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Do it Yourself Hand Stitching!

Updated on November 7, 2009
A classic running stitch!
A classic running stitch!
A useful sewing kit!
A useful sewing kit!
The zany needle threader!
The zany needle threader!

Do it Yourself, Hand Stitching!

Hello and welcome friends and fellow crafty people! It has come to my attention that some of you don't know how to hand sew. Also that some of you do, but don't know much about it, or of new and varied ways of stitching.

In this Guide I'd like to share with you the very basics of how to hand sew!
I've found that hand sewing is my favorite way to sew, and I sew all the time! I would rather have the control hand stitching affords over how and where my stitches go. For me it's also very meditative and I can do it while watching a movie, talking on the phone or sitting in a waiting room!
For this exercise you'll need some materials that can be found in any craft store, any fabric store, and most corner markets and grocery stores.


1-3 basic hand sewing needles (try to get the medium sized ones if this is your first time, they are easier to thread)

2-5 different types of thread. (try cotton, a polyester blend and a soy thread)

1 yard of cheap fabric (an old pillowcase works great, but t-shirts can be a little too stretchy your first time.)

1 needle threader (unless you have very steady hands and very keen eye sight)

1 pair of sharp scissors (careful with these please!)

Optional: you can pick up a little sewing travel kit from just about anywhere these days, it should contain all of the items you need excepting the fabric.

Let's start with the basics.

First you'll need to thread your needle. To do this you'll want to cut the end of the thread you've decided to use for your first test drive. Being sure you have thread that isn't too thick for the needle you'll be working with.

You can also use the needle threader. It is a small aluminum tool that looks like a coin with a tail and a wire loop coming out of the tail. Simply place the thread in the loop and push the loop through the needle eye. when the thread is through grasp the thread and remove the threader from the needle.

Or you can do it the old fashioned way by:

Cutting the end of the thread at a 45 degree angle.

Hold up the needle so the eye of the needle is open toward you.

Push the thread into the eye of the needle.

You can then knot one end of the thread, leaving one end loose to sew with one thread or knot them together to sew with two threads. Make sure the knot is larger than the hole the needle will make in the fabric or the thread will just pull right through.

You can use one strand of thread for places that you do not want the stitching to show (if you use a matching thread to fabric color) and use two strands for extra strength

You'll need to Straighten the threads before you begin sewing.

Now that you've got your needle threaded lets try a basic Running Stitch!

Place the fabric you want to sew on a clean flat area free of clutter, debris and cats.
Since this is you first time you don't need to join any fabric together, let's just try sewing a simple line in the fabric. Try using a contrasting color so you can see your handi-work!

First you'll want to place one hand under the piece of fabric

Next take the threaded needle and carefully poke a hole through the fabric. With the hand under the fabric, pull the needle and thread through all the way until it's taught and no more thread is available to pull through.

Now take the needle and push it back through the fabric about an 8th of an inch away from the initial starting stitch.

If you repeat this process you should have a running stitch and it should look like this


Hooray! You've made your first running stitch! This is the oldest known, best know and most widely used stitch in the history of man/woman kind!

Well that's it for the basics of hand stitching, I hope you had a good time and learned a new and useful skill!

Have fun making!

Yours Truly,

Lady Make


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      DraGoN LaDy 8 years ago

      my daughter wants me to print this for her girl scout troop. If that's okay I will. thanks.

      DraGoN LaDy