Today we are diving into the world of hand sewing and learning four easy stitches that will instantly add a gorgeous Couture touch to any of your projects.
The world of Couture sewing is such a vast and intriguing place. For us, home seamstresses, it’s full of mystery techniques and forgotten tricks, of dream gowns and sequins sewing… (dreamily sighs…)
Recently, I had the great pleasure to watch the movie Dior and I. It’s simply amazing to see how gorgeous gowns are skilfully created by expert hand sewing. And, there’s no sewing machines in sight in those ateliers, that’s what makes this process even more magical.
So to celebrate the art of hand sewing, I thought you would enjoy a collection of hand stitches How-To, so you can use for your everyday sewing!
Ready to give a little couture touch to your garments? Get your needle out and let’s start to sew! 🙂
This stitch is my favourite hand stitch, it’s very easy to make and can be used in a number of situations. For example, you can nicely hem a skirt or dress, or stitch down the seam allowances to an underlining inside a dress.
It’s a little counter intuitive to start the catch stitch, but once you’ve done the first few stitches, it’ll be very easy.
To create this stitch, you’ll need to sew from left to right. Start by knotting your thread and securing it to the hem or lower layer of fabric like you normally would. Then with your needle, take a small horizontal stitch on top of the hem going in from right to left.
Next, still going into the fabric from right to left horizontally but this time into the hem. Continue in this manner, always stitching horizontally from right to left and altering on top and in the hem and you’ll create the most exquisite catch stitch.
This stitch is often used to insert zippers by hand. Very strong but barely visible, it only shows tiny dots of thread. This is perfect when you don’t have an invisible zipper at hand but still want an inspicuous closure.
To work the pick stitch, you want to go into your fabric and to the left, away of your knot. When you come up, take a very small stitch right behind (or to the right) then go back under and come back up to the left of the first stitch made.
Continue in this manner and you’ll neatly attached your zipper in no time.
Such an invaluable stitch to know, the slip stitch is perfect when you want to join two edges together and don’t want it to show. This invisible point is made by taking your needle through one edge, then through the other.
By making sure that you’re taking stitches inside of the seam, you’ll end up with a perfectly invisible hand stitch edge.
Just what you need when you want to sew on some binding or close a decorative tab.
Very similar to the pick stitch, the back stitch is a great technique to know when hand sewing a garment. This stitch is very strong yet allows movement so it’s perfect to permanently join a bodice and a skirt for example.
To give you an idea, when I was making my wedding dress last year, the whole waist seam was stitched using the back stitch and wax thread. And the result was a lot better and cleaner (and on the first try!) than any machine seam I could have done, so don’t hesitate to use it for your next fancy evening dress.
To create a back stitch, the technique is the same than the prick stitch. However, instead of only taking small stitches, you want your needle to come back to your starting point and connect the stitches. So it goes: go under to the left, then come back into your starting point and repeat.
Don’t you feel like an accomplish seamstress using these gorgeous hand stitches to finish your work? 🙂
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning these techniques and that you’ll have fun stitching in the future! Let me know if you itch to read more How-To on the subject, I’m always happy to help!