If you are making something by hand and need to sew really strong seams, back stitch is ideal. It is much stronger and more secure than running stitch. It’s slightly more involved than running stitch, but it’s still very simple and easy to learn. Here’s how to do it:
As with almost any type of seam, start by laying the pieces of fabric with the right sides of the fabric together so the stitching and the seam allowance will be hidden on the wrong side. Whenever a pattern specifies to put pieces of fabric together with “right sides together” they are not refer to the right hand side, but the correct side of the fabric as most fabrics are woven (or knitted) with an intended right and wrong side. For example, the smoothest side, or the side with the print is the correct (or right) side.
Thread a needle with a double thread, knot the end and draw the needle up through both layers of fabric a short distance away from where you want the seam to start.
Insert the needle a little way behind where you first pulled it up and push it back up through the fabric a short distance to the other side of the thread. Pull the thread firmly, but without causing the fabric to bunch up.
Insert the needle back exactly where the previous stitch finished, again bringing the needle back up a little way in front of the thread. Notice how the stitches join together perfectly?
Continue forming stitches in this manner for the length of your seam. Once you reach the end of the seam, make one final back stitch pulling the needle back up where the thread is, rather than in front of it.
Stitch exactly on top of this stitch twice more to secure it, then cut the thread.
The back will look something like this:
It won’t look as neat as the other side, because of all the overlapping stitches. But that’s okay, it’s the joined together and overlapping stitches that makes this type of hand stitch so strong. Now your seam is done you can overcast the raw edges or press the seam open or to one side depending what your project calls for.
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