Hand Sewing for Beginners

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A beginners hand sewing technique is the basting stitch, which consists of quarter-inch long stitches created by running the needle in and out of the fabric. Learn the basting stitch, which is helpful in piecing together a project before sewing the final seams, with instructions from a sewing craftsman in this free video on sewing.

Part of the Video Series: Sewing Machine Techniques
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Sam Lewis from madebysam.com and I'm here to discuss hand sewing for beginners. It is really as simple as a needle and thread and it is never that simple. The first thing you want to do is take a length of thread, snip the end of it so you have got a nice clean edge on it, and thread your needle. Now if you're hand sewing to repair or to make garments you usually are going to want to have a doubled section of thread so take your thread, pull it all the way through, wrap it once around your finger so you have got a little bit extra on the end, one loop, roll it along your fingers and pull it tight. That leaves you with a knot to keep the thread from pulling through. Now your basic, attach two pieces of fabric together, the stitch is just a simple running stitch, start from the inside of your fabric, pull your thread through and then however long you want to make your stitch. If you are doing it for basting you want a good long stitch say about 1/4 of an inch and the idea of this stitch is to hold the fabric together exactly where you want it, long enough for you to either come back and hand sew or machine sew your final seam. So a quarter inch up and a quarter inch down. Now the basting stitch doesn't have to be terribly precise. You are just trying to keep the fabric from moving side to side. Also as you go along and you pull it tight you will wrinkle the fabric like so, just tug the fabric to open it up and then once you have reached the edge of your fabric come back up through right next to your last stitch and then go under the last stitch and tie a simple knot and go right back through the loop you are making now and you are good to go, cut that off, return your needle to your pin cushion or you will find it later in a painful way. There is your basted edge and that's basic hand sewing for beginners.

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