How Do You Do The Ladder Stitch On Jeans

For a professional sewer, it is already known that there are various kinds of stitches, and each type of stitch serves a different purpose. In a situation where you have to put an open split in your jeans, then you need a special kind of stitch that will not only beautify the design but also make sure it doesn’t look like a torn fabric.

This is where the ladder stitch comes in; this hand-made stitch design aims to close up in your jeans any opening that your sewing machine can’t reach by hand. If you are at the beginner stage of your sewing career, then this DIY technique will be of paramount help as you gain more experience.

How Do You Do The Ladder Stitch On Jeans

To do a slip stitch, also called ladder stitch, you need to prepare your closure, then fold your jeans inside the closure and iron press. Hide your knot and start the stitching on one side of the fabric. Repeat the stitch on the opposite side of the jeans fabric, working back and forth on both sides. Finally, knot your closure at the end of the stitching process and trim.

Steps to Do The Ladder Stitch On Jeans

The ladder stitch is a go-to hand sewing technique for sewers alike, as it is easy and fun to do. Hand-sewing is a necessary skill that must be learned by any tailor because a sewing machine cannot handle all parts of your fabric.

You can use the slip stitch anytime you want a stitch that you can’t see or when you want to close the gap that you can’t touch with your sewing machine.

You’re probably going to need a slip stitch to close your linen, trim a seam, hem your garment, attach a binding, apply an applique and close your pillow cover; this is just to mention a few things you can do with the ladder stitch. The ladder stitch is hidden and blends in with the rest of the seams.

The steps that will be explained below should set you on the path to making a useful ladder stitch for your jeans. Take note that the fabric you are making the stitch for is denim material, and as such, the needle should be tough and sturdy. Needle weights of 70/10 – 110/18 will serve the purpose. 

For this stitching technique, you need the following accessories:

  •  A sewing needle
  •  Thread
  • Scissors
  •  Iron (this is not an essential equipment for the stitch, it is used to hold the closure and fabric together).

Step 1

The first step is to press the tucked-in seam at your opening with the same amount of seam allowance as the seam you have sewn. This helps to create a line or ridge that will be used as a guide for where you take our stitches. You should also take note of the length of the thread needed to make the stitch.

Step 2

Next is to hide the knot you just created by passing the needle under the fold of your seam and taking it through the ridge. This will hide the knot inside the jeans fabric.

Step 3

At this level, you can press your seam together with an iron and make sure the two sides are perfectly matched, or you can pinch the seam together as you sew through. Now, on the other line, right over the first stitch, make a quick stitch around the ridge.

Step 4

Pass the needle through the edge of the fold at two concurrent points. Continue sewing through using this pattern and pinch your fabric together to know the next stitch point. Take the next stitch directly across the last one until you reach the end.

Step 5

When you move down the line, you can see that the stitches you have made a pattern similar to rungs on a ladder. Pull the stitches close as you pass down the seam surface. Your stitches will be concealed in the crease of your fold.

Step 6

At the end of your stitching, pull the thread to tighten your stitches but not too tight to avoid fabric and thread bunching. Follow this with a tiny stitch at the other side of your last stitch and knot thrice for reinforcement. 

Step 7

Now take your needle down inside and out of your job. That is going to cover the tail of your thread so that your knot is less noticeable. Cut the excess thread, and the ladder stitch on your jeans is all set.

The technique mentioned above will not only help you hand sew a ladder stitch on your jeans but also any fabric opening that needs a fancy closing.

Different Types Of Ladder Stitch

As you already know, the slip stitch, also known as ladder stitch, is shaped in the form of a ladder. The slip stitch is used to achieve different aims ranging from joining an opening in your jean fabrics to making it a type of embroidery design. The ladder stitch has 3 different types; the invisible ladder stitch, open chain stitch, and the herringbone ladder stitch. The first type is an excellent invisible joining stitch, while the other 2 types serve as decorative embroidery stitches.

  1.     Invisible ladder stitch.

The invisible ladder stitch is used very precisely and inconspicuously to link the two ends of the fabric, and the ladder stitch appears almost hidden between the edges of the material. This ladder stitch method keeps your fabric edges together with the folded parts adjacent to each other.

To make this type of stitch,

  •  Begin with the knot on the back on one side, then move to the other end of the fabric and make a small vertical stitch on the inside of the bottom of the fabric.
  • Similarly, take the other end of your piece of fabric and make another stitch.
  • Move back and forth while making more stitches and ensure to tighten them to reduce the space between each stitch.
  • You can use this stitch to sew in tucks in fabrics.
  1.   Open Chain stitch.

This is a fascinating type of ladder stitch made between two parallel lines, either imaginary or drawn. It is also called a Roman chain stitch or square chain stitch. To make an open chain stitch;

  • Stick up the needle from the back at a point 1; then make a loop and insert the needle at another point 2 on the same level.
  •   Bring the needle to point 3 above 1 at the same time as you grab the thread.
  •  Insert the needle at point 4 to form a loop that pops up at the same time at a point above 3, at point 5. Repeat the process for as many loops and end with two straight stitches to finish the project.
  1.     Herringbone ladder stitch.

This is a form of interlaced thread stitches. The herringbone stitch is knit by two parallel back stitch sets. The stitch is an elegant border pattern. You may also use this as a filling stitch.

To make the stitch;

  • The first step is threading two parallel lines. Sketch the lines so that one line is one-quarter inch away from the other.
  •   Stitch parallel lines with back stitches that are 1/4 inches in length; you can stitch them closer if you want them to have a closer look.  Ensure that the stitch is not simultaneous on both sides.
  • Place another color of yarn on your needle. Take the needle out from the middle of the backstitch. Stick the needle under the first stitch from the underside.
  •   Repeat the process until you loops of herringbone ladder stitch.

These designs have an interesting feel when correctly done.

How Can I Hand Stitch The Hem Of My Jeans Fabrics?

There are 5 different ways in which you can hand stitch your hem; each of the methods has a unique description.

  1. Anchoring and tying off: This invisible stitch pattern is made by stitching twice in the same place and then form knots.
  2. Catch stitch: This type of stitch has a bit of elasticity, and the zigzag crossing of the thread conform more strength.
  3. Blind stitch: This technique is done such that the stitching is barely visible on both sides.
  4. Fell stitch: This method is suitable for more rigid fabrics; it is similar to the ladder stitching technique except in thickness.
  5. Hand-rolled hem: It is a beautiful hem with lightweight and fine fabrics. This does not fit well on thicker fabrics or embellished fabrics.

The various hand stitch methods are suitable for stitching all kinds of hem irrespective of the fabric material.

Related Questions

What is a hemming stitch used for?

Hemstitch is a decorative threaded work or an openwork hand-sewing method for embellishing the hem of clothes or household linen.

What is the best stitch for stretchy fabric?

The best stitch to use for stitching elastic fabrics is Short zigzag: go for a rather narrow range of zigzag, with a stitch duration similar to the stitch width.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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