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Make Better Crochet Seams with Mattress Stitch

Looking for a better way to seam your crochet projects? Try mattress stitch. This tutorial will show you how.

Better Crochet Seams with Mattress Stitch title card

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.

package of Clover Chibi bent-tip tapestry needles

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.

two turquoise crochet swatches, side by side

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.

two crochet swatches side by side, with numbers showing the order of mattress stitch seaming on each swatch

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.

one stitch taken between two swatches

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.

Inserting the needle under the next stitch as described

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.

two swatches side by side, with yellow mattress stitches going between the swatches

Once you have several stitches in place, gently tug the working yarn to snug the sides up next to each other.

A completed mattress stitch seam, with barely visible yellow stitches

The finished mattress stitch seam will be almost invisible from the right side when worked in a matching color.

How to Mattress Stitch in Crochet

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.

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