• Kaine

Sewing 112 - Basic Hand Sewing

This is the final lesson in the foundation level of our sewing classes. Congratulations on making it this far. Before we commence with garment sewing, it is important that you learn how to sew by hand and some basic hand sewing stitches. As with most things in sewing, there are many stitches for many purposes, but for this lesson, I have narrowed the list down to the Four most often used stitches in garment sewing.

I suggest that you also watch the video to view live demonstrations of these stitches.

pin cushion

Type of needles to use for hand sewing

A hand sewing needle has the eye on one end the sharp point on the other end. It comes in different lengths and thicknesses. The general rule is that the lower the number, the finer the needle, the higher the number, the thicker the needle. (Note that different brands have different sizing systems. Size one below is about 1.75 inches long)

hand sewing needles

The size of needle you choose to use ultimately depends on the thickness of the fabric, the number of layers you are sewing, the type of stitches you are sewing and the thread you are using. Generally for garment sewing, you want a needle that will not damage your fabric by leaving permanent holes or pulling the fibres.

I generally recommend a size 1 or something similar for all purpose hand sewing. You may choose to have a size 6 for other purposes, but I will not advise you use it for your fabric as it is too big.

How to Thread the needle

Threading the needle simply involves passing the thread through the eye of the needle. You only have to decide if you are sewing with a single thread or with a double thread.

a threaded needle

(a) If you are using a single thread, only make sure one tail of thread is longer than the other after threading the needle.

a double threaded needle

(b) If you are using double threads, only make sure both thread tails are of equal length after threading the needle.

The 4 Basic Stitches for hand sewing