23 Common Hand Stitches and Their Uses

21 min read

Why Use Hand Stitches?

Why Use Hand Stitches

Anyone who is into sewing understands that today’s clothing is mostly created using machines. In the past the seamstresses were required to make clothing exclusively by hand. This is acceptable but it’s way too slow for the fast-paced rapid-paced society we live in. But, despite how efficient and popular machine sewing is, there are people who still make use of hand stitches.

The question that follows from the title is: why? We can tell us that there’s no feeling better than finishing off your sewing project with a hand. Repairing, fastening, or hemming with a hand sewing machine feels equally great. It is possible to repair your clothing with greater precision with the hand stitch. Furthermore, they can also bring a sense of flair which is only possible using a needle.

The internet has a wealth of information about hand stitches, however each list we found was only about five or six stitches in the most. This is why we have created a list that includes an overall total of 23 hand-stitch variations. By reading through the list, you will be able to learn about what these stitches are employed for, how they look like, and how they work.

What Will I Need?

Based on the kind of work we intend to accomplish, we’ll require different kinds of needles and threads. They are nevertheless essential to all of these steps. It is also advisable to keep scissors in your bag along with thimbles. It’s better to be safer than to be sorry!

23 Stitches – the List

Lesson 5 How to Baste

1.The Backstitch

This particular stitch comes with a variety of names: backstitch outline stitch, back stitch, stem stitch as well as split stitch. They’re nearly identical and the name is a clue to what they are.

When backstitching, we put a needle in and thread the material from beneath. Then, we insert the needle back in place a some distance back from the initial spot. While the needle is below and then move it to the top of the fabric but not in the same location we put the needle. The way we do this is to go through the fabric approximately similar distances to what is seen on top of the material. The final step is to put the needle in the same spot that we first stuck it into, that is the one from step 1.

Many who sew call it stitch a “two steps forward, one step back” stitch that they stitch or weave from left to right. It’s an excellent stitch for seams and decorations.

2.The Backtack

The backtack, also known as back tack is an extension of the backstitch. It’s made in the exact manner, back to front. But the main distinction is that the backtack isn’t utilized to stitch permanently. It’s actually employed to bast as well as “tacking,” which is the reason it was named. That’s why it is used to mark patterns on a fabric.

Backtack stitches can be found in places where they can’t be taken off. They are usually found in denim jeans, and within pockets.

3.The Running Stitch

When it comes to hand stitches this stitch, known as the run stitch, is considered to be one of the most fundamental ones. A glance at it will draw this conclusion.

If we wish to create run stitch we pull the needle from beneath the fabric. We then push it back down. Then continue the procedure until or run out of thread, or become bored. It is important to leave spaces between the strands thread. These spaces must be as long as the strands that they are separated, creating the pattern of dotted lines in a way.

4.The Basting Stitch (or the Tacking Stitch)

Pins are our favorite We really like using pins. However, there are occasions when pins aren’t available or don’t work use pins, and a stitch that replaces pins can be helpful. A basting stitch can be an example of such a stitch.

Also known as”the tacking stitch,” it’s basically a simple running stitch however it is a longer space and more strands of thread. So, it’s going to be simple, with only one slight change in the length of thread and space.

Apart from replacing pins the basting stitch is ideal to gather fabric. All we need to do is unwind the fabric a little when we’ve finished the stitch.

5.The Blanket Stitch

Overstitch Overcast

This one is a little more difficult and looks stunning when we’re done. Like the name implies it’s great for blankets, as well as other more substantial parts of fabrics (plush toys as an instance).

The first stitch in this case is crucial. The needle is first brought through both pieces starting from the bottom of one. When we have done that this, we do it again however this time from the underside of the second section of material. But, we don’t pull the thread completely through. It’s crucial to leave a small loop, or a tiny “ring” of the thread hanging a little loose. Then, we grab the needle, push it through the loop and then tighten it.

Every subsequent stitch will begin by securing the undersides of both cloths. The newcomers should make sure that spacing between the stitches same.

6.The Buttonhole Stitch

It’s true that the buttonhole stitch is basically similar to the blanket stitch, but with some minor distinctions. For instance the length of thread that appears on the top, or more accurately what’s known as the “right” side is smaller than the blanket stitch, which is about 3mm or so. After we have pulled the thread off underneath, i.e. that is the “wrong” side of the cloth, we perform the same thing as we did using the blanket stitch – leave a loop and place the needle in the loop and make sure to tighten it. Every subsequent stitch will overlap with the previous one in a close way.

A buttonhole stitch can be ideal for the purpose it is named, i.e. .keeping your buttons in place. It’s also useful for other items to be worn over clothing such as hooks-andeyes and hooks and bars.

7.The Blind Stitch

Many people refer to it as it the “invisible stitch,” because its primary purpose isn’t to be visible by the fabrics. It is perfect on pillowcases, which we will take as an example.

