Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Basics of Hand Stitching


Holloughby has a great post today up showing some basics of hand stitching, including great pictures. I'm not the greatest of hand stitchers and really I love how clean and neat decorative hand stitching can look on a finished project. I'll probably refer back to this over time.
Oh hello!
This week I'm going to show you the basic techniques that I use when I'm sewing the Sewing Tuesday projects.You can go through the information here and practice it on a scrap of fabric, or go ahead and start any Sewing Tuesday project and come back to this page if you get stuck. :)
Sewing Terms.
  • Right side - This is the patterned side of the cloth, or the side that you want to show on the outside.
  • Wrong side - This is the back of the cloth, the un-patterned side, the side you don't want people to be able to see. Usually the wrong side of the fabric ends up on the inside of your sewing.
  • Seam - The line where the stitches hold two bits of cloth together.
Thread.
I like to have a length of thread that's just as long as my arm so I don't get in a tangle. You could have it shorter if you like, maybe if you are only doing a tiny bit of sewing.
  1. Hold the reel of thread in one hand and the loose end in the other. 
  2. Put the hand with the reel under your chin. 
  3. Stretch your other arm out away from you as far as it'll go letting the thread unravel as you go. 
  4. Chop the thread next to the reel with sharp scissors so you get a nice blunt end for threading your needle.
Single thread.
This is good to use if you are worried you might go wrong. It's really easy to take off the needle and unpick a few stitches, then just re-thread the needle and carry on. You need to watch out that you don't pull your thread out of the needle by accident while sewing though, or get the free end tangled up in the stitches. The arrow shows you where to tie the knot.
single thread
Double thread.
I like to use double thread as it's a bit stronger, good for stuffed items. I love making stuffed items. The thread can't slide out of the needle while you are sewing, so you can maybe go a bit faster. It looks like this:
double thread
Tying a good knot.
I tie knots this way but you can use your favourite way. Some people don't tie a knot at all, they just do a few teeny stitches on top of each other to hold the thread at the beginning of their sewing. I like a knot though as it feels safer, especially if I'm going to stuff the thing and then play with it!


1 = Index finger
2 = Middle finger
T = Thumb.
Wrap the thread a few times around your middle finger, keep hold of the other end in your other hand.
a knot
Rub your middle finger and your thumb together to tangle up the threads you wrapped around.
b knot
Work the tangle towards the end of your middle finger, bring in your index finger and run it down the thread towards the tangle ready to catch the tangle between your index finger and thumb.
c knot
Pull the thread gently with your other hand and slide the tangle off your middle finger. Use your index finger to pull the tangle to the end of the thread, hopefully making a knot!
d knot
When you are a beginner, this doesn't always work and it does take practice. It's worth it though as when you get good at it, you can tie big knots really fast.
Please go directly to Holloughby for the rest of the post which includes specific stitches and tying off at the end.

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