Handstitching Basics — More Stitches

Parte The Fourth (more stitches)

Okay, now what do you do. To finish the line of stitching, you could tie a knot. But the best thing to do is to go back where you came from. In other words, turn the fabric 180 degrees and insert the needle where the last stitch began so you’re effectively sewing in the “spaces” between the stitches you made. Make three or four stitches this way, opposite the stitches coming the other direction. Now cut your thread. It won’t pull out.

Tie a knot in the end of your thread again (or thread your needle again if you have too little left) and let’s do another stitch.

Turn your fabric 90 degrees and insert your needle from underneath your fabric and come up where your stitches ended on the adjacent side.

The Back Stitch
The Back Stitch is a small, even stitch used for seams that require strength. It’s the second most popular stitch in historical sewing. It’s very common on underarm seams, sleeve attachments and crotch seams.

Insert the needle 1/8″ behind where you came up and push the needle all the way through the fabric. From underneath the fabric, bring the needle forward and touch the point 1/8″ in front where you came up in the first place. Repeat until you reach the end. Your stitches should look the same as running stitch but they should be one next to each other without any space between them.

Here’s a graphic for the visual learners:

Practice this stitch until you get your stitches even and all the same size. This is the single most useful stitch you will ever need to know.

Next time… Even More Stitches


© 2006 Kass McGann. All Rights Reserved. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.