Who said you need to own a machine to complete amazing DIY projects at home? You can actually work through your list of projects and end up with neat seams done by hand. Here is a look at how you can hand sew a seam using some of the most common finishing, hand stitches.
As with any sewing project, there are a few materials you’ll need.
3 Types of Hand Stitches
1. Slip Stitch
This is one of the common stitches that is often used when you want to close a simple hem on a project such as a handmade pillow.
What makes a slip stitch the best for a pillow is the fact that it is invisible. To hand sew the seam, you will need to start with a thread that matches your fabric. Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread to keep it from pulling through your needle. As a note, you should always pull the needle through the fabric from the inside of the fold to keep your end knot hidden.
The needle should be positioned directly across from the exit point of your first stitch in order for it to be able to go back through to the inside of the opposite fold. Do this so that the seam can be perfect and the two sides of the fabric can be brought together at the same point to hide the stitch.
You should move your needle down along the fabric (at least 1/8 of an inch) and bring it back up along the same side. Pull the thread through and move the needle across to the other fabric. Make sure the needle enters the exact same point it did on the other side. As you move to the opposite side of the fabric, repeat the same procedure. After the gap is closed, make sure the stitches closing your seam resembles rungs of a ladder. Simple!
2. Running Stitch
When creating a basic seam you will need to use straight stitches, sometimes known as a running stitch. Running stitch can also be used as a basting stitch when sewn in longer lengths. This stitch will temporarily hold two pieces of fabric together. Try stitching shorter stitches if you need your seam to be stronger.
To hand-sew a seam, using a running stitch, start by bringing the needle out through the fabric from the backside. That’s how you will be able to keep the knot hidden. Move your needle at least ½ inch or so then push it back down through to the backside of your fabric. Make sure you continue in a straight line as you move the needle along. Bring it back through to the top of your fabric. Repeat the procedure but ensure the stitches are equally spaced to have a better-looking seam. The seam should look like a long line of dashes when complete.
3. Catch Stitch
Small and short stitches make a seam look neat and work best for hems. You can actually hand sew a seam with this type of stitch. A catch stitch usually works best on circular items like a round tablecloth.
Creating a seam with this type of stitch is great for a job such as attaching a thick facing to the hemline, like in the case of a sofa cover. If you want to sew a lining into your curtains, then you should also consider a catch stitch.
To make a seam with catch stitch, you should start by ironing your fabric then work from the left side of the fabric. Send the needle from the underside of your hem to the top. You will be able to hide the end knot. Pull the thread and bring it up over your hem to the top part of the fabric and to the right about 1/8 of an inch.
The needle should point back towards the left when you place it inside the fabric then send it down the fabric about 1/8 of an inch. Bring it out through the top layer. Put it back down towards the bottom section and cross over the last stitch diagonally. Send the needle through the right-hand side on the lower section 1/8 of an inch. Make sure you pull the thread properly to reveal the first stitch. Continue with the same steps until the seam is completely stitched. To make the seam look better than a normal, hand-sewn seam, make sure you follow a constant zig-zag motion.