Prior to stitching before sewing, we first iron the pieces of fabric we’d like to stitch. When threading the needle, and then tying the knot we pull them through the edges we’ve ironed. The knot is left in the middle, and out of view. Each puncture made by the needle will pass through the opposite section of fabric to the previous puncture, creating a kind of “ladder” with the thread. After several stitchings and pulling the thread to the front to bring the pieces of fabric closer. When we finish the stitch, we push your needle into a loop, and then insert it into to the pillowcase and then cut the excess thread , while the remainder is tucked away inside the fabric.

8.The Chain Stitch

Of the numerous stitches that are used to decorate The chain stitch is one of the most attractive one. The chain stitch is started on the wrong side of the fabric, just like other stitches. Then, we perform the entire reverse, by passing the needle through this same hole. The key is leaving one tiny loop of thread hanging. In the event that we do not, we’ll take the thread completely.

This loop will form the “link” of our “chain.” Once we have the loop we will bring the needle back to the right side however, this time one length of stitch away from the spot where it was originally. The needle has to pass into the loop. Once it’s out completely the chain link keeps it in place and prevent it from unravelling. Lather, rinse, repeat.

9. The Cross Stitch

The Cross Stitch

Perhaps among the more well-known and most well-known stitches in the world It has been used for a long time. The name derives due to its unique “X” or cross-shaped pattern.

If we wish to create cross-stitch start by putting an needle on the opposite edge of our fabric. Then, we envision this location to be the top corner of the square. To make this clear then, we place it through the opposing lower corner of the square. The needle is then moved backwards from the corner directly next to the initial one, following exactly the identical “line” as it to be exact. The last step is to pull the needle into the last corner, and then over the thread already clearly visible from the right.

After the cross has been made after the cross is made, the needle moves back down, but this time, the “first” step starts from the corner of step “third” step before it. So the pattern remains uniform and consistent.

There are many different cross stitch patterns. There are a few of them, including the long-armed cross-stitch double cross-stitch as well as the Italian cross-stitch, herringbone stitch and more.

10. The Catch Stitch

The stitch you are using is great for hemming, specifically for lighter, soft fabrics. The majority of us want to secure all the seams of the fabric This is why we start the stitch on the wrong side of the flap. This allows us to cover the knot with cloth. Once we’ve finished the next step is to grab one millimeter or so of fabric that is diagonally positioned from the place the needle was inserted. The needle is then angled down diagonally to grab the exact quantity of fabric. The process continues until we’re done getting a neat zigzag design.

The benefit in the use of this catch stitch is the fact that it can stretch along with the fabric. It doesn’t wrinkle any fabric, nor will it break when you walk or move.

11. The Darning Stitch

This stitch is about fixing the previous one. It’sactually a variant of the running stitch however, with an extra twist.

In essence, we’ll use the darning stitch to fill in gaps in fabric. Find the area that the tear or hole is, and weave the needle (via running stitches) near the opening, but in straight lines. However, we’ll be making this in very small stitches, so that we are stitching the thread to the fabric. By leaving the end of the thread free and repeat the process in reverse, running with the thread running parallel to the original.

After a nice and long-lasting weave of thread, we flip the fabric 90 degrees before we begin the process all over again. We can now see a pattern, similar to the mesh or even a Sieve show up on the fabric. If we have to stop the thread then we simply start from the point we left with the new thread.

The result is a strong piece of fabric, once the size of a hole. The stitch is so efficient that it’s not surprising that our predecessors from all over the world employed it long before we ever did.

12. Embroidery Stitches

There isn’t a specific stitch per se. It’s the process of using various stitches to create patterns on the fabric.

It has been a favored activity for women since the earliest times of our civilization. There’s even a well-known image of women dating back to early in the Middle Ages sitting on a stool, weaving. With the use of basic stitches like that of the running stitch cross stitch, chain stitch and more you can create the appearance of a flower, an animal or even anything. All you need is a little imagination, perseverance and determination.

13. The Hemstitch

The Hemstitch

This specific type of hand stitch can be used to decorate the hems of clothes or household linens. If we wish to use this type of stitch, we trace out one or more threads parallel to and directly next to the hem that has been turned. We then take some threads and tie them together with the thread, creating the pattern of tiny bundles.

Everywhere in the world, people stitch hemstitch to embellish the edges of handkerchiefs and doilies since it’s an beautiful stitch to create.

14. The Overcast Stitch

A different “classic,” the overcast stitch is utilized to stop fabric from unraveling around the edges. It’s a simple stitch to master. The way we go about it is to put the needle upside down however, we place it just a few centimeters distance from its edge. Then, we push the thread diagonally across the edge. On the opposite side, we move it back to the starting point. This must be done in the exact spot where every stitch’s length. After a few repetitions and a few repetitions, the edges of the fabric will develop beautiful little patterns that is diagonal. And, most important, it will not unravel.

15. The Pad Stitch

The pad stitch works similar to the running stitch but with some minor variations. The purpose of this stitch is to stitch two pieces of fabric together with a firm grip.

In the beginning, we stick the needle into to the opposite end of the fabric, and then catch just a small amount of the fabric. Once we do this, we shift lower to the opposite part of the material, and repeat the process. We will end up with the diagonal lines. They will not only hold the fabric in place but will they also add curl to the fabric layers.

