How to Sew Crochet Pieces Together Using the Mattress Stitch
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. See our disclosure policy for more information.
If you have two pieces of crochet to sew together, you may want to use the Mattress Stitch. A favorite when it comes to joining crocheted granny squares or crocheted clothing.
How to Sew the Mattress Stitch
When joining crochet pieces you can either slip stitch them together, single crochet them together, whip stitch them together or mattress stitch them together. I find that the mattress stitch creates the most seamless and invisible seam, and it does so without the ridge inherent in most other methods of joining crochet pieces.
See a video tutorial using this stitch below.
To join two pieces of crochet together:
1. Lay out the two edges that will be sewn, lining up the corresponding stitches on each side.
2. Thread your yarn needle with the main color of yarn.
3. Work from the inside/bottom out, sew through each side as if you were lacing a pair of tennis shoes.
4. Continue sewing back and forth from the inside/bottom out between both pieces to end.
5. When finished sewing two pieces together, weave in the yarn end as usual.
That’s it! I love how this method of joining eliminates the ridge you get when using most other methods of joining two pieces in crochet such as the single, slip or whip stitch.
I use the Mattress Stitch to join the two shoulders together in the Painted Canyon Cardigan as well as the child sizes of the Unicorn Hoodie! See a video of the Mattress Stitch in action:
What is your favorite way to join two pieces of crochet?
How to Join Knitted Pieces with the Mattress Stitch
Mattress stitch makes a practically invisible and nicely flexible seam for joining pieces side to side. You can’t use mattress stitch successfully, however, on pieces that don’t have the same number of rows or a difference of only 1 or 2 rows.
1 Lay out your pieces next to each other, right sides facing up, bottom edges toward you.
You seam from the bottom edge up. If you’ve left a tail of yarn at the cast-on edge, you can use it to get started.
2 Locate the running thread between the first and second stitches on the bottom row of one piece.
Gently pull apart the first 2 edge stitches to see the series of little horizontal — running — threads connecting them.
3 Thread the tail of yarn or a fresh piece on a tapestry needle.
Make sure your tapestry needle is blunt to avoid piercing the yarn.
4 Join the bottom edges of the pieces, using a figure eight.
Work through the two threads on the cast-on row.
5 Bring your needle under the thread; then pick up the running thread between the first and second stitches on the opposing piece.
This step begins your mattress stitch pattern.
6 Work back and forth from running thread to running thread to running thread, keeping the tension easy but firm.
Check the tension by pulling laterally on the seam from time to time. The amount of give should be the same as between 2 stitches.
Mattress Stitch – How To Seam Knitting
Mattress stitch is a great seaming technique to use for sewing seams in knitting.
One of the most important things to learn with knitting is how to sew knit seams.
After all, you’ve spent hours, days, weeks and maybe even months knitting up something wonderful and it can be ruined so easily if it isn’t sewn up properly.
And the mattress stitch is very easy to learn. It’s best known for sewing vertical seams like the sides of a sweater. But you can use it wherever you think it will work.
Seaming Knitting Tips
- If you know ahead of time that you will be sewing your knitting you can leave a long enough tail so that you can use that. It will save you from weaving in another yarn end
- Try using the same yarn you knit your pieces with. If it’s really thick you might want to either find a yarn a bit thinner that comes close to the same color you used. Or you may want to try some embroidery thread. Embroidery thread comes in many different colors so you’re sure to find one that matches.
- Use a length of yarn no more than about 16 inches long. It does get worn from the sewing after awhile.
I have lots of pictures to help you. After all it may only take that one extra picture for you to completely understand how to work the mattress stitch.
As always I’m using a contrasting yarn so that you can see what I’m doing.
Mattress Stitch Instructions
If you take a look at your knitting, these are the edge stitches, sometimes called the selvedge edge. Lots of times it is kind of messy but no worries, it will all be sewn up and no one will see it.
Lay your two knitted pieces out with the right side facing you just like the photo.
What you want to do is gently separate the edge stitches from the knitting stitches beside it. See in the photo. Those bars are what you will be using to mattress stitch your pieces together.
