Hand stitching may sound too tricky and time-consuming for some. But to tell you, it is a crucial sewing skill you should learn and master, especially when it comes to sewing the hem. Perhaps, you want to hide those stitches. It will give your garment a clean and professional look that no deluxe machines can achieve.
Also called invisible or slip stitch, blind stitch allows you to join two fabric pieces with concealed seams. You can use it in several fabrics, including twill and cotton. Ideal for sewing pant legs, hem dresses, etc. that require an invisible seam.
Ready to start your blind hem stitch creation? Get those sewing tools along with this guide, and you’re all set to go!
How to Do Blind Hem Stitch by Hand?
Start by threading the needle, then slip beneath the fabric folded side. Carefully pull the needle out and through. Get a little piece of the material beneath in which the hem sits. Get the folded part. Just continue following the pattern until you finish the opening. As you see, the process of hand sewing a blind hem stitch is just straightforward. Even less experienced sewers can use the trick.
Necessary Materials For Blind Hem Stitch
For this project to be successful, you’ll need to equip yourself with the right set of materials. Don’t worry; these are just easy to access and won’t cost you bucks. Here, you will need:
- Matching thread
- Hand sewing needle
- An iron
- The garment of your choice
Some sewists have a bit of trouble finding the right garment or fabric. Why not start with what you would like to do? Perhaps you still don’t have enough confidence in your hand sewing capability. In such a case, try some of a scrap of fabrics to get started.
Steps to Do Blind Hem Stitch by Hand
I have given you a glimpse of what you should do when making a blind hemstitch. Now, I will go into each detail to provide you with a much clearer idea.
Before delving more in-depth, you should know that doing a blind hem stitch would mean moving backward. Let’s say you are sewing left-handed. But when it comes to blind hemming, you will have to sew from right to left.
Now, here’s a step by step guide on how to do blind stitch by hand.
Step 1. Prepare the Thread
Thread the needle. How long should be the length will depend on the size of the seam you will work on. The rule of thumb indicates you should double the thread length. It’s better to have tons of extra than to come up short! Then, cut it through the needle and make a knot at the end. It could be a single or double strand of thread, depending on your fabric and what you want.
Threading the needle through your eyes is tedious. The struggle is more evident for those with poor eyesight. In this case, you can use a hand needle threader. But if it’s not handy, here’s a little trick you can do. And perhaps one that your mother or grandmother taught. Lick your thumb and twirl the thread. It will be sharp enough to go through the needle. Otherwise, the beeswax will do the job.
Step 2. Blind Stitch
Place the threaded needle inside the hem of your fabric or garment. Make a small stitch. Be sure the knot is not visible, somewhat concealed within the fold. Use pins to keep that fold in an accurate position.
Now, grab one to two threads from the wrong side. Tighten the thread by drawing it towards you. Reinsert the needle inside the fold another time. Then, slip through. Remove each pin as you reach the thread.
Secure your last stitch by creating a knot at the end. You can repeat the knotting method for as many as you can to provide more stability. But, be careful not to overdo it! As possible, make it close to the fold.
Step 3. Finish Up
Inspect the stitches. Make sure they are consistently formed, so they are hidden inside the fold. Use a sharp scissor to cut off excess thread. Press and iron out crumples. Toss your finished output at the right side and be ready to admire your hard work.
You may be wondering what’s the fuss about sewing blind hem stitches by hand rather than a machine. Both can produce a satisfying result. However, the significant advantage of doing it by hand is the greater control. The sizes and positions of your stitches are well arranged. Plus, it’s much easier to attain an invisible result.
It is a trial and error, yes. And there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the stitches utterly unseen to the naked eye. That’s also the reason why you should use a matching thread so that no one will ever notice.
But once you mastered the technique, you can have those gorgeous hems anytime you want. Such an exceptional skill worth sharing with your kids, family, or friends! You can even save hundreds of dollars from alterations for hem pants, curtains, and skirts. Invisible stitches also allow you to finish skirt waistbands, sew your favorite pillow, and more.
Tips for Hand Sewing Blind Hem Stitches
- Pay attention to the thread’s quality. Settle for durable, high-quality threads to secure those hidden stitches. You surely don’t want to deal with a broken thread and repeat the entire hem sewing process. It should be strong enough to hold the hem closed. However, it shouldn’t be thicker than your garment or fabric.
- Use only a sharp needle. Avoid the dull ones. Be sure it is thin, and the needle eye is small. It will guarantee there would be no vast cuts left inside the material.
- The tape measure or sewing gauge is usually used when marking a hem. It offers an accurate estimate so you won’t end up with too short fabric.
- For hemming a lighter fabric, it’s crucial to hang it up overnight. Allow to ‘drop.’ It is an essential step for any sewer.
- And if it’s a garment, be sure to wear it for a precise mark. Do this with pins, chalk, or a basting stitch. You can also use clips if none of these alternatives are available. Though, the fabric you intend to sew must not be delicate.
- I have mentioned that your thread should perfectly match your fabric color. Otherwise, pick a thread with a color that is darker than your fabric. A gray thread is also ideal. It blends well with any material, plus you may find it easier to notice when sewing.
- Create a uniform stitch to make the hem invisible. Ensure the spaced distance between each stitch. Do not make it extremely large because you’re only making those small sections highly noticeable.
- There are also other ways to sew invisible hem stitches by hand. You can try ladder stitch, which is considered the best method for joining seams and fabric edges. Lock stitch creates a strong stitch, thanks to the loops.
What Types of Garments and Fabrics Can I Use for Blind Hem Stitch?
One good thing about the blind stitch method is that you are not limited to using materials. It works best on medium to heavier fabrics. These include twill, rib-knit, denim, sweater knits, and double-faced fabric. Use it to make a hem on several garments such as a sweater, tailored jacket, cardigan, and curtain. On the other hand, it may become less suitable for silk fabrics, blouse fabrics, and think jersey knits.
How to Make a Decorative Hem?
Now that you have finished making blind hem stitches, it’s time to be creative as you want. It is always delightful to transform basic designs into something to yearn for. In case you’re already short of ideas and want to explore further, you can try adding lace trim. If not, add pom-pom trim or rickrack to your garment’s edge. You have tons of options to add interest to your simple fabrics.