Hand sewing with a slip stitch gives immeasurable benefits to your finished sewing projects. The slip stitch is almost invisible and ever so so neat. This stitch is sometimes known as ladder stitch or invisible stitch and can be used to sew up hems of pants or skirts and even gaps in stuffed toys and cushions. When used for toys and cushions it gives a firm, but invisible closure, after the stuffing has been added.
Slip stitch is very useful for delicate fabrics as you can work the stitches into the fold of the garment. Slip stitch will also come up tops for stitching bulky fabrics. With slip stitch, you can handle thicker fabric hems with ease without putting it through the sewing machine.
How to Do Slip Stitch For Hems
Slip stitch is usually used for wider hems. Use a matching thread for an invisible result
Step 1 - Press the Hem
You will be working on the wrong side of the garment. Prepare the hem to be stitched by folding and ironing as well as pinning it in place. The slip part of the stitch is going to hide in the fold of the fabric. For my sample, I pressed my hem by ¼ inch (6mm) then 1 inch (2.5cm) again for a double hem.
Step 2 - Hide the Knot
Unfold the fold of the hem to start. Begin with the needle and thread inserted in the fold. Bring the needle through the fold ready for the first stitch.
You will be working right to left.
Step 3 - First Stitch
Pick up a few threads with the needle in the space just under the fold of the hem. This is to catch the fabric of the main part of the garment. Make these stitches neat and even as this is the only part that will show on the outside. Usually, just a few threads are enough to anchor the hem.
Step 4 - Needle into the Hem
Push the needle back into the fold of the hem and slip it along in the fold for about ¼ inch (6mm).
Step 5 - Pull
Gently pull the thread taut and repeat - catch another few threads of the main fabric then slip back into the fold again.
Step 6 - Finishing
Continue in this way for the length of the hem or seam closure. Finish off inside the fold with a double stitch to close off the thread.
When your hem or seam closure is complete you will be very happy with the result. Slip stitch, when carefully completed, hardly shows on the right side. Most of the threads are hidden in the fold as the needled slipped in there and out again catching the threads of the main fabric along the way.
How to Do Slip Stitch for Seams and Repairs
Slip stitch is also known as ladder stitch and is a stitch used for repairing seams and closing gaps in toys and pillows. It is worked in a similar way through the fold of the seams.
Step 1 - Starting
Using a strong thread, thread a needle double and knot the end. Insert the needle from the inside into the fold of the seam. This way the knot will be hidden inside.
Step 2 - First Stitch
Put the needle through the fold of the seam at 2 and bring it out a short distance away at 3. The smaller this stitch the more invisible and stronger your seam will be. Try to make this fold stitch ⅛ - ¼ inch long (3-6mm).
Step 3 - Next Stitch
Bring the needle over to the fold on the other side and take another stitch through the fold inserting at 4 and coming out at 5.
As you repeat this stitch you will see that the stitches form a ladder-like appearance. Gently pull every inch or so to close the seam.
Step 4 - Finishing
Repeat this crossing over motion until you get to the end of the hole in the seam. You can then knot off by inserting the needle through the last loop and pulling tight.
Slip Stitch- In Conclusion
Slip stitch is a versatile and often used hand stitch to invisibly close seams and hem.
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