Blog, Silk Ribbon Embroidery, Tutorials

Shaping stitches made in ribbon…


Shaping stitches made with ribbon ….


Ever wondered how to make leaves and petals look more realistic?


Essentially, you can use needle, thread and tiny stitches to “show”

the ribbon what you want it to do — how you want it positioned on the design.



  • Gently lift the stitch up off your work to see the shape on the printed panel.
  • Use one strand of matching thread:  catch the edge of the ribbon. 
  • Insert the needle to the back of your work. 
  • This will adjust the shape so that it fits nicely on the design.
  • The ribbon is secured and it won’t pull out of shape when you make the adjoining leaves or flowers :))



Here are some examples of stitches that were secured.  

These techniques are from my book: Flower Fairies in ribbon embroidery and stumpwork book…












In the picture above, I used matching thread and tiny stab stitches

along the edge of the ribbon to shape the leaves.

The veins, made in straight stitch, also helped to shape the leaves.











In the example above, once the ribbon stitch is formed, secure the

leaf with matching thread.


Here I used one tiny stitch along the edge of the ribbon

and a few on the tips.I added three straight stitches at the base

to form the veins – this way, the leaf will retain its shape 🙂











In this picture the blue petals were shaped with tiny stab stitches.

Use a matching thread and catch the edge of the ribbon, gently pulling

it into shape. Take the needle and thread to the back and end off.






















For this little fairy’s skirt, I used 13mm silk ribbon number 134

and ribbon stitch.


To shape the stitches I used one strand of thread and tiny straight stitches

to coax the petals into shape, ironing the petals flat with my fingertips.


To flatten the ribbon even further, I used one strand of thread and stem,

straight and back stitches to form the shadows on the petal,

flattening the shape at the same time.



The picture’s below will show you how it was done….


1.  Make a loose puffed ribbon stitch
















2.  Use a spare needle to straighten out the ribbon..










3.  Use tiny stitches to shape the ribbon….










4.  Add shading to the petals….





















5.  Completed skirt of White Clover fairy … Voilà!












To see the completed White Clover fairy: you will find it here

Click on the image to enlarge…


Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial :))





3 thoughts on “Shaping stitches made in ribbon…”

  1. Hi Di, your embroidery is just beautiful!! I wonder where are you from? I live in São Paulo, Brazil.
    If I want to buy a book how should I proceed? And to know the exactly price ( I don’t recognize R)?

    1. Hi Lucia
      We don’t have a stockist in São Paulo, Brazil. I suggest that you try the Book Depository – a UK website. Their shipping is FREE worldwide. Here is the link to their page. Choose which book you would like to buy from the books on the page. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

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