If you are into embroidery or sewing, you probably know the basic hand stitches, whether you are a novice or not. Below are 10 of the basic hand stitches that you should know by heart. Bring out your sewing kit and start stitching.
- Running Stitch
- Basting Stitch
- Cross Stitch
- Slip Stitch
- Blanket Stitch
- Overcast Stitch
- Catch Stitch
- Couch Stitch
- Buttonhole Stitch
Let us start with the running stitch because it is the most basic type of hand stitches. It is a basic stitch that everyone must know because it is the best one to mend clothing.
To make the running stitch, bring your needle through the fabric from the back. Once the knot hits the fabric, make a stitch to the left or right. Bring the thread back up and repeat.
The basting stitch is almost the same as the running stitch but makes a longer stitch, about ¼ to ½ inches. Basting is usually done as an alternative to pinning or gathering fabric.
Cross stitch, also called catch stitch, is a stitch you can use for finishing hems. Starting from left to right, make tiny stitches on the hem. The stitches will appear as crosses on the wrong side of the fabric and small stitches on the right side. Make sure that you keep the stitches loose and even.
The slip stitch is perfect when you are trying to sew hems so that the stitches . This stitch is also good to use on patchwork. In making the slip stitch, the needle is pulled through the fold of the hem, then sewn to the fabric then back to the hem again. You repeat the process to complete the hem with no stitches coming out from the sewed hem.
The Backstitch is a strong stitch that was used to create different clothing long before the sewing machine was invented. In sewing backstitch, you pull the needle through the fabric, take a stitch downwards, then bring up the needle at the same distance beyond the first stitch. Repeat the following steps to create a chain of strong backstitches.
As its name suggests, the blanket stitch is the stitch used typically for finishing the edges of blankets. To sew a blanket stitch, you pull the needle through the fabric about ¼ inches from the edge from back to front. Then, place the needle at a small distance from the first point and pull it from the front to the back. Then, place the thread under the needlepoint and pull the needle—repeat steps to create blanket stitches that are about ¼ inches to ½ inches apart.
The Overcast stitch is usually used on the raw edge of a fabric to make it look neat and prevent threads’ unraveling. The stitch is made of short diagonal stitches done on the raw edge of the fabric. The diagonal stitches are of the same length and equally-spaced. A variation of the overcast stitch is double overcast, where you cross the stitches to form an X throughout. The double overcast stitch gives a smoother finish to the raw edges.
The Catch stitch creates a zigzag pattern that is invisible on the right side of the fabric. This stitch makes a perfect hemming stitch. In making the catch stitch, the needle catches a thread on the first fabric, then goes diagonally to catch a thread on the second fabric. The Catch stitch creates a stretchy stitch and great to use on hems where you need some stretch.
Also called a vertical hemstitch, the Couch stitch is a great option to sew a hem because it is invisible on the outside. To make the couch stitch, bring out the needle from behind the folded hem. The vertical stitch coming from the folded hem catches two threads in the fabric, then pushes the thread back to the hem and so forth, creating only tiny and almost invisible dots of thread on the fabric’s right side.
Making the buttonhole stitch is almost the same as the blanket stitch. The only difference is that the buttonhole stitch is done with a knot. Create the buttonhole stitch by inserting the needle from the top then down. You loop the thread on the lower portion of the needle, creating a knot on top of the loop made for a blanket stitch. If used as buttonholes, you must stitch the buttonhole stitches very closely to each other to meet its purpose.
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What is a top stitch by hand?
A topstitch is the visible stitching that you see from a short distance away from the seam line like a coat or a jacket sleeve. Topstitching is usually done for decorative purposes but is used for construction and durability as well. A top stitch by hand uses the running stitch.
What is the best stitch for hand sewing?
The Backstitch is one of the strongest, if not, the strongest of the hand stitches, even comparable to stitches done on a sewing machine. It is also adaptable and versatile as it can be used as a replacement for knots to secure the beginnings and endings of hand-sewn seams. It is also a great stitch to use in hand embroidery to create solid lines for outlines or letters.
How many types of stitches are there?
You can find 22 types of hand stitches and six types of machine sewing stitches. Whether you are sewing clothes, embroidering fabrics, quilting, or mending your shirts, you need to know and practice even the most basic of these various stitches.
Is hand sewing as strong as machine sewing?
