Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hand Sewing Tips

For those of you that don't hand sew very
often, are intimidated by it or you are
a beginner here are some very important
tips I'd like to share. 

If you are going to hand sew, a thimble or
some type of finger protector is a MUST! 
You will just give up if your fingers
become too sore! I use a
leather or hard rubber thimble when I
am sewing on heavier fabrics.
 They are more flexible & much more
comfortable for me than a metal thimble. 
When I sew light weight or cotton
fabrics I use a little round finger patch
(I buy them at the fabric store) that
sticks to the tip of my finger.  They
are a bit sticky around the edges &
some times fall off so I put a
flexible band aid around it. They are
re-usable to.  My finger is protected,
 there is very little bulk, it's flexible
& it doesn't fall off!!

I always wax my thread!!
(Bees wax is available at sewing centers.)
I loathe a tangled thread, it's time
consuming & frustrating to try and
untangle a knotted thread.

For sewing with cotton I use Bohin French
needles size 9. I don't know if it is
the recommend needle but they are very sharp.
They are not too thick around, nor are
they too thin. It's hard to push a fat needle
thru fabric & I can't use a needle if it
gets bent. They are not too long nor too short. 
I poke myself if a needle is too long and my arthritic hands fumble with a short needle. 
They work for me & that's what counts.

 I use a sturdier needle for heavier fabrics. 
Curved needles for sewing hair on a dolls head
& a long long needle when I need to sew
through a dolls head.  Embroidery needles
when I embroider & needles with a
bigger eye for button holes twist thread.

When I pin fabric together I turn the piece
over and sew from the other side.  It is
very time consuming & frustrating to
remove thread that has become entangle with
the heads or tip ends of pins!

Here are some wonderful videos that are very easy to follow by The Brass & Morter Uniform Depot & Tailoring Shop. 

Basics Of Hand Sewing 
The Running Stitch 
The Slip-stitch 
The Back-stitch 

Video of a tailor making some awesome
hand sewn buttonholes on a jacket! 

I hope this is helpful.
Happy Sewing!!


  1. Awesome. Is it okay if I post a link to your tips on my facebook page? I sew by hand a lot, and (although I just grew a callous instead of wearing a thimble) use pretty much all of these same techniques, there are some who could sure benefit.

    Awesome post, Sherri.

    1. Jan,
      Feel free to post on your facebook page. I wish more people would try hand is so gratifying!!!!

  2. I'm so glad you shared these, Sherri. I use my grandma's old metal thimble, but on hot days it gets really sweaty under there! Usually I'm doing light sewing. I have a hard time finding a needle that isn't so fine that it pokes back into my finger on the eye end (ouch).


  3. Can I post a link to this on my site ? I would like to make it a permanant link in our files too. We always love new methods to make dolls.


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