Mattress Stitch: Tutorial for Seaming Vertical Seams

This is my first real attempt at a photo tutorial – so bear with me! Today we’re going to tackle the Mattress stitch which is used for vertically seaming two panels of knitting together.  In this case, we’ll work with 2 swatches of stockinette stitch. I know there are other methods for joining seams, but for me, this one is like magic.  It’s creates a beautiful flat seam that looks virtually seamless.

Mattress Stitch

Click on the images to view larger.
– First, start by aligning your two knitted panels with the right sides facing you.  I prefer to lay this on flat on a hard surface when getting started.

– Then, using a tapestry needle, thread your needle with a long string of the same yarn used for the project.  The amount of yarn needed will depend on the length of the object you’re trying to seam.  I usually take the length of the seam and double it and I have plenty left at the end, but it gives me plenty to work with.

– Insert the needle tapestry needle into the space between the first and second stitches on the right hand panel working from bottom to top. If you pull these two stitches apart slightly, you will see there is a small bar between these two stitches. Slip the tapestry needle behind this little bar. Like this:


Continue this from left to right (panel 1 to panel 2) or right to left, however you prefer to work.

It will look something like this

Every several rows, pull the tail yarn to close up the seam. Don’t be afraid, just pull!

And you’ll be seamless!

I sometimes dread getting started, but for absolutely no good reason.  Once I am on a roll, this is one of my favorite things to do.  Watching that seam close up and lay flat is very gratifying.

For additional mattress seam instruction… this video.

Oh yeah, I also didn’t make my self-imposed deadline of finishing Dorflinger Tee. Life just sort of got in the way, so maybe Monday instead.

Have a great weekend!

2 Comments on “Mattress Stitch: Tutorial for Seaming Vertical Seams

  1. Excellent, Kara! I got to use this stitch for my Mystic Comfort pillow, and it was quite fun. The kids even got a chance to try it out. :)

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