Sometimes, a sewing machine simply can’t turn you into magician.
Your hand-stitching needle can!
Learn how to sew a ladder stitch when sewing a seam closed – and watch your stitching disappear like magic. Some also call this a “blind stitch,” but I think that term is more suitable for hems and such, even if the concept is similar.
This technique is perfect for sewing pillows closed, as well as for other small projects like placemats, coin purses, and other applications where you don’t want to topstitch but still need to close an opening.
First, press the seam allowance toward the inside of the project, making sure the folded edge is nice and crisp. Next, load your needle with thread, doubling it. Tie the ends using a quilter’s knot, using the technique shown in the second half of this tutorial (the process is the same even though your thread is doubled).
You’ll be stitching from right to left. Poke your needle underneath and into the crease of the seam allowance farthest from you – from the inside, and as far to the right of the opening as possible, as shown below. The knot will be hidden inside the project, and even inside the folded seam allowance.
(you’re already a magician, right?)
After you’ve pulled the needle and thread all the way through, insert it into the folded seam allowance closest to you – and directly across from where the thread of the first stitch emerged. Travel with your needle about 1/8 of an inch inside that fold, and poke the needle back out of the fold, as shown in the two photos below. The stitch will be hidden inside the fold. Pull the needle and thread through to finish that stitch.
Repeat the process by inserting the needle into the opposite seam, directly across from where your latest stitch emerged. Travel with the needle inside the fold about 1/8″ again.
Continue in the same manner across the opening. Your stitches will resemble a ladder, back and forth, as shown below. Pull each stitch gently so the seam closes without rippling. You should only be able to see a hint of the thread from each stitch…and only if you look really carefully!
When you approach the end, tie a simple knot and clip the thread as close to the seam as possible, so just the tiniest knot is visible. If this is a project that will be used frequently, feel free to tie a second knot for security.
If you’ve managed to sew a ladder stitch neatly, you’ll hardly be able to see it at all!
…just dare your friends and family to find where you hand-stitched your project closed….
This is how I stitched the seams closed in my quilted placemat project, below:
Don’t you feel magical? Happy hand sewing!
Deanna McCool writes for sewmccool.com. To make sure you don’t miss any posts, please follow SewMcCool by e-mail (the link is at the top of the right-hand column) or join me on BlogLovin’ – the button is just below the e-mail feed box! 🙂