I used to hate hand stitching until I discovered 3 things:
1. The Thimble
2. Waxed Thread
3. The Magic Stitch
We'll talk about the first two later-- but today I wanted to show you the 'magic stitch'. I used this on the cap I showed you earlier this week. Truth be told, it's the only hand stitch I can do well!
I love this stitch because it's practically invisible from the right side and it's way less fussy than a slip stitch or applique stitch (or even a running stitch). Any inconsistencies or 'messy stitches' are hidden on the wrong side of the fabric.
I use this for stitching down quilt bindings, putting in zippers, applique... You can use this for anything that needs invisible stitching on one side only.
Prepare your Applique:First you'll need something to stitch. I traced this '3' off of the computer and cut it out of felt.
Sewing:I'm using contrasting thread, but you'll want to match your top fabric. Knot your thread, and bring your thread up through both layers.
Now (and here's the magic part!), put your needle back in right where you came out of, and come up about 1/4 inch away.
Work your way around your applique (or binding, or zipper). For a garment or quilt, I'd make my stitches about 1/4 inch apart. Since I'll be removing this later, I made my stitches a bit bigger. It's ok if your stitches aren't exactly the same length-- you won't see it!
Remember to always put your needle right back where you came out of! Since i used a contrasting thread, you can see the stitches in the photo above.
But once I fluffed up the felt a bit, it was practically invisible. I'm a pretty sloppy stitcher, but it looks pretty good to me!
Tips and Tricks:1. I find it easier to use a long needle, but experiment and see what works best for you.
2. Periodically check the wrong side of your work to make sure your thread isn't tangled.
3. I normally sew with my thread doubled, but working with a single strand will produce even less noticeable stitches.
As you can probably tell from the photos, I like to curl up on the couch to hand sew. It's such a welcome change from sitting at the sewing machine. How do you all feel about hand sewing? Love it or hate it?
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