Mattress Stitch Join Tutorial

This join I’m about to show you has to be one of my favorites. It leaves a flat almost invisible seam and is very easy to do. All you will need is a piece of yarn  (usually in the same color as your project) and slightly longer than the length you are joining, a yarn or tapestry needle and your project pieces. If you would like to see a video tutorial of this technique you can click here.

To begin your mattress join, first you will put the two pieces you want to join together.

Make sure your "right sides" are facing each other.
Make sure your “right sides” are facing each other and your stitches (or “V”s as I like to call them) are lined up for easy stitching.

Then beginning at the bottom of your seam, you will insert your needle through the outside loop only of your bottom stitch. Come from the outside of your work to the inside when inserting your needle.

Note: It’s not important which side of the project you begin on. You can come in from right to left as shown in the photo below, or start on the left piece and work from left to right.

Working through the outside loop only will produce a nice effect that you will see at the end of the tutorial.
Working through the outside loop only will produce a nice effect that you will see at the end of the tutorial.

Now, bring your needle straight across and insert it through the outside loop on the same stitch on the second piece.

Notice I bring the needle from the inside to the outside of the other piece.
Notice I bring the needle from the inside to the outside of the other piece.

You can see when I pull the yarn all the way through I have made a straight line through my outside loops.

You can easily see where the yarn is with the contrasting color I'm using. For a real project, I would normally use the same color to join and the main project.
You can easily see where the yarn is with the contrasting color I’m using. For a real project, I would normally use the same color to join and the main project.

The next step is what distinguishes this stitch from others. You will now bring your needle up to the next stitch on the same side you just worked on and insert it in the outside loop only.

Now I come from the outside and put the needle to the inside towards my other piece.
Now I come from the outside and put the needle to the inside towards my other piece.

Now I will go through the outside loop again on the other piece I am connecting.

Straight across from the inside to the outside again.
Straight across from the inside to the outside again.

You can see when I pull the yarn though this second stitch that this stitch kind of weaves it way back and forth along the stitches.

I haven't tighten the stitches yet, but you can as you work. I'm saving the magic for the end of the tutorial.
I haven’t tighten the stitches yet, but you can as your work. I’m saving the magic for the end of the tutorial.

Now I repeat the pattern, I go up one stitch on the same side I just came out of to insert my needle again.

Each time you finish stitching across both sides, you start the next stitch on the same side as the last one.
Each time you finish stitching across both sides, you start the next stitch on the same side as the last one.

I continue this pattern all the way to the end of my seam.

Still haven't pull the stitches tight, just quickly worked my way up the pieces.
Still haven’t pull the stitches tight, just quickly worked my way up the pieces.

Now the magic, take your ends and pull them tight.

My slack yarn is now almost one straight piece that is about as long as my seam. This join is great when you are running out of yarn.
My slack yarn is now almost one straight piece that is about as long as my seam. This join is great when you are running out of yarn.

From the wrong side you can slightly see the yarn I used to join. If it was in the same color as my project, you wouldn’t even notice it.

Not too bad, but wait till I turn it over.
Not too bad, but wait till I turn it over.

Now for the front side, even with the contrasting color, you can’t really see any of the yarn I used to join the seam. And the piece is completely flat, no 3 dimensional seam here.

My needle is pointing out the cool "V" the inside loops I didn't stitch through made at the seam.
My needle is pointing out the cool “V” the inside loops I didn’t stitch through made at the seam.

Once you finish stitching and seaming, just work these tails in as you would any other tail. If it’s the same color as your work you can easily weave it in. If you chose a contrasting color, you can weave in keeping it on the wrong side so it won’t show up through the front.

12 thoughts on “Mattress Stitch Join Tutorial

    • Sorry, not yet. I’m getting settled in to my new house. Trying to find time with unpacking, homeschooling and setting up my video stuff had been a little difficult. 🙂 I’m hoping to start taping again by this weekend.

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  1. Hi!!! Love this join, but have a problem getting it to look right when doing it on the side of the work (where there are no little v’s). I would love to see how you do this.

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    • You know, I meant to show that and totally forgot when I was making the video. You definitely won’t get the same effect as with the V’s but you can try to mimic the effect if you try to catch one of the top most loops on the outside of the project. I will try to get a video for that as soon as possible (I usually make the videos on weekends and edit during the week), so I’ll try to make one up shortly to show what I mean. 🙂

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