Mattress Stitch

Mattress stitch is a common, nearly invisible way of seaming two pieces of stockinette. It works best when the pieces are both held vertically, side by side, and when neither has much shaping near the edges. This is one reason why many patterns will have selvage stitches – one or two stitches that are knit (or purled) plain at each end of the row. Interested in learning to mattress stitch? Check it out:

step 1

Step 1: Hold your two pieces side by side, vertically, with the yarn tail at the bottom of Side A (this can really be whichever side you prefer).

step 2

Step 2: Slide the yarn needle into the loop directly across from where the tail is attached, joining the two pieces.

step 3

Step 3: Bring your yarn back across and into the center of the next stitch up on Side A, hooking under the little bar you’ll find there.

step 4

Step 4: Do the same thing again in the stitch on the opposite side.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you reach the top of the area you need seamed. Pause every few stitches to tug gently on the working yarn in order to keep you seams neat and tidy.

sleeve seam

I often start round projects flat to prevent twisting, and then mattress seam the first inch or two later. As you can see in my Hyacinth, above, a good mattress seam is pretty well invisible!


8 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for a great post with good pictures. I have tried the mattress stitch once before and for some reason I ended up with a bit of a the fabric where the two sides met jutting out on the inside. Have you had this happen? Do you know of a way to prevent it, perhaps I picked stitches that were too far from the edge. Anyway lovely post, and thanks for taking the time to make it up.


  2. I always make up my own stitch but I really must make the effort to learn this stitch properly. Thanks for the clear tutorial.


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