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Victorian step stitch icon
Victorian step stitch

This is a diagonal stepped stitch worked in vertical stitches on an even weave canvas which resembles the treads of a staircase in profile.  It is made up of a long vertical stitch, followed by three short ones - the long stitch forms the riser of the step and the short ones the tread.

Victorian step stitch is generously sponsored by Susan Trafford


The steps can be made longer or shorter by increasing or decreasing the number of smaller stitches in each step


Begin with a vertical stitch across four canvas threads.


To the bottom right of this stitch make three vertical stitches across two canvas threads (the bottom of all four stitches should be level).


In line with the top of these stitches, begin another long stitch over four canvas threads which should end two canvas threads below the last stitches.


Continue stepping the stitches, making three smaller stitches then one long one.


The second row should fit into the gaps of the first, with the first long stitch of the next row sitting to the left of the leftmost long stitch of the previous row. The top of the long stitch should be level with the previous rows of short stitches.

Victorian step stitch

Structure of stitch

Common uses

This stitch has a medium-sized pattern repeat and gives a smooth appearance of diagonal lines running through the area.

Embroidery Techniques


  • Rachel Doyle, RSN Essential Stitch Guides: Canvaswork (2013) , p.92
  • Jo Ippolito Christensen, The Needlepoint Book (1999) , p.166