There are two types of sewing, hand sewing and machine sewing. The two types involve quite different techniques. As a
beginner, hand sewing techniques can be learnt for basic sewing. To work hand sewing quickly and perfectly, it needs practice but learning the basic procedure helps to develop the desired skill.
The basic hand stitches can be divided into temporary stitches and permanent stitches.
Temporary stitches are further divided into Even basting, Uneven basting, Diagonal basting and Slip basting.
Preliminary steps to thread a needle:
1. Cut a length of thread of about 30 inches. Do not use a very long thread, it may knot and interrupt while sewing.
2. Use one end to thread the needle and pull it out from the eye of the needle.
3. Hold two ends and tie a knot.
Permanent Hand Stitches
Permanent hand stitches are worked instead of machine stitches. They are permanent and serves the purpose. Permanent stitches are divided into Running stitch, Backstitch, Overcast stitch, Over hand stitch and Whipping.
1. Running Stitch
Running stitches are usually 1/8 inch or less in length. Work by taking several stitches on a long needle as the fabric permits. Very fine running stitches replace machine stitching on seams used in lingerie, blouses and infants clothes.
2. Back Stitch
Back Stitch resemble machine stitch on the right side, but unlike machine stitch it overlaps on the wrong side. Take a running stitch 1/8 inch long, and reinsert the needle at the end of the first stitch and bring it forward on the under side and up through the surface one stitch length beyond the previous stitch. Repeat for the next stitch. Backstitches are used to replace broken machine stitches and also for beginning and ending of embroidery and appliqué.
3. Over Cast Stitch
Overcast stitches are worked to keep the raw edges from fraying and may be done on single or double edges. Hold the raw edges of the seams with the thumb and fingers of the left hand. Insert the needle from behind the raw edge and 1/8 inch below it. Space the stitches evenly and twice as far apart as they are deep.
4. Overhand Stitch
Overhand stitches are similar to overcast but are made in the very edge of the fabric and 1/16 inch apart. Insert the needle straight toward you and use a short and very fine needle in order to pick up tiny stitches. Overhand stitches are used to apply lace or to make flat invisible seams where two folded edges join.
Whipping is done with a single thread of matching colour. Fold the hem allowance and work from right to left with the needle, catch one or two threads of the fabric and one or two threads along the fold of the hem. The stitches should not be seen on the right side of the fabric. The whipping stitch should be placed ¼ inch apart.