Thread your yarn needle and push it through the very last stitch on one piece of fabric (above left photo) If you’d like to keep it in place push it through the same loop again (right photo) to kind of tie it so it won’t move around. (I don’t usually do this but you may like too).
Next, move over to the other knitted piece and push the yarn needle through the very last stitch just like the first. You don’t need to tighten the pieces yet, just keep it pretty loose like in my photo. You’ll see why in a bit.
Sometimes you may find that when you start to sew your knitted piece you have one lonely bar at the beginning of your seaming. If you do see one bar you can put your yarn needle through that one bar.
Just keep in mind that whatever you do on one side of your knitting needs to be done the same on the other side to keep them even.
So move over to the other side and push your yarn needle through that one bar as well (above left photo). Bring the yarn through.
This will keep it even with the other side
Some knitters like to go through one bar all the way up their knitting and others go through 2 bars. It’s just a matter of preference. I like going through 2 bars so from now on I will be going through 2.
Now move over to the other piece of fabric. Always go back to the same place you came out of previously.
Push your yarn needle through those next 2 bars. And bring the yarn through.
Move over to your other piece and go into the same place you came out of before (above left photo), pushing your needle through those next 2 bars and pull yarn through (right photo).
Keep on mattress stitching back and forth for about an inch and then stop a minute.
Here’s the magic moment.
Take your yarn and firmly pull on it to bring your knitted pieces together. Try not to pull too tightly but if you do just stretch it back into shape. Isn’t that cool? You can’t even really see the red yarn. I just love the mattress stitch.
Now just continue seaming up your knitting going from one side to the other side. Every inch to inch and a half pull on your yarn to bring the pieces together.
Keep on seaming all the way up to the top. Pull on the yarn to bring the pieces together.
Here’s what I do at the top. I put my yarn needle through the loop on the other piece like in the photo. Tighten it up a bit.
Then just bring the needle through the loop to kind of knot it and pull. Now you can weave that end in as well.
There ta-da. Looks really good doesn’t it? You can’t even see the red yarn. Oh I know that my poor swatch is stretched but even still it looks pretty cool.
When you actually work the mattress stitch on your knitting it will look excellent and you won’t even see the seam.
And this is what it looks like on the wrong side. I know it is quite a big looking seam right? It’s OK you won’t notice it and it’s not noticeable or uncomfortable at all. Best thing is, it hides the ugly edge stitches.
For those of you who prefer watching I found a great mattress stitch knitting video.
The Mattress Stitch is a finishing technique for vertical seaming. It creates an invisible join between pieces worked in stockinette stitch or ribbing, perfect for so many things, such as sewing the front and back of a sweater together. For demonstration purposes, we have used a different yarn in a contrasting color, but typically you would use the same yarn as your knit pieces.
First, align the two pieces you wish to seam. Bring your threaded tapestry needle from the back of your work to the front at the location where you wish your seam to start. (I began with the knit piece to the right and brought my needle to the front just above my cast on edge.)
For Mattress Stitch you sew two knit pieces together by grabbing a strand of yarn from each edge, alternating back and forth, working vertically along the edges. The strand of yarn you grab is a horizontal bar that runs between the knit stitches (or “V”s). If you gently tug on the right and left edge of your knit piece, you can see these horizontal bars (or “ladder”) between the Vs. Picking up a bar from each side draws the edges together, making it appear as though it is one knit piece.
Next, draw the needle under the bar between the two most outer Vs of the second knit piece, right across your entry of the first edge. Beware of the outermost column of knit stitches; it tends to curl to the back. The farther in from the edge that you work, the bulkier the seam will be.
Take the tapestry needle back to the first piece and pick up the bar just above your initial entry point.
Now, take the needle back to the second piece and pick up the bar above the last one your picked up on this side.
NOTE: Depending on the gauge or density of the fabrics, sometimes it is just as effective to pick up every other bar, rather than ever bar. It is a personal choice.
Continue working vertically along the two edges, drawing the tapestry needle under each bar of each piece.
Above you can see the many red stitches connecting the two columns of Vs. The goal is to bring those Vs together.
