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Hand Stitching

Okay, we’ve got to talk……

There’s no hiding it anymore………….or at least trying to.


I have ridiculously short and stubby thumbs. No more cropping my thumbs out of the pictures or trying to bend them out of the way, avoiding the camera lens. They are lovely in their own little way.


And just for the record, no they did not get cut off, get stuck in a door, or trimmed down to use the skin and bone to graft to other parts of my body. (Yes, all those things are questions I’ve had since childhood….) Hahaha!


Ridiculous that I’m even wasting space talking about my thumbs. But, now I can feel better. ((wink))


And I know there are more of you out there. (Who have realized, just like I have, that they will never be a hand model!!) Come on, embrace those little stubs.


Whew, onto the tutorial for today. (And a LOT of thumb pictures!!) :)


I have had several questions about hand stitching, shortcuts, etc.


I figured I would share this with you all.


When I was a little girl, my mom taught me how to knot thread. I don’t know if other people do it this way or not, but I find it to be the quickest way to put a knot in the very end.


Wrap the end of the thread around your moistened (yes this helps) forefinger one time. See how the thread lays across your finger 2 times? (The rest of the thread is draped across my middle finger and is hanging down behind my hand. You just can’t see it.)


Now, you’ll roll those 2 parts of the thread together by sliding your thumb across your forefinger. This should twist the thread around itself about 4 or 5 times. If not, try again.


Then slide this twisted part between your thumb fingernail and your forefinger and pull the other end with your other hand.


Keep pulling…..


Until it knots itself.


Okay, try it a few times and you will see that this is a true time saver. Thanks mom! And whoever really discovered this technique.


Then, take your first stitch on the inside of your project, to hide the knot.


Do you know how to do a quick whip stitch? (I think that’s what this is called. If not, tell me.)


This is such a quick, I’m-not-concerned-if-it’s-noticeable, type of stitch. I use it on some of my own stuff or to mend something of the kids’ real quickly. Just take a little bit of each side of the fabric that you are trying to close, with the needle, and pull your needle through. Then take another bit of your fabrics a little ways up and push your needle through and pull the thread through. Repeat until your fabrics are closed together. Always move up the same amount each time so that your finished stitching looks uniform.


How to tie a quick and secure end-knot? Another quick technique from my mom.


Loop your needle through your fabric right at the spot where you’d like to end your stitch. Try to grab some fabric and some of the thread that is already in place. Pull the thread all the way through, except for a little loop.


Then bring your needle under and through the loop.


Pull the thread through, except for another little loop. (Which is below the first one.) Now you have 2 loops.


Then, put your needle through this second loop from underneath and pull slowly.


Keep pulling slowly until your looped thread pulls tightly down to the fabric and creates a nice little knot.


Always do this twice.
At least that’s what my momma always told me!! It just secures it extra well.


Then stick your needle back into your fabric and exit an inch or so away.


Pull your needle and thread out and pull all the way through so you can’t see anymore loose thread by your knot. Then snip off this end, really close to the fabric, and the string will disappear. That will help hide that little loose end and then you don’t have to cut it too close to the knot.


What do I use to nicely finish a project…….or items that I sell?
Well, this hidden stitch or blind stitch…….whatever it’s called or whatever you like to call it.


And, Rose sent a great link HERE to another tutorial that explains it well. Then I don’t have to. :) (Thanks Rose!)


I start this hidden stitch the same way and finish it the same way, except I am really careful about making the knot towards the inside of the seam. (The stitching on the left.)

(See? It just disappears. So nice.)


Anyway, I hope that helps some who wonder, “what in the world is she talking about…” when I say to just whip it closed with a hand stitch.


And now you know my funky thumb secret too. ( I know my sisters and childhood friends are laughing……)


Enjoy your day!

Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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