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Topic: Some hand sewing tecniques from Sew Daily  (Read 648 times)
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« on: March 31, 2011 10:18:46 AM »

I got this in an e-mail from Sew Daily, and I thought it might be usefull here.  The pictures did not come through tho...

- Many kinds of handsewing needles are available, and the one you choose will depend on the task. A sharp, however, is the needle most commonly used. Its round eye and medium length make it suitable for most stitching tasks.

- You can use beeswax or other thread conditioners to add strength to handsewing threads; it also helps prevent knotting.

- If youre basting, consider using silk thread because you can press over it without leaving an impression in the fabric.

- Most handsewing is best done with a single thread strand, though you can double the thread for added durability and for use on heavy fabrics. The ideal thread length is less than 24" (61 cm).

- To begin stitching, anchor the knot in the fabric or bury the end between two layers for an invisible start. Alternatively, take a few backstitches to secure the thread ends. Its important to keep hand stitches loose enough to avoid puckering, but tight enough to be secure.

So here are three of my favorite stitches. These are my core go-to stitches for seams and pretty hems.

One of the strongest stitches, the backstitch is ideal for sewing and/or repairing seams, topstitching, and inserting zippers. Backstitching looks much like machine stitching, only the stitches overlap on the underside.

To create a backstitch, bring the needle up at 1 and insert behind the starting point at 2. Bring the needle up at 3. Repeat by inserting at 1 and bringing the needle up at a point that is a stitch length beyond 3.


A catchstitch is a hemming stitch (visible on the wrong side) that is strong and well-suited to heavier fabrics. The catchstitch is worked from left to right and forms Xs over an edge. It works well for facings, to hem bulky fabrics, and on garments such as suits and coats. Catch only a small amount of the garment fabric to prevent show-through. The blind (or hidden) catchstitch is used between layers, much like blindstitch, to hem stretchable or heavier fabrics; the cross patterning of the stitch builds in flexibility and strength, as is important, for example, in childrens clothing.

Catchstitch Working from left to right, insert the needle into the garment at 1 and, picking up only a few threads of the fabric, bring the needle up at 2. Then, take the next stitch 1⁄4" (6 mm) ahead in hem, inserting at 3, picking up only a few threads, and bringing the needle back up at 4. Continue, alternating stitches between the hem and the garment.

Blind catchstitch Fold the hem edge back about 1⁄4" (6 mm). Follow the instructions for Catchstitch above, alternating stitches between the fold and the garment so that the stitches will be hidden between the layers when finished.


Mostly hidden inside a fabric fold, the uneven slip stitch works well for hemming, attaching patch pockets, and securing linings. A small stitch is taken on the outer fabric and the traveling stitches (between the visible ones) are inside the fabric fold.

Uneven slip stitch

Space stitches 1⁄8" (3 mm) to 1⁄4" (6 mm) apart. After securing the thread in the fold, take a small stitch in the garment or outer fabric, picking up only a few threads of the fabric. Then, take a stitch, about 1⁄4" (6 mm) long, in the fold, across from the stitch in the garment/outer fabric. Continue, alternating between tiny stitches in the garment/outer fabric and longer stitches in the fold.

Hope someone finds this usefull

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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011 02:49:34 PM »

Thank you so much for sharing!  I'm sure this info will help lots and lots of people!

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