Hand Stitches

Hand Stitching

Hand Stitching

This lesson will teach you how to sew a series of hand stitches beginning with even and uneven basting. You will learn how to thread trace, which you will use to mark your sewing and draping grainlines. The how, why and where to use diagonal basting stitches and tailor tacks, and how to fell stitch and pad stitch a jacket collar and lapel. We will also teach you how to sew a whipstitch and where to use it. These stitches are the foundation for most of your sewing projects and are also used in the draping process.

Be sure to view our fashion sewing classes and our couture sewing tutorials.

Module Description Step
1 Even Basting or Running Stitch 1-2
2 Uneven Basting Stitch 1-4
3 Thread Tracing/Thread Marking/Guide Basting 1-5
4 Diagonal Basting 1-16
5 Tailor Tacks 1-33
6 Fell & Pad Stitching 1-26
7 Whipstitching 1-11
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MODULE 1 • Even Basting or Running Stitch

Step Description
1 For this lesson, we have prepared a piece of felt measuring 9” wide (22.9cm) by 12” (30.5cm) long and drew three chalk lines at 2” (5.1cm) apart. For demo purposes, we will be sewing our basting stitches on a single fabric layer.
2A Thread your needle with an 18” (45.7cm) strand of cotton thread. You may choose to use two strands of thread when basting thicker fabric layers or if you anticipate extra strain on the seam when fitting a garment. For an even basting stitch or running stitch, insert your needle into the top of the fabric and pick up two stitches ¼” (6mm) apart on your needle. Then pull the thread through, leaving a 1” (2.5cm) thread tail. Create a backstitch if you like.
2B Take the next stitch 1/2” (1.3cm) away from the last and repeat the steps of picking up two stitches on your needle, each spaced at ½” (1.3cm) apart. Take care not to pull the thread too tightly, otherwise the fabric will bunch up. Here we are basting on the chalk line of our sampler, but a tip when basting an actual seam is to baste 1/16” (2mm) away from the garment’s stitching line so that the basting stitch doesn’t get caught in the machine stitch and can be easily removed later. You could also use this stitch to create gathers. though you would want your stitch length to be between 1/8” (3mm) – 1/4” (6mm)  long.


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