Hand Sewing Hemming Stitch

Hand Sewing the Hem Stitch

I love my sewing machine, but sometimes it’s easier — and better — to hand sew something together. I like to do a lot of sewing by hand with hemming even though it’s probably just as easy to do it by machine. Today, I’m going to show how to do some hand sewing hem stitch.

How to Hand Sew a Hem Stitch

Just like the name implies, this stitch is particularly useful if you want to hem something. The advantage is that you will only see tiny “dots” of your stitch on the right-side of the fabric.

Step One: Match Your Fabric

You’ll want to go to the store and get the closest thread color to the fabric that you are trying to stitch. For the purposes of this tutorial, I am going to use a bright color against a fabric scrap so you can see the stitches better. Also, I used a knit fabric for this tutorial — sorry about that — but for some mysterious reason, I couldn’t find a better fabric scrap.

You will need to know how to thread a needle — here is a good guide if you aren’t sure how to do that.

Make sure you are buying the right thread — but, most of your projects will only require all purpose threads. I recommend Gutermann or Coats & Clark threads for most of your sewing projects.

Step Three: Knot the End & Hide It

You’ll want to hide it underneath the pressed hem you just created.

Step Four: Stitch Straight Through

You need to stitch through the top of the pressed hem, catching the underneath fabric and the pressed hem. If you are hemming dress pants, many times you’ll be able to stitch only the “underneath” of the fabric so you won’t even see the small stitch on the right side.

Step Five: Repeat

Do this all the way across. I did a couple of photos here because I wasn’t satisfied with some of the pictures.

And here is the right side!

Again, you will want to buy a thread that matches your fabric. These stitches will all be invisible. With time, you will get good at making the tiniest of stitches, so even if you don’t catch the underside of the fabric (for dress pants), you won’t be able to see any of your stitches anyway.

Do you hand sew a lot?

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