Working the Chevron Stitch in Hand Embroidery

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 guidelines are carefully marked on the fabric. It's a useful stitch for making a variety of designs in your work.

Materials Needed

The materials you will need include needle, embroidery thread, and your fabric, as well as an embroidery hoop to hold your work taut. Optionally, you may use a water-soluble marker to ensure you are making straight rows.

How to Make the Chevron Stitch

Follow these steps to make the chevron stitch:

  1. Bring your needle up through the fabric at the lower left (point 1) and make a horizontal stitch (point 2).
  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.
  3. Take the needle back down through the fabric, creating a diagonal stitch to the upper right (point 4).
  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.
  5. 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.

Working in the Chevron Stitch

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 the spacing for curves, consider altering how close or 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.


  • Working on evenweave fabric helps give you a structure for even spacing of stitches.
  • It's helpful to mark two horizontal parallel lines with a water-soluble marker so you have a guide as you are stitching.


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. Chevron stitch is good for combining with other stitches. The gaps between each zigzag are a perfect place to add in other stitches.