Thursday, 25 April 2013

Handstitching Part I - Seams

In 'Vogue Sewing' there are a full 4 pages dedicated to 21 different hand stitches. I'd heard of a grand total of 5 of them. I have vowed to remedy this.
So I painstakingly ironed a bit of very crumpled old sheet and have started to wonkily stitch my way through them all.

I'm starting with seams and I'm starting easy.

Running stitch is the most simple, the needle simply weaves its way in and out of the fabric every few millimetres. It isn't very robust, so it shouldn't be used for seams under any strain, but it could be used for securing tucks (small decorative folds of fabric, maybe on the front of a blouse). Also used for easing and gathering where you want to bunch the fabric up along a thread.

Next is backstitch which is a lovely strong stitch and really for repairing tricky seams where you can't get a machine in.
First bring the needle from the reverse to the front of the fabric, then poke it back through a few millimetres (mm) behind and bring it out a few mm in front. If you pull the thread down, you should be making a 'T' shape with every stitch.

This is the same fabric. Proof that I ought to work on my photography.

The right side of the stitching has very neat even stitches which touch, just like machined stitching. The wrong side has overlapping stitches and when I do it looks like a right mess.

(It looked quite nice on the other side in my defence)

The half-backstitch, can be used for any seam according to Vogue Sewing. It uses almost the same method of backstitch, but when the needle is taken backwards you only go half the way back to the previous stitch, but the needle is taken forward further.

Prickstitch is just a smaller version of the half-backstitch, when you create the stitch going backwards, only a few threads are caught. This stitch is used to insert zippers.

Next time... Hemming!  Also... better lit photos!

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