It may sound miraculous, but learning different stitching can impact your ability to confidently repair and prevent future wear and tear on your project. You can even sew a project from scratch! -Learning a few of these stitches can make a big difference.
In this Tutorial you will need:
A needle: Size of hole doesn’t matter, but a smaller eye of a needle creates less difficulty in pulling the thread through the fabric.
Thread: If sewing is brand new to you, try practicing with a color that will be easy to see against an opposite color (black thread on white cotton, or red on black). It can be a matching color later when you feel more confident.
Fabric: If you are just practicing, I recommend a piece of cotton too small for a project. You can also use the fabric you intend to create something with, but it may be less stressful to get some practice on a scrap first. Cotton for me has been the beginner fabric. It has a neat, clear grain, and is easy to iron folds in place when needed.
Beeswax: When rubbing some beeswax on the edge of the thread, it will make it easier to thread through your needle if you aren’t using a needle threader. There are circular beeswax tools for this very job. I just use a spent beeswax candle and I run the edge of the thread on the wax.
Needle threader: This tool looks like a coin with a diamond wire on the end of it. It helps pull thread through an eye of a needle without using beeswax. This tool is great for those who struggle with shaky hands, but its only useful for big eye needles.
Iron: Some might say it is essential to use a iron when stitching, but that can only go so far with certain simple projects like these. Right now, we are focusing on sewing that doesn’t require an iron, but it would be nice to have in the future or to finish your stitch work at the end.
For more information about Sewing Tools, feel free to browse the Sewing Tools Article.
Before we start: I wanted to point out a few reasons why I made my tutorials the way I did.
Firstly: I color coded each type of stitch (Rolled hem and whip-stitch are taught in the same project.) so as to separate each lesson and reduce confusion. The color is also designed to pop out and show where the punctures are.
Secondly: The thread I am using is embroidery thread and I am using 3 strands at a time to make the tutorial easy to see. These projects I suggest to be the same color thread as the fabric (for finished projects), but you can use whatever color you desire. One strand is enough with a loose tail, but I like to double strand my thread to have two strands to ensure a bit more strength in my sewing, and to make sure my thread doesn’t separate from my needle.
Make sure you have plenty of thread to work with, but not too much to get easily tangled. It’s ok to tie off a line if the thread isn’t long enough for the whole project. Working in sections is the best way to learn!
If you aren’t sure how to thread a needle and prepare it for sewing, feel free to look at this tutorial.
Running Stitch: The most basic stitch out there, is known as the run-on stitch or running stitch. This can sew two pieces of fabric together with minimal sewing skills. Most projects can be made with this stitch, though it isn’t the most durable type of sewing. The thinner the fabric you use, the smaller your stitches need to be.
Note: I choose which side is the back (wrong side) by which side has the end tail knot. The front (right side) does not have any end knot.
Back Stitch: This one is for tight sewing work, and if the fabric frays in a spot, it won’t unravel the rest of the project. It will isolate a frayed area of the fabric and won’t undo the rest. -Known as the best “heavy duty” stitch for hand sewing.
Rolled Hem Stitch and Whip-stitch: Useful for a myriad of edge projects. Everything from tea towels to skirts, its flawless when finished.
Ladder Stitch (Invisible Stitch): This is the stitch that blew my mind as a kid (-as I learned how to sew pillows closed from my grandma). This stitch allows you to close a gap from the outside without any trace. When done with some patience, the finished work looks fantastic!
This tutorial is for closing a gap in either a object like a pillow or stuffed animal, or for clothing. Two sides and a gap are implied to be there to sew shut.
Blanket Stitch: Great for edges of thicker fabric, and most commonly used for blankets. I also use this stitch for muslin I cut and sew for straining cloths in cooking projects. This stitch requires the fabric to be folded upon itself to sew the two layers together into a pretty edge. This stitch is useful on both one layer or two layers of fabric.
Herringbone Stitch: This stitch is known from embroidery work, but it is also great for hemming heavy fabric. This can include Tapestry fabric (like curtains), wool and other items that are considered heavy and need a more forgiving stitch to keep it all in place.
Button Hole Stitch: This may be the most complicated of the eight, but with some practice, you will feel like a million bucks. This stitch style is for the hole you push the button through with dressing your garment or item with a button or tie. The stitch allows the hole to not fray with friction of use. It will make the hole strong and ready for dressing.
Here we have all our projects side by side!
Thank you for following through my tutorial! If you would like to see more, feel free to hit the Subscription Button on the top right corner to update you on any new articles or content.
Most stitches are known already by me and are not referenced. All tutorial photos belong to Sonya C. “The Bone Generation”.