Just as with knitting, the more even you can keep your tension, the better. An even tension will prevent pulling and puckering along the seam.
To close the seam, gently pull the length of yarn from either the top or the bottom. If you are working a long seam, it is best to sew a few inches, then pull to close, again sew a few inches and pull, continuing in this fashion to the end of the seam, being careful to maintain a consistent tension throughout.
If you turn your work over so the wrong side is facing, you’ll see the seam.
How to Do the Mattress Stitch
Seaming your knitting together can seem tedious, but the mattress stitch makes it quick and easy!
You must be logged in to add a private note. Login | Register
Share This Link
We are adding the pattern to your Knitting Patterns.
This pattern has been saved to My Knitting Patterns.
You must be logged in to save a pattern. Login | Register
So you’ve finally completed your knitted project and the time comes for your to sew the pieces together. If you’re hoping for a nice and tidy seam, you need to learn how to do the mattress stitch.
The mattress stitch is a remarkably easy seaming stitch that will result in an invisible seam if done correctly. There are many different seaming methods in knitting, but the mattress stitch is by far one of the most popular because it’s truly invisible from the right side of your pattern.
Use this stitch for joining pieces of a sweater or cardigan, or even for piecing together granny squares to form an afghan!
- Your pieces of knitting
- Tapestry needle
- Yarn for seaming
Watch and Learn
Attach your yarn to your tapestry needle.
Locate the first stitches along the edges of the two pieces of knitting that you plan to join.
Bring your needle up and through the first stitch of one panel.
Note: Leave a tail of yarn at the end to weave in later.
Insert your needle into the first stitch of the other swatch from back to front.
Identify the first bar of the left panel. Pick up that bar with your tapestry needle and thread the yarn through.
Pick up the next bar on the right-hand panel of knitting the same way.
Repeat steps 5 and 6 all the way up the sides of your pieces of knitting.
Note: For smaller yarn, it might be easier to pick up two bars at once on each side.
Weave in the ends of the yarn you used for your seaming.
Free projects, giveaways, exclusive partner offers, and more straight to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up!
We were unable to sign you up – please try again.
Tags / Related Topics
Your Recently Viewed Projects
Images from other crafters
Thanks for your comment. Don’t forget to share!
@smileymyrna8 2649515: First you will want to sew in and out of the corner of the fabric a few times to anchor your yarn. Leave a 5-8 inch tail when you do this, and then weave in the tail when you are finished just as you would weave in a tail from a cast-on or bound-off edge. Hope this helps! — Editor of AllFreeKnitting
smileymyrna8 26495 15
Video was helpful but if you are starting to join pieces with an unattached piece of yarn, how do you anchor your yarn at the very beginning? Thanks
Report Inappropriate Comment
Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.
Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.
Project of the Day
Sweet and Simple Knit Baby Hat
This Sweet and Simple Knit Baby Hat pattern is absolutely adorable and would make the perfect gift for any brand new baby. Available… See more Continue reading: "Sweet and Simple Knit Baby Hat"
My Knitting Patterns (0) View »
Something worth saving?
- SAVE all your favorite patterns
- ADD personal notes
- QUICKLY reference your patterns
Connect With Us
Our Newest Patterns & Articles
Prime Publishing Craft Group
© Copyright 2020 Prime Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.
Sign In to Your Account
Sign In With One Of Your Social Accounts
Sign in using email and password
Forgot Your Password?
Images from other crafters
Share Your Images
Help others by adding images to this pattern. It’s easy! Click here to start
Please sign into your account to add new images.
There are currently no images from other crafters.
Terms & Conditions
You must enter into this Agreement if you want to submit digital images or other content to Prime Publishing throughSharing Customer Images(the "Service"). As used in this Agreement, "we" or "Prime Publishing" means Prime Publishing, LLC. and "you" means the individual or entity submitting materials to Prime Publishing. Any individual or entity that wants to use the Service must accept the terms of this Agreement without change. BY CLICKING THE ACCEPT TERMS AND CONDITIONS BUTTON, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY ALL TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT AND ALL SPECIFICATIONS AND GUIDELINES INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE.
