stitch Diagram. Mollie Johanson

The chevron stitch is a surface embroidery stitch worked using long diagonal stitches topped with a horizontal cap stitch.

This stitch can be used in straight rows and bands. It can also be stitched along a curved edge if guide lines are carefully marked on the fabric.

Working Chevron stitch

Although not entirely necessary, it's helpful to mark two horizontal parallel lines with a water-soluble marker so you have a guide as you are stitching.

Bring your needle up through the fabric at the lower left (point 1) and make a horizontal stitch (point 2).

Bring the needle up through the fabric again, centered on the stitch you just made (point 3). As your needle comes up, it should be on the same line as the first stitch, without splitting the threads.

Take the needle back down through the fabric, creating a diagonal stitch to the upper right (point 4).

Bring the needle up through the fabric (point 5) to the left of point 4 and make another horizontal stitch (point 6). Come back up in the middle of this stitch (point 7) as you did on the lower row.

Work a diagonal stitch from the top to the bottom left (point 8) and come back up to the left of point 8. This is the new point 1 and you are ready to repeat the process, making a row of chevron stitches at your desired length.

Tips and Ideas for Chevron Stitch

Working on evenweave fabric helps give you a structure for even spacing of stitches.

If you can't use evenweave and struggle to keep the stitch length and angles consistent, consider marking the stitch placement with a water-soluble marker.

If you plan to work this stitch on curves, first, be cautious with how tight the arc is. Subtle curves are much easier to work. The other thing to bear in mind is how much you will need to adjust the spacing of the stitches on the outside of the curve to keep the diagonal lines looking even.

Besides adjusting spacing for curves, consider altering how close are far apart the stitches are. The spacing makes a huge difference for the appearance of chevron stitch. In fact, it isn't even necessary that the placement of the upper and lower lines are staggered as in the example. Play around with this to give yourself options.

A variation of chevron stitch is the double chevron stitch. Typically worked in two colors, this version is simply stitching one row of stitches, then going back over the first row and filling in the spaces. You could also vertically stagger the lines of stitching to create a different kind of layering.

In addition to layering it with itself, chevron stitch is good for combining with other stitches. The gaps between each zigzag are a perfect place to add in other stitches.