Backstitching is a hand stitch that is comparable in strength to machine sewing. The overlapping of threads in backstitching makes it a strong stitch, similar to machine stitches that use two strands of thread for sewing.
How do you practice hand sewing?
You practice hand sewing by bringing out your basic sewing materials such as needle, thread, scissors, and fabric. Practice on at least six of the very basic hand stitches such as the running stitch, Backstitch, slip stitch, catch stitch, blanket stitch, or overcast stitch. It would also be helpful to know each stitch’s purpose to give you more inspiration in tackling more advanced sewing projects in the future.
What are the different types of embroidery stitches?
- Running Stitch
- Split Stitch
- Stem Stitch
- Satin Stitch
- French Knots
- Chain Stitch
- Lazy Daisy Stitch
- Cross Stitch
- Seed Stitch
The running stitch is one of the most common and most basic stitches and one of the most essential. It is a quick and easy way to outline a design. You can do the running stitch using two methods.
In the sewing method, you weave the needle through the fabric in a continuous motion to create several stitches at once. Another method called “push and poke,” you push the needle through the fabric from back to front, then poke the front of the fabric to the back, making one stitch at a time.
The Backstitch is a great stitch to use when creating solid lines such as hand embroidering letters or doing an outline.
Start by pulling your threaded needle through the fabric then do one stitch forward. From below, space the needle according to your desired stitch length, then pull up your needle through the fabric. Then poke your needle back down through the end of the previous stitch.
The split stitch also creates a solid line similar to the Backstitch. The split stitch is also good for making texts and outlines as well as for filling designs.
Begin by pulling the needle up through the fabric and create one straight stitch. Bring up the needle and floss through the fabric through the center of the stitch you created. Stitch forward the same length of stitch as you did earlier. Repeat the process by always bringing the needle up through the center of each stitch.
The stem stitch is typically used to create stems and vines; that how it got its name. It is also the best choice for stitches that need to curve.
Create the stem stitch by sewing one straight stitch forward. Bring the needle up the fabric same with slip stitch, but instead of going through the center, go to the stitch side.
You can use Satin stitch to fill in embroidery shapes such as hearts, flowers, etc. and produces a design with a raised texture and a smooth appearance.
Draw the shape you want to fill for your guide. Create one stitch from one end of the shape to the other end. Bring the needle up again next to the opposite side of the first stitch. Repeat this process until you have filled in the whole shape. Make sure to keep the stitches close to one another to create a smooth and clean shape.
If your embroidery needs a quaint accent, the French knots maybe the stitch you need. It can be used as a flower, a “dot” accent, or used to fill in shapes. You can change your French knots’ size depending on how many wraps you make on the needle or how many strands of floss you are using.
A French knot is made by bringing the needle and floss up through the fabric, then, wrap the floss around the needle twice or thrice, depending on the size that you want. Hold the end of the floss tightly, then bring the needle down just next to space where it came through earlier.
The Chain stitch is a hand embroidery stitch you can use for an outline or as a frame. The stitch may look difficult to do, but the same as other stitches, enough practice will make you work with it comfortably.
To make the chain stitch, pull your needle and floss up through the fabric, then poke it down right beside where you first pulled up the needle. Create a loop by not pulling down the floss through the fabric. Bring the needle up through the loop and pull. This step stops the floss from being pulled through the fabric.
Repeat these steps to create the number of chain stitches that you need. To secure the end of your chain stitches, create a small stitch over the loop then make a knot on the wrong side of the fabric.
The Lazy Daisy stitch is perfect when you are embroidering petals or leaves. It is a variation of the chain stitch wherein instead of continuing the chain; a small stitch is placed over the end of the loop to create a daisy-like petal.
Similar to making the chain stitch, pull up needle and thread through the fabric and make a loop before pushing down near the first stitch. Create a small stitch over the loop to secure it in place. Repeat the process to make more Lazy Daisy stitches as desired.
The cross stitch is a decorative stitch composed of two straight stitches crossing at the center to form an X. Stitching a series of exes can create different patterns, or long lines of cross stitches can make a great border or frame.
The seed stitch is an easy yet fascinating stitch to look at. The seed stitch looks like seeds that were thrown randomly on the ground. The seed stitch makes a great filler stitch.
To create the seed stitch, bring up your needle and floss through the fabric and make a straight and short stitch. Make the next stitch from another angle and the other stitches from different angles as well. Continue making stitches until you have filled the area.