There is no denying that sewing machines are very useful and handy, especially when it comes to big projects. These tools are efficient, neater, and faster. However, learning how to hand stitch presents many benefits as well. Some of these include:

  • A cheaper alternative since the only things you’ll need is a thread and a needle. 
  • It does not require a big space or set up.
  • In comparison to a sewing machine, your needle and thread will not mess with you. It will never pull your stitches and will not get tight or loose.
  •  Hand sewing is quiet, peaceful, and portable. You can even do it when you’re on the bus or train.

Not everyone has an idea how to sew by hand. Most people chose not to learn it because they think hand sewing is time-consuming and difficult. But that is far from the truth. It is actually one of the easiest ways you can work on your clothes when you don’t own a sewing machine or if it is broken.

It’s easy to learn how to sew without a sewing machine. In fact, you don’t even need to go take a class for it. Having this skill will come in handy when you have to deal with delicate fabrics, attach something to a cloth or fabric, or want to do a simple repair.

Tools You’ll Need To Prepare

One of the first things you need to know when learning how to sew by hand is the tools that you’ll need. Sewing without a sewing machine or by hand will require the same tools. However, the needle you’ll use for hand sewing is different.

The needles used in a sewing machine has a wider top and its needle eye is located at the bottom. On the other hand, the one you use for hand sewing has a needle eye at the top and is a little smaller as well. In terms of sewing threads, those you use when sawing by hand are often thin.  Meanwhile, those used for the machine are packed small. 

Other tools you’ll need are thread clippers or a pair of scissors for cutting the thread. You’ll also need to prepare a thimble to avoid piercing yourself. Once you have everything set, you can start sewing.

How To Sew By Hand

Here are the steps on how to sew without a sewing machine:

  1. Trim the thread to make it narrow enough so that you’ll be able to easily fit it through the needle eye. Once it goes through, pull up about 18 inches and then tie a knot at the end. Now you’re ready to sew by hand.
  2. Decide on which stitch to use. There are several types of stitches you can use when hand sewing to achieve various desired results. But the simplest one is the running stitch, which is also the most common for doing repairs. Moreover, most beginners to hand sewing start with this basic stitch.
  3. Use your needle and thread to run and up and down your fabric. Simply pierce your fabric from the back, on the path where you want to sew it. Then, pull your needle and thread up the front.
  4. From the front of your fabric, leave a little margin like a quarter of an inch or so. Then, pierce your fabric to allow your needle to go through its back. From the back, leave the same margin to pierce it in the front. Repeat this process until you have sewn the entire length. 
  5. If you run out of thread before finishing, secure your stitch by tying a knot then simply repeat steps 1-4.

You can proudly say that you successfully learned how to sew once you have successfully created a straight run. Even a stitch run is something you can be proud of. In no time, you’ll find it easy to perform hamming and other types of stitches.

Hand Sewing Stitches For Beginners 

If you’re still at the beginning stages, it is advisable to focus on some basic yet essential hand stitches. The three stitches below are applicable to almost any kind of project you may have in mind. Learning them will enable you to sew cloth from the beginning to end without the need to use a sewing machine,

Hand Backstitch

A hand backstitch is probably the most long-lasting straight stitch you can do by hand. In fact, you can substitute it for a regular machine straight stitch if required. The reason why it’s so durable is that the process needs continuous backstitching, and this doubles the stitching layers. 

Backstitching by hand is excellent for repairing or sewing small seams. Furthermore, you can apply it to top-stitch by hand or stitch in areas where you’re having difficulty reaching with your sewing machine.

Blanket Hand Stitch (Oversewn/Overcast)

This is an excellent stitch you can use to substitute zigzag when necessary. As its name suggests, the blanket stitch or most commonly known as oversewing or overcasting is usually used along the edges of blankets, comforters, and certain towels. You apply it to smoothen and prevent them from rolling. Likewise, it is often used in quilting along the edge of the fabric to keep it from unraveling and for decoration purposes. 

Moreover, you can control the length and density of the blanket stitch just like you would on a sewing machine. You can apply a less dense and larger blanket stitch along the edges of a thicker fabric with a lower fraying. Meanwhile, a shorter and denser stitch will work well for lighter fabrics that easily fray.

Slip Stitch

Whether you own a sewing machine or not, this stitch is a great hand stitch to master. It is frequently applied in combination with other machine applications for sewing hard to reach areas or for applying a blind finish. 

You can apply a slip stitch to finish the inside of collars, waistbands, and cuffs. Nevertheless, you’ll commonly see it as a blind hemming technique applied on a range of various garments. Likewise, it is an excellent stitching method for connecting seams or repairing tears on the face side of fabrics.