Fly Stitch embroidery

Fly Stitch

The Fly Stitch is a very simple detached decorative stitch. A straight stitch is pulled and anchored to form a V or Y shape.

Other names of the stitch

Fly Stitch is also known as the Y-Stitch or the Open Loop stitch.

Fly Stitch embroidery front side
Fly Stitch embroidery – front side
Rear side of Fly stitch
Rear side of Fly Stitch embroidery

Applications of the Fly Stitch

Detached Open Loop stitch is a decorative surface embroidery stitch with many application options, from botanical elements like stems, leaves, and grass to depicting small elements like birds in the sky.

This embroidery stitch is often combined with other decorative stitches, such as Bullion Knots, French Knots, or Lazy Daisy Stitches, to form small decorative floral motives or repeated patterns for the borders and bands.

Besides decorative applications, Y-Stitch is used for powdered filling to create a semi-covering stitching surface. This technique is often used in contemporary surface embroidery.

This stitch is used in Crazy Quilting, Ribbon embroidery, and Crewelwork.

More stitches from Fly Stitch family

  • Connected Fly Stitch
  • Closed Fly Stitch
  • Anklet Stitch

Learn how to embroider Fly Stitch

Follow the step-by-step tutorial with detailed photos below, and you will learn the 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.

Fly Stitch small image

How to embroider Fly Stitch

Step-by-step hand embroidery tutorial


1. Take the needle with a thread to the surface of the fabric and pull all the thread up.

2. Make a straight stitch. Do not pull all the thread, but leave a loop open.

Fly stitch step 1

3. Bring the needle up inside the loop between the ends of the stitch.

Fly stitch step2

4. Pull the thread to tighten the loop. Make a short stitch to anchor the loop. You can choose to make a V-shape or a Y-shape.

Fly stitch step 3

5. Repeat as many detached Fly Stitches as you need and secure the thread on the back of the fabric.

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
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