1)Eligibility. You may only submit Materials to the Service for which you hold all intellectual property rights. In other words, if you submit a digital image to us, you must own all rights to such image or you must have the authorization of the person who does own those rights. The Service is limited to parties that lawfully can enter into and form contracts under applicable law. Minors may not submit Materials to the Service. Further, you may not submit any personally identifiable information about any child under the age of 13.
2)Definitions. As used in this Agreement, (a) "Affiliates" means any entity controlled by, in control of, or under common control with Prime Publishing, (b) "Materials" means all content that you submit to Prime Publishing, including all photographs, illustrations, graphics and text, and (c) "Media" means any means of conveying information, whether now known or hereafter devised.
3)License Grant for Materials. You hereby grant to Prime Publishing and its Affiliates a worldwide, nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual right and license to (a) reproduce, distribute, transmit, publicly perform and publicly display the Materials, in whole or in part, in any manner and Media, (b) modify, adapt, translate and create derivative works from the Materials, in whole or in part, in any manner and Media, and (c) sublicense the foregoing rights, in whole or in part, to any third party, with or without a fee.
4)Removal of Materials. If you decide you would like to remove your Materials from the Service, you may provide written notice to Prime Publishing by either deleting the image through the Prime Publishing interface or by contacting Prime Publishing customer service, and Prime Publishing will remove such Materials from the Service within a reasonable period of time.
5)License for Name, Trademarks and Likenesses. You hereby grant to Prime Publishing, its Affiliates and sublicensees a nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to use all trademarks, trade names, and the names and likenesses of any individuals that appear in the Materials. You grant Prime Publishing, its Affiliates and sublicensees the right to use the name that you submit in connection with the Materials.
6)Specifications and Guidelines. You agree to submit Materials to us in accordance with all guidelines for use of the Service posted on the Prime Publishing web site or of which you are otherwise notified ("Guidelines"), as these Guidelines may be changed in the future.
7)Representations, Warranties and Indemnities. You represent and warrant to Prime Publishing and its Affiliates that (a) you have the right, power, and authority necessary to enter into this Agreement, to fully perform your obligations hereunder, and to grant the licenses set forth in Paragraphs 3 and 5 above, (b) you will comply fully with all terms of this Agreement, (c) the Materials submitted to Prime Publishing by you, and Prime Publishing’s and its Affiliates’ exercise of their rights hereunder, do not and will not violate, misappropriate or infringe any intellectual property right, including but not limited to trademark rights, copyrights, moral rights and publicity rights of any third party, (d) you possess all rights necessary for the reproduction, distribution, transmission, public performance, public display, and other exploitation of the Materials by Prime Publishing and its Affiliates as permitted hereunder, (e) the Materials are not pornographic, obscene, libelous, defamatory, tortious, or otherwise unlawful, and (f) all factual statements submitted by you are accurate and not misleading. You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold Prime Publishing and its Affiliates harmless from all claims, liabilities, damages, and expenses (including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses) arising from your breach of any representation or warranty set forth in this paragraph.
8)Restrictions. You agree that you will not submit Materials that are unlawful, pornographic, libelous, defamatory, tortious, obscene, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable, or that otherwise violate general Prime Publishing community standards. We expressly reserve the right to remove or not make available any Materials that we deem to be in violation of this Agreement, applicable laws or our community standards in our sole discretion. You agree that you will not upload, post, e-mail or otherwise transmit Materials to us or our Affiliates that contain software viruses or any other computer code, files, or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment.
9)No Obligation. Although we have the right to include your Materials in the Service or in any Media, we do not have the obligation to do so. We may, in our sole discretion and for any reason, refuse the Materials or remove them from our Service at any time.
10)Changes to Agreement. We reserve the right to change any of the terms of this Agreement or any Specifications or Guidelines governing the Service at any time in our sole discretion. All changes will be effective upon posting to the Service. However, for all changes to this Agreement, excluding Specifications and Guidelines, we will post a notice of change for thirty (30) days. You are responsible for reviewing the notice and any applicable changes. YOUR CONTINUED USE OF THIS SERVICE FOLLOWING OUR POSTING OF ANY CHANGES WILL CONSTITUTE YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH CHANGES.
