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How to Start a Hand Stitch

Learn how to start a stitch hand sewing with this simple tutorial.

How to Start a Hand Stitch

Whether you are a sewing beginner or went straight to machine sewing, this tutorial on How to Start a Hand Stitch is just what you need to learn the basics.

We will go over the materials needed and each step of the process to get right down to it.

You'll be hand stitching in no time with this easy-to-follow tutorial. Plus, after the tutorial, you will find a whole slew of free hand stitching patterns.

Use your new skill to make any of the pretty patterns or others you find on the many sewing blogs.

Once you want to learn how to start sewing by hand, then use this tutorial to do hand embroidery, add top stitching, embellishments, and more hand sewing projects.

It may be the main type of sewing you are using or it may be simply to add smaller or special details to a machine-stitched project, but it's great to know if you want to be an expert in sewing.

Check out the full tutorial with images below to learn how to start and end a hand stitch. This is a great beginner sewist lesson. Plus, we have a selection of free hand stitching projects for you to try once you've mastered this skill.

Learn how to start stitching by hand with this simple tutorial.

It may be the main type of sewing you are using or it may be simply to add smaller or special details to a machine-stitched project, but it's great to know if you want to be an expert in sewing.

Check out the full tutorial with images below to learn how to start and end a hand stitch. This is a great beginner sewist lesson.

Plus, we have a selection of free hand stitching projects for you to try once you've mastered this skill. Just scroll down past the hand sewing stitch tutorial.

BONUS! Watch this video on stitching straight lines to see hand sewing in action. Simply click the play button to watch.

Hand Stitching Tutorial

Hand Stitch Materials Needed:

Before starting, you need to gather supplies. You only need a few things but the specifics are important.

1. Hand sewing needle
There are many different sizes and types of hand sewing needles. Learn more about choosing the best one by reading our page on Sewing Needle Types.
 
2. Sewing thread
Read through What Types of Thread to Use to help you choose the best thread for your project.
 
3. Scissors
Any sharp scissors that can cut thread without splitting it will work. Read our How to Sharpen Sewing Scissors guide if you'd like to get yours sharper.
 
4. Fabric/items you are stitching
If you want to learn more about fabric, then check out our Types of Fabric page.
 
5. Optional notions:

  - 
needle threader
  - pins/clips
  - measuring tape
  - embroidery hoop

If you are a beginner or want to speed things up, then using these helpful tools may be important to have ready.
 

How to Start a Stitch by Hand:

  1. Thread your needle, cut, and knot the tail of your thread. Use a needle threader if desired.

    Note: The length of thread needed depends on the project but a safe bet is to start with about 10-15 inches. It's easy to rethread and start again. Plus, a longer piece of thread has more of a chance to get knotted while you're working.
     

  1. Coming up through the bottom of your fabric, push the needle and thread through and lightly pull up until the knot has reached the back of the fabric.
     

  1. For a standard straight stitch: Move forward about 4mm and push the needle and thread back down through the fabric.

    Note: The length of your stitch is dependent on which type of stitch you are using. Find more information by looking through this Embroidery Stitches Free PDF Book from Muse of the Morning.
     

  1. Again, depending on the stitch you are using, you will move another 2-4mm or so or push the needle and thread up next to the stitch you have already completed and through to the front. Then back down, matching the same length of your previous stitch (unless otherwise desired).
     

  1. Repeat the process with consistent stitch lengths going from the front to the back until your hand sewing design is finished.
     

  1. How to end a hand stitch: Turn the piece around to the back. Push the needle through a part of the first stitch at least once to secure.
     

  1. Once the beginning and ending threads are knotted together, cut the excess thread.
     

  1. Make any additional finishing touches as needed and you're done! Enjoy your hand-stitched artwork.
     

Free Hand Sewing Patterns

  1. Raindrops Bean Bag DIY Kids’ Game: Shown below! This children's game sewing pattern could not be more fun to make!
     
  2. Vintage Car with Christmas Tree DIY Ornament: Use your hand stitching skills to create decorations like this DIY ornament for Christmas.

Raindrops Bean Bag DIY Kids’ Game

  1. Felt Embroidery DIY Paper Clip Craft: Who would want a normal paper clip when you can create an adorably embroidered version?
     
  2. Free Watermelon Embroidery Pattern: Summer parties will be even more festive with this easy-to-make watermelon embroidery pattern.

  1. Home Run Baseball Embroidery Hoop: Shown below! Any sports fan will love making or receiving this fun and sports-tastic embroidery hoop baseball.
     
  2. Rainbow DMC Stitchable Cuff Pattern: You will not believe how easy this embroidered bracelet is to make! It's stylish, too!

Home Run Baseball Embroidery Hoop

  1. Sequins Embellished Felt Flowers: These beautiful flowers can be used to decorate anything and making them is so fun.
     
  2. Peppy Penguin DIY Ornament: Use basic hand stitches to design this beyond cute felt penguin ornament for the holidays.

Up Next

How to Sew
Two Pieces of Fabric Together >>


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