How to Hand Sew

Knowing how to do a few simple stitches by hand can be a lifesaver from time to time. This article will show you how to do several quick mends. Ripped a seam on your favorite shirt? Is the button about to pop off? In just a few simple steps, you'll be able to repair it quickly, and save yourself some money in the long run!

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How To Do Simple Hand Sewing

Match the thread you're using as closely as you can to the existing thread that was used in the garment you're repairing. Cut about a 3 foot length of the thread. You don't want to work with too long a length, or the thread will tangle and knot up. The fun or frustrating part is threading the needle. Even though that little eye seems to wink shut, don't give up! The thread really will go through there. Once you've beaten the winking eye, pull the thread through until the ends are even. Tie the ends of the thread together with a simple loop knot. Now you're ready to learn a few simple mending stitches.

Mending a ripped seam: Turn the garment inside out and smooth out the seam area. Starting where the rip begins, stick the point of the needle into the fabric, through both sides, and back up again, having just a tiny area on the needle. Pull the needle and thread through the fabric until the knot is seated. Repeat this little stitch in the same place to lock your thread in. Using the same in and out weave, work your way down the seam towards the end of the ripped area. Sew in as straight as line as possible. When you get to the end of the rip, repeat the lock in loop. You'll need to knot the thread off before you cut it. Thread the needle under the last stitch and pull it through just until you have a small loop left, then thread the needle through this loop and pull it tight. Cut the thread off and enjoy your newly mended shirt!

Tips & Warnings

  • Thimbles can make hand sewing much easier for some, or very awkward for others. The thimble slips over the end of the finger that you push the needle with. I would suggest using the soft leather finger thimble that slips on like a glove finger. The standard hard thimbles can take some getting used to.
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