If one has to list down the essential life skills that everyone should learn, then Sewing will be among the top five. Read on for why sewing is one of the most essential life-skills and steps on how to sew, to make your first stitch. Also, check out the basic types of hand stitches and their uses.
Now let’s imagine a situation…
You have a very important meeting to attend, you are already running late and all of a sudden the stitch out of your crisp ironed white shirt comes off. In such a crisis situation one definitely needs to have a basic idea of how to sew, in-order get the shirt fixed. Therefore, it becomes imperative to know the ABC of Sewing.
Having a basic knowledge of sewing definitely saves you in times of emergency but also cuts down on your expenses. There is no need to rush to the tailor’s shop for getting some basic easy stitches done, and in-fact having a basic-moderate level of skill-set in sewing also allows you to stitch apparels, some décor pieces, handmade crafts, etc. With technological developments, today sewing is done using various kinds of machinery on a large scale at factories or shops. However, the traditional old school knowledge of a seamstress still prevails both in the commercial and personal spheres of life.
Let’s get into the basic tools needed to sew at home, and an easy guide on how to sew your first stitch.
What are the different types of stitches?
Now, Sewing is an essential skill-set and there exist various kinds of stitches. Some of the popular kinds of stitches are listed below-:
- Running Stitch, the simplest and basic of all the different kinds of stitches
- Back Stitch
- Basting Stitch
- Blanket Stitch
- Shadow Stitch
- Slip Stitch and many more types of hand stitches
These stitches again have various utilities, meaning the purpose of the different types of stitches varies from simple hand sewing to embroidery. For example, backstitch is used in hand sewing for its strength and durability in holding the fabric together, but in embroidery, it is predominantly used either for outlines or for adding definition to embroidered lettering.
A BEGINNER’s GUIDE TO SEWING
a) Tools Needed
As a beginner, you need to have certain tools with you for you to perform the most basic stitches. These are:
- Sharp Set of Needles.
- Sharp Scissors
- Spools of Sewing Threads
- Ruler for Measurement/ Measuring Tape
b) How to do a Basic Stitch – Running Stitch
Beginners do not worry about how to sew your first stitch, we have got you covered. Here are the steps you need to follow to do your first stitch and have all your worries sorted-
- First of all, take the needle and insert the chosen thread through the eye of the needle. This is perhaps the most difficult and time-taking part of sewing.
- Once the thread is inserted into the needle, figure out how you would prefer to have your thread— single-threaded or double threaded.
- In single-threaded, the thread is simply inserted through the eye of the needle, and a knot is tied onto the longer side of the thread. In double-threaded, once the thread is inserted through the eye of the needle, both the ends of the thread are brought together, ensuring they lie adjacent to each other. A knot is tied to join both the ends of the thread for them to form a loop.
What are the necessary steps for a running stitch?
Take the chosen fabric, and insert the needle through the wrong side of the fabric (the side which won’t be visible), and make way for the needle to the top, i.e. the right side of the fabric.
The needle is first inserted through the wrong side of the fabric ensuring the knot is not visible on the outside.
Now the needle which has already made its way through the right side of the fabric now should be inserted towards the wrong side of the fabric again, through a short distance away. If you are a beginner and practicing for the first time, make sure the distance should be around 5-6mm (1/4 inches)
And there you go, you have your first stitch ready. Now that the needle is again underneath the fabric, the above steps need to be repeated till the end of the fabric. The motion of the needle should be essentially Down-Up-Down-Up-Down-Up.
Once the end of the fabric is reached, then you insert the needle with the remaining thread again towards the wrong side of the fabric. Now that the needle is underneath the fabric, a tight knot is tied to the previous stitch, to ensure the stitches aren’t loose and come off. Congratulations! Your first endeavor with hand sewing is an absolute success.
TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND
Hand Sewing isn’t a very difficult task to do, but to ensure that the experience with learning this skill turns out to be a smooth ride- here are certain tips one should take note of. These are
- In order to ensure that the thread is easily inserted into the eye of the needle, make sure to dip it into some water. This makes it easy for the thread to be inserted into the eye of the needle. You can also take the help of a tool called threader for this process to be hassle-free.
- If you are a beginner and want to practice before you actually start sewing, instead of fabric you can practice on craft felt sheets. It’s a great material for practicing and very easily available
- Make sure you have two pairs of scissors- a small and a big, to cut threads and fabric respectively.
- As a beginner, if you do not want to invest in too many different colors of sewing threads, make sure you at least have two basic colors- white ( for light-colored fabric or buttons), and black for dark-colored fabric.
Following these tips is definitely recommended for your first experience with hand sewing to be absolute bliss. Showcase your creativity and start beautifying each clothing piece that you own, that too using your own hands!