The two most common ways to use hand stitching for a seam are using either a running stitch or a back stitch. They are not as strong as using a sewing machine but sometimes you can’t beat the convenience of sewing by hand. If you have a quick alteration or something to mend then this is a great way to quickly get the job done with a minimum of tools.
HAND STITCHING SEAMS
What you need
- Scrap fabric or your project to be sewn
- Hand sewing needles. These come in assorted sizes. Choose one that suits your thread and fabric.
- Strong thread in a matching color. I have used a contrast thread for my sample photos but you will find using a matching color will be more forgiving.
- Good lighting! Sit near a window or bright lamp. You will be amazed at the great results you will get with decent light.
Start by threading your needle and knotting your end. Overly long threads tend to tangle so try starting with a maximum length of 12 inches (30cm). If your cotton is thin then double it over then knot the ends together.
HOW TO SEW RUNNING STITCH
This is one of the easiest and fastest hand stitching methods. Make small up and down stitches of even length. The smaller your stitches, the stronger your seam will be. Click here for how to sew a running stitch step by step.
HOW TO SEW BACK STITCH
This hand stitch will give you a nice strong seam and is great for repairing clothing. First, put the needle down through the fabric and bring it up. Pull the thread through. Then take a small back stitch in the fabric inserting it in the same place you started. Bring the needle up in front of the first stitch at an equal distance. Click here for step by step photos of how to hand sew with a back stitch. (Want more photos? Read how to sew a back stitch)
What will you be using these easy hand stitches for? Share in the comments section.
READ MORE IN MY HAND STITCHING SERIES
- PART 1 – 6 Basic Hand Stitches
- PART 2 – How to Sew a Seam by Hand – Running Stitch and Backstitch
- PART 3 – How to Sew Whip Stitch
- PART 4 – How to Backstitch
- PART 5 – How to Sew Blanket Stitch
- PART 6 – How to Sew a Ladder Stitch for an Invisible Closure