When hand sewing, it is important to know the types of stitches and their uses. Today's tutorial is on hand sewing using the backstitch.
What is the strongest hand stitch?
The backstitch is the strongest, most adaptable, and permanent of hand stitches. The name is fitting, as the needle goes into the fabric behind the thread of the previous stitch.
The running stitch, also used for these tasks, is not nearly as strong. The needle simply passes through the fabric at even distances in front of each stitch.
The backstitch takes more time, but for the strength of this stitch, it is well worth it.
Once understood, the backstitch technique is a very quick and easy stitch to do. It is the perfect stitch for mending seams, attaching a zipper, hand sewing small projects and so much more.
Backstitching bears a strong resemblance to stitching done on a sewing machine.
To learn how to hand sew the backstitch, we've created a video tutorial for you to watch. Simply click on the link below to go to our YouTube video tutorial.
In addition, we have a full written photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions below.
COMPLETE VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE! The video below is a preview with no audio, to
watch the whole video tutorial, click the link How to Hand Sew a Backstitch to watch in Youtube.
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What is the hand sewn backstitch?
As the name implies, the backstitch gets its name from the backward motion when making a stitch. Each stitch skips ahead and the you make the stitch backward.
How can backstitching be used instead of knots?
Professional sewers such as tailors, use the backstitch to secure stitching without the use of the knot. The technique is to sew a couple of backstitches at the start and end of a row of stitches instead of using a knot which leaves bumps and bulk in the fabric.
To work a backstitch instead of using knots, two or three backstitches are sewn on top of each other to secure the thread in place. This adds even more strength to the line of stitching.
Backstitching can be a good alternative to using knots and produces professional looking hand sewing.
WHAT YOU NEED to backstitch by hand
- Threaded needle with a knot on one end
- Fabric to be sewn together
- Pencil (optional)
- Ruler (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS to Hand sew the backstitch
STEP 1: begin the first backstitch
Start by threading the needle and knotting the thread. You can either use a single thread or a double thread. Double thread will make stronger stitches.
With the right sides of the fabric together, bring the needle up through the two layers of fabric slightly in front of where the stitching will begin.
Pull the threaded needle up through the fabric.
Take a small backward stitch having the needle go down through the fabric to the right of where the needle came up. This will form the first stitch when the thread is pulled through.
Bring the tip of the needle up a little in front of the first stitch and pull the thread through.
STEP 2: sew the second stitch
To begin the second backstitch, insert the needle down into the place where the first stitch started.
The second stitch is made by then bringing the needle up again just in front of the second stitch.
Pull the threaded needle all the way through and the second stitch is completed.
step 3: continue sewing the backstitch by hand
Continue sewing in the manner above, each time bringing the needle up a short distance in front of the last stitch, inserting the needle back down into the place where the last stitch started, then bringing the needle up again just in front of the newly finished stitch.
To finish the stitching off, simply anchor the thread by tying a knot where the stitching ends.
If there is concern that the stitching may not be straight, a pencil line can be drawn using the pencil and a ruler to mark the stitch line before starting.
The front of the backstitch will look like this. As you can see from the photo, the front side of the stitch resembles a row of consecutive small stitches with no gaps.
The back view of the backstitch looks like the following photo; notice how the threads overlap on the back side and appear thicker because of this.
The photo below shows what the seam looks like on the front (pretty side) when it's opened.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial showing how to sew the backstitch by hand.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
Other hand sewing stitches