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The most important stitches How to sew by hand

Hand-Sewing | Basic Stitches and Techniques (April 2019).


Why sew by hand, if you have a sewing machine? Quite simply: most of the work by hand is more accurate, especially small areas can only be roughly edited by the machine. Get to know your sewing object even better: we explain the most important stitches.


For sewing by hand, it is recommended to use a fine and long needle. This allows you to work well and in detail. You should also know that every fabric has a right and a left side. The right side is usually the outside, which is often also recognizable by the fact that it is more colorful.

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The lockstitch is perfect for connecting two pieces of fabric together. To do this, lay the right sides of the two pieces together and align them thoroughly to create a straight seam afterwards. Then fix the two parts with pins, so that they do not slip anymore. The lockstitch works from right to left, the edge to be stitched points upwards.

Secure the thread with a knot and insert it from top to bottom in the fabrics. Pierce the needle about 1 mm further to the left of the puncture site. Now the needle is inserted again through the previous puncture site to puncture it about 1 mm after the last point of puncture. Make another right turn into the last exit point, leave it again 1 mm next to the last exit point and right again into the previous exit point. It forms a long, uniform seam.

Buttonhole stitch

The buttonhole stitch is also called loop stitching and prevents the fraying of buttonholes on the one hand, but is also suitable as a decorative seam on fabric edges, or to sew over fabric edges. The buttonhole stitch is worked from right to left, the edge to be stitched points downwards. Knot the thread and sew it with two small stitches on the right edge of the fabric. Now pierce the needle from top to bottom in the fabric, this creates a loop. Point the needle under the fabric in your direction and guide it through the loop. The stitch is tightened and can now be repeated by re-inserting the needle from top to bottom at the desired distance, pointing it under the fabric and pulling it through the loop.

blind stitch

The blindstitch is used on the right side of the fabric, for example for sewing on cuddly toys, as it is not visible. It works from right to left. Knot the thread and insert the needle from the inside out into the open seam of the sewing project. Insert the needle directly in and out twice in order to fix the thread again.

Now the thread is placed over the opening of the sewing project on the opposite side. The needle is inserted on this side and straight out again and put back to the opposite side. Also, insert the needle here and immediately and put the thread over to the opposite side. Continue to the end of the opening. It is important that you finally pull the thread very tight and sew, so that it is no longer visible.


The witch engraving (also called cross stitch) is particularly popular for leather or other thick fabrics or used as a decorative stitching. Often it is used to miss substances. When witches stitch is worked from left to right, the edge to be sewn up. The thread is pierced from bottom to top, then runs diagonally to the top right and we stabbed again.

At the same height of the puncture site, the needle is cut out about half a millimeter further to the left to then allow the thread to run obliquely down to the right and stab the needle again. Half a millimeter farther left, the needle is cut out at the same height to start over. The resulting pattern shows an X-shape. The punctures on the upper line are closer together than on the lower line.

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