11)Prime Publishing Intellectual Property. Without our prior written consent, you may not use our intellectual property, including, without limitation, our trademarks, trade names, trade dress, or copyrighted material, in any manner.
12)Communications. Prime Publishing and its Affiliates may communicate with you in connection with the Service, electronically and in other Media, and you consent to such communications regardless of any "Customer Communication Preferences" (or similar preferences or requests) you may have indicated on the web sites of Prime Publishing or its Affiliates or by any other means.
13)Waiver. PRIME PUBLISHING AND ITS AFFILIATES WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO SUCH DAMAGES ARISING FROM BREACH OF CONTRACT OR WARRANTY OR FROM NEGLIGENCE OR STRICT LIABILITY) ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THIS AGREEMENT, EVEN IF WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF (OR KNEW OR SHOULD KNOWN OF) THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
14)Disclaimer. PRIME PUBLISHING PROVIDES THE SERVICE "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.
15)Miscellaneous. This Agreement will be governed by the laws of the United States of America and the state of Washington, without reference to rules governing choice of laws. Any action relating to this Agreement must be brought in the federal or state courts located in Seattle, Washington, and you irrevocably consent to the jurisdiction of such courts. You may not assign this Agreement, by operation of law or otherwise, without our prior written consent. Subject to that restriction, this Agreement will be binding on, inure to, and be enforceable against the parties and their respective successors and permitted assigns. Our failure to enforce your strict performance of any provision of this Agreement will not constitute a waiver of our right to enforce such provision or any other provision of this Agreement subsequently. The Specifications and Guidelines (including all future changes) are incorporated by reference into this Agreement. This Agreement is in addition to, and does not supersede or modify, the terms and conditions of use of the web sites of Prime Publishing and its Affiliates.
Sharing Your Own Images
Who can share images?
You! Anyone who is a registered and logged in user.
What should I share?
Please share images that will help other visitors. For example:
- Images that highlight a article’s features ("Here are the controls on this music player", "See the clasp for this necklace", "Look at the box this came in")
- Images showing someone using a product ("Here I am wearing this scarf", "Install the ink cartridge here")
- Images related to a topic ("My dog Skipper", "A great outfit", "Our family at Yellowstone", "How to glue a chair using a cabinet clamp")
- Images that show how a product performs ("I took this picture with this camera", "This shirt shrunk in the wash", "The saw blade after 100 cuts")
- Images that give a sense of the size of the product ("This refrigerator is actually 6′ tall", "A cellphone the size of a credit card")
Do include captions for your images. While not required, they provide context for your images. Additionally, you can use the Image Notes feature to highlight one or more interesting areas in your image. Everyone will see your notes when they roll over your image.
What shouldn’t I share?
Behave as if you were a guest at a friend’s dinner party: please treat the Prime Publishing community with respect. Do not share:
- Profane, obscene, or spiteful images, or any images with nudity
- Images to which you do not own the intellectual property rights
- Images featuring phone numbers, mail addresses, or URLs. You can watermark an image with copyright information.
- Images featuring availability, price, or alternative ordering/shipping information
- Images featuring external Web sites, contests, or other solicitations
- Any personal information about children under 13
- Images with automobile license plates that are prominent and easily read (pictures with license plates that have been fuzzed out or that otherwise cannot be read are acceptable).
The same guidelines apply to your captions and notes.
What image formats and sizes are supported?
We support JPEG, GIF and PNG images. Files must be no more than 1MB. Both the image height and the image width must be between 60 and 3500 pixels.
Instead of uploading an image, can I just enter a link to an image?
No, all images must be uploaded to Prime Publishing. This ensures your image is always available.
How long does it take to upload an image?
The time varies depending on the speed of your Internet connection and the size of the image file. For a 400KB image, for example, you should expect 2 to 4 minutes over a 56KB modem and under 1 minute for DSL or cable modem.
Where will my image appear?
Generally your image will appear where you uploaded it: in the article image gallery.
Who owns the images I upload?
The rights owner of the image continues to own the image; uploading your image to Prime Publishing does not transfer ownership.