Looking for a better way to seam your crochet projects? Try mattress stitch. This tutorial will show you how.
Mattress stitch is worked from the right side, which means you can keep an eye on what you are doing. As you work, you can check that the seam is looking good from the “public” side, which is after all the side you want to show off!
Read the instructions below, then watch the video at the end for a demonstration.
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What You’ll Need
For mattress stitch, use the yarn you used for the project. Match the yarn color to the fabric. If you’ve left a long yarn tail, you can use that for seaming. In the following photos I used a contrasting color yarn for clarity.
If you have stripes or a multi-colored fabric, just choose a color that will blend it. Mattress stitch is almost invisible from the right side, so slightly different yarn colors won’t matter much.
You’ll need a blunt-tip tapestry needle or yarn needle. A blunt tip allows the needle to pass under the strands of yarn, rather than through them. The needle should be an appropriate size for your yarn. Don’t try to squeeze a bulky yarn through the eye of a small needle, and don’t use a giant needle with tiny yarn.
I like to use a bent-tip tapestry needle like these Chibi needles from Clover. They come in several sizes.
Getting Started with Mattress Stitch
Cut a piece of yarn no longer than about 30″ [76 cm], or shorter if you don’t need a long seam. If you run out of seaming yarn, you can always add more. Thread the needle with the yarn.
For a longer seam, pin the pieces at the beginning and end, and every few inches in between. This will help you keep the rows aligned.
Hold the two pieces to be seamed parallel to each other with right sides facing you. In other words, you should be looking at the right side of both pieces.
Secure the yarn on the wrong side at the lower corner of the right hand piece, or begin with a yarn tail that’s already in place at the corner. Alternately, you can just pull the yarn through the corner stitch from wrong side to right side, leaving a 4″ [10 cm] or longer tail to be woven in later.
You’ll be working from side to side, putting a stitch in one piece then into the adjacent piece, as shown in the diagram.
Keeping the needle parallel to the edge of the fabric, insert the needle under a strand at the corner of the left-hand piece, from right side to wrong side to right side, and pull the yarn through. Don’t pull the yarn tight; you’ll snug it up in a moment.
Insert the needle under a strand in the first stitch of the next row on the right-hand piece. Keep the needle on the right side of the fabric and “scoop” it under the stitch, from right side to wrong side to right side. Pull the yarn through without pulling it tight.
Continuing the Seam
Continue working from side to side in this manner for a few stitches. Depending on the height of the stitches, you may want to work two stitches in a row instead of one. Just be sure to match the rows, especially if you are working with stripes.
Once you have several stitches in place, gently tug the working yarn to snug the sides up next to each other.
The finished mattress stitch seam will be almost invisible from the right side when worked in a matching color.
What do you think? Are you loving the way mattress stitch makes your crochet seams look better?
Find more crochet tutorials at Crochet Basics & Beyond.