Welcome to another “Share it Saturday” post…
Today I thought I’d share with you how to do an invisible “ladder stitch”…
I’ll forgive you if you are a little confused as to why I’d be showing you this – it’s not like I’m known for my hand sewing!
Yes, it’s true, I don’t hand stitch often. But when I do I like to do it well, and knowing how to hand stitch something closed so that you can’t see the stitches is a very good skill to have!!
It really gives your work that professional finish and I was very grateful when I eventually learned how to make “invisible” stitches.
Reasons you could choose to use this stitch include:
** sewing an opening closed on a purse (for example any one of my purse patterns 😉 )
** sewing a soft toy closed
** sewing a hem
** sewing together hexagons
So here goes…
** fine hand sewing needle
** coordinating thread
** project to sew (e.g. one of the projects listed above)
** good light
Making the stitch:
Cut off a length of coordinating thread…
I use a double thread system so to work out how much you need measure the sewing distance, times it by 2 and add a generous (like 5 inch) spare.
Tip: Someone once told me to never use a longer thread to hand sew than the distance between my finger tips and my elbow. Apparently that’s the maximum comfortable length to work with without lots of tangles.
Match up both ends and thread them BOTH through your needle…
Grab your project and thread the needle through the right hand side of the opening. (I am right handed so I guess if you are left handed you might want to start on the left.
Tip – you want to keep the stitch quite shallow because this is the stitch you are most likely to see.
Thread your needle back through the loop at the end of the thread. This forms a natural knot so that your stitches will be secure…
Pull it all the way through.
Make sure that your seam allowance is tucked nicely under so that you have a double fold of fabric at the edge to work with.
Next we want to catch a little bit of fabric in our needle and work our way across.
Slide your needle into the top piece of fabric so that you pick up about 1-2mm of fabric on your needle. Your needle should be sliding in between the fold made by the tucked under seam allowance.
Pull it all the way through.
Next we want to repeat that for the other side of the opening.
You want the beginning of your next stitch to start exactly where your needle came out for your previous stitch…
Pull your needle through.
When you pull your thread through, pull it along in the same direction you are stitching, not in an upwards direction…
(it gathers the stitches more nicely)
Keep repeating the stitches until you come to the end of your opening.
If you want to get really fancy you can do more than one stitch at a time…
Once you get to the end we just need to make a knot and tie off.
I do this by grabbing a small amount of fabric just where I’ve finished and pulling my thread through until I have a loop…
Then I sew my needle through that loop a couple of times and on the final time I pull it all the way through.
I usually do that twice.
Then I take my needle down into the same exact spot I just sewed the knot and out through my project about an inch away….
Pull the thread taught and push down on your project a little.
Clip off your thread (just be careful not to clip your project too – I was stupid enough to do that once)
Now the project should spring back and the tail of your thread should be nice a buried…
Congratulations you should now have a neatly (and mostly invisibly) closed hole…
Mine isn’t the neatest one going. I dislike hand sewing so I tend to rush it a little.
But it’s amazing how useful it is for certain projects!!
My owl cushions are multiplying… I think these will make a very colourful addition to my market stalls.
Swedish Scrapper says
Oooh, that why! Nice stitch. I can see the use in it! And yes, it’ll be perfect for one of your purses 😀
Canadian Abroad says
I cannot wait to see this stall of yours set up. It’s going to be amazing and you are a dynamo. Good hand stitching their missus!
I always use ladder stitch but I like your trick for “knotting” at the beginning… one can never stop learning how to do things better
Greg Anderson says
As a beginner to sewing projects (more than just fixing a button), I’m glad to have found your site and this tutorial in particular in just grand.