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Tips & Techniques > Hand sewing is your friend

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Posted by: drsue
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Member since: 11/11/03
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Posted on: 3/7/04 6:48 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 2 people   
I am just adding this because on a prior pattern review, one that called for hand sewing, there were many comments be readers that they didn't/wouldn't hand sew. Often times when I am making complex garments, I must hand sew in order to finish the garment. This is especially true if I have ripped out something and had to re-sew. At that point it is often impossible to fix the problem with a sewing machine. I have often thought of my use of had sewing as "cheating" but now I realize that you need to do what ever it takes to make your garment. the three stitches I use most of the time in sewing garments are back stitching (great for seams), slip stitching (good for sewing seems from the right side but less stong that back stitching), and cat-stitching (good for loose hems.)

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12 Comments
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Liana said...
I agree completely. Often it is so much quicker to stitch by hand than to pin, adjust, put it under the presser foot, adjust some more, etc., especially for a short seam. They are often vital, and have no room for error.
3/7/04 11:35 PM
SewVeryTall said...
Hand sewing is very relaxing to me, I look at it as an 'opportunity' to leave my sewing room, go sit in a comfy chair in the livingroom, and watch tv while still 'getting something useful done'. I agree, sometimes it's quicker and the best way to sew a difficult-to-reach area perfectly. I think a backstitch is just as strong as machine stitching, too.
3/8/04 6:26 AM
Annette H said...
Yes, it's relaxing to hand sew. It allows you to meditate, listen to music, and I like to think that it adds to the personality of the garment.
3/8/04 5:23 PM
Penny Carlson said...
It seems like home sewing had a period where one tried to complete a project completely on the machine...sewing by hand was declasse. Thank goodness we have passed that phase! Hand sewing is the couturiere way and adds value to the garment.
3/8/04 9:59 PM
CatherineN said...
Hand sewing lets you be more precise in difficult areas. I always feel more in control with a needle in my hand. I believe the stitch you are referring to is "catch stitch".
3/9/04 11:03 PM
drsue said...
Thanks Catherine. I knew "cat" was wrong but it's just something I picked up from my grandmother so I wasn't sure what the right term was.
3/10/04 9:23 AM
imaGINation said...
I'm brand new to this site and need to improve my hand sewing techniques. I'd like to know how to do a rolled hem on chiffon , organza, etc. for my new business making bridal accessories. Can someone help me with this? Thanks
4/8/04 8:47 AM
drsue said...
imaGINation: You probably should invest in books by Claire Schaeffer and Susan Khaje (i'm sure I spelled that wrong the book is "bridal couture I believe). I know there have been threads on this topic on the message board. Also search the base of knowledge.
4/9/04 11:51 AM
Mini said...
It makes me so sad when new sewers think that hand sewing makes things homemade, or somehow is not right. Consider that the finset-and miost costly-couture clothing involves hand sewing. Also, if you look inside quality vintage clothin you will detect hand details even in ready to wear. Done correctly hand sewing adds to the value and beauty of what you sew. Many finicky small sewing detials are easy when done by hand, and frustrtating and awkward on a machine. As Drsue says, do what you have to do to get the project done, whether that is hand or machine work. Imagination, you can Google this topic and find some goo sites that show some of the most useful hand techniques. I also LOVE Claire Schaeffer's books, and highly reccommend them.
4/9/04 1:44 PM
Mini said...
P.S. Fortunately, I sew a lot better than I type:)!!
4/9/04 1:45 PM
Frosty772 said...
Actually Cat-Stitching and Catch-Stitching is both correct. In my book "Authentic Victorian Dressmaking Techniques" The term Cat-Stitching is the one given. In the description in the stitch it claims it is "sometimes" called Catch-Stitching (Mind you this is a 1905 reprint of "Dressmaking up to date)
4/9/05 6:09 PM
Vintage Joan said...
Frosty's right -- Dictionary.com: "catch stitch –noun Sewing. a large cross-stitch used in finishing seams and in hemming. Also called catstitch."
1/20/08 8:29 AM
 
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