Closed Fly Stitch embroidery

Closed Fly Stitch

Closed Fly Stitch is a variation of the Fly Stitch. The Fly stitches with short anchoring stitches (V stitch) are positioned so close that their anchoring stitches touch each other. This technique forms a feather-like-looking decorative stitch bar.

Other names of the Closed Fly Stitch

In addition to its most common name, this hand embroidery technique is called Close-stacked Fly Stitch, Antique Embroidery, or Attached Fly Stitch.

Closed Fly Stitch band and leaf
Closed Fly Stitch embroidery – a band and a leaf
Closed Fly Stitch rear side
Rear side of the stitch

Applications of the Closed Fly Stitch

This hand embroidery technique is used to fill backgrounds, make decorative bands and borders, or depict the leaves in the botanical embroidery. Multiple rows of Closed Fly Stitches positioned close to each other will create a solid textural filling.

To depict botanical shapes or feathers, you can adjust the width of the stitches instead of making a uniform band. This stitch can also take gentle curves to adapt to the shapes you wish to fill with this embroidery technique.

More stitches from the Fly Stitch family

Learn how to embroider Closed Fly Stitch

Follow the step-by-step tutorial with detailed photos below, and you will learn the Closed Fly Stitch quickly. If you are a visual learner, watch a video lesson in the tutorial or on the Practical Embroidery YouTube channel to learn this hand embroidery stitch faster.

Closed fly stitch small image

How to embroider Closed Fly Stitch

Step-by-step hand embroidery tutorial


1. Mark the space you want to fill with the stitch.

2. Take the needle up at the left side of the shape and make a stitch to the right. Leave the loop of the working thread open.

Closed Fly Stitch embroidery step 1

3. Take the needle up in the middle between the stitch’s ends inside the loop. Pull the thread to form a V shape.

Closed Fly Stitch embroidery step 2

4. Make a short stitch and anchor the Fly stitch. Pull all the thread to the back of the fabric.

Closed Fly Stitch embroidery step 3

5. Take the needle up just under the starting point of the first stitch and repeat the steps to form a Fly stitch close below the first one.

Closed Fly Stitch embroidery step 4

6. The anchoring stitch of the first V stitch is touching with the anchor stitch of the second Fly stitch.

Closed Fly Stitch embroidery step 5

7. Keep adding Fly stitches one below another until you fill the entire area.

Closed Fly Stitch band and leaf embroidery with green threads

Video tutorial

Tools and materials I used for this sampler

Disclaimer. To cover the cost of creating free embroidery patterns and video tutorials for this blog, I do sometimes link to products. Please assume these links are affiliate links. If you choose to buy through my links then THANK YOU – it will make it possible for me to keep doing this.

Embroidery fabric cotton linen neutral colors Etsy
Embroidery fabric
DMC Pearl Cotton #8 thread on Etsy
DMC Pearl Cotton #8
DMC Embroidery Floss Etsy
DMC Embroidery Floss
Beechwood embroidery hoops Etsy
Embroidery hoop
Bohin Embroidery Needles Etsy
Bohin Embroidery Needles
Embroidery Scissors Etsy
Embroidery Scissors

What’s next?

If you’re in the mood to explore more hand embroidery stitches, check out the Stitches and Techniques page for the list of other fantastic stitches available on my blog. From timeless classics to modern twists, a whole world of stitches is waiting for you to explore and master. So, grab your hoop and needle, and let’s stitch our way to creative bliss!

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Need More Guidance?

The top 10 hand embroidery stitches to learn is a free online course created for beginners.

White sashiko stitches on purple fabric