16. The Pick Stitch

The majority of the stitches described above are easy to master. The pick stitch however it can be a strain on the neck. This is the reason why professional use it to make high-quality clothing and suits.

Typically the stitch is utilized to create the edges of the cloth. The trick is to not let any part of it appear on the other side. So what we do is to put enough fabric and then pull it through. This is the next part that’s a bit tricky. The next step is to insert the needle extremely, very small distance away from the place that it was last. After you have the needle in position, we repeat the initial step.

When the thread an unrelated color, just tiny spots will show up in the opposite direction. The best option is to work with thread of identical to the color of the fabric. This way, the stitch will be virtually undetectable.

17. Sailmaker’s Stitching

17. Sailmaker’s Stitching

The name of the stitch implies that this type of stitching can be employed to repair damaged or ripped sails. But, there are three methods to stitch sails.

The first would be the darning stitches. We’ve previously discussed this within the book.

The two other methods are round and flat sewing. This method can be used tie two pieces of sailcloth or canvas together. It is done by sewing the two materials together first. The needle then goes through one fabric that is closest to selvage (the edge of the cloth). After putting the needle up it passes through both the fabric pieces.

Round sewing is more difficult because we must stitch four pieces of fabric. What we do is to turn around one inch of fabric’s hem to the inside. We then hold the two pieces of fabric together , and sew the folds through. The needle is effectively sunk into 4 layers of fabric at this moment. Once the needle is in place it’s time to reinforce the sail in a proper manner.

18. The Slip Stitch

Slip stitch can be described as a distinct kind of blind stitch. It is used to sew up linings or hems.

It is the first thing to pull the needle off the edge’s underside by folding it. The next step is to grab the fabric that is directly over the edge. The needle will then go back through the same area where it first entered, however it does so as it “enters” the edge. The trick is to bring them out just a bit farther away from the original location. When the thread is tightly securing, it will disappear.

One of the main benefits to the slip stitch technique is the fact that it does well with soft fabrics.

19. Stoating

It is often referred to as the stitch “stoting” or even “stotting.” When they use the term this, they mean the process that stitches two pieces of fabric together in such a way so that no one is able to discern those stitches from the left side. When we stoat, we move the needle halfway through the fabric. Important to keep in mind is that your thread needs to be extremely fine, just like silk, for instance. Each stitch is a step across the entire length, and then across the opening is to be closed. It can look zigzag or like a ladder once it’s completed.

20. The Tent Stitch

The Tent Stitch

It’s returning to the basic concepts. The tent stitch is perhaps the most well-known stitch that is easy to learn and apply.

The tent stitch begins on an opposite side. The needle emerges and then returns diagonally up from the initial position. Then, the needle is returned however, through the spot just next to the place where it was originally released. Then it comes back diagonally to the spot that was previously in the previous step.

With the tent stitch, it is possible to patch tears swiftly. Although it may not be as strong or appealing as other stitches, however it will get the job done at the very least. The stitch can be well-known for the 45-degree angle it creates. Simple, yet effective.

21. The Topstitch

Topstitching is a distinct stitch. Most stitches used to stitch high-end clothes tend to conceal the thread. However, this one does the opposite and proudly shows it.

If we wish to stitch topstitch, we simply grab a small piece of fabric and thread our needle through. Then, we place the needle further ahead than where we came out. This way, we can create an easy pattern that looks similar to the backstitch.

This stitch is unique because it adds something fresh to the fabric. It is possible to use similar colors and make sure that the pattern matches the finished result. Or, we could pick another color and let loose with our imagination. In addition to looking nice the topstitching will help hold the fabric in place.

22. The Side Stitch

When stitching a side it’s crucial to understand that it’s on the upper (or right) side. This stitch is ideal for the edges of clothing, particularly if we wish to keep the edge tape.

The only requirement for us to work on one side that is not the very first step. Of of course, we stick the needle this way to conceal the knot. Once we do move the needle around the edge, taking in the entire layer of fabric, as well as the tape that is on the edge. As soon as we feel the needle is holding the fabric then we pull it up and then stick it through the entire length.

The stitches are small barely noticeable, but strong and durable. This stitch is perfect to tie loosely the hems of coats and jackets.

23. The Whipstitch


The final hand stitches listed is also used to stitch the edges of fabric. It’s also among the most common stitches to make repairs with.

When we’re looking to stitch two pieces of fabric using whipstitch method, we must first be able to secure the pieces. They must create an “mouth,” with the edge of each one being a “lip.” Our needle starts by entering on the outside of the upper lip so that the knot will be concealed on the inside. Then the needle is passed through both the top and bottom lip. The thread should rest placed over the lip and sew it to close. Repeat until the entire procedure is completed that your “mouth” is shut with thread fully.

Are There More Stitches Out There?

Oh, loads! The majority of hand stitches are merely slight variations of the basics described here. A single stitch may be named as many as twelve times! But, even with 23 names, our readers can stitch, weave and decorate any fabric they want. A little creativity can go far.

If you like this comprehensive list of hand stitches, do share this list with your friends on social media. Don’t forget to share your comments below If you have any concerns or questions about sewing or stitches.



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