100 thoughts on “How to Sew a Simple Strong Seam by Hand: A Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide”

  1. I have to say you have inspired me to take the plunge. I don't sew as much as I used to because it's such a bother to take my sewing machine and everything out and put it away every time I sew a little while. Just sitting in my living room sewing sounds so much more pleasant. I am a linen fanatic. Linen clothing is expensive. The best way to get what I want is to make it. Also, I'm in the SCA. I can't just run to a shop and buy 16th c. clothes. Now is the time of year when it's cold and icky outside so I have plenty of time to practice and sew, sew sew. I do have a question about vintage linen thread. Ever used any? Or is 20 year old thread a lost cause?

  2. oh no. I'm hand-sewing a skirt but I've been using sewing machine allowances. Which are too tiny for my dumb stubby fingers and also for doing a proper second seam. Oh god what have I done

  3. I handsew all my plushies that I create. I also prefer to handsew over my machine on most things, and only use it on very large projects with pressing time. I have been sewing since I was two years old and enjoy it. This video came up on the playlist, but thought I would comment. 🙂

  4. Honestly, I enjoy watching your tutorial videos. Even though I’m a total noob at sewing, I’m thinking of maybe going back to it…I used to enjoy sewing with my grandmother, so this really brings some nostalgia. Sewing always made me gape in awe somehow, and I was always so enamoured with it for some reason. Your videos are awesome!

  5. I'm so happy to have found someone who does handsewing. My grandmother taught me to sew at age 5 and I don't trust machine stitches the way I trust my own hands.

  6. I'm a fashion design student and sadly I still don't have a sewing machine at home… I thought hand stitching was super weak and not worth it but maybe I'll start turning in proyects this way

  7. I never thought I would do this, but I have started to hand stitch a simple skirt. Once the skirt is done, taking inspiration from her cloak of leaves, I am covering it with fake flower petals. 😊

  8. My God you you do know that there’s more than just Jane Austen to be found in classical literature right?

  9. I really loved this video! I'm trying to get back into sewing but don't have access to a sewing machine (except for my dad's old one from the 80s that has an exposed rubber belt that is on the verge of snapping) so I decided to start hand sewing. I'm starting out with a slip to wear underneath a semi see-through dress I bought so that any mistakes aren't visible to anyone but me XD. I also decided to draft the pattern for it from scratch (which I've never even learned about let alone attempted) so needless to say the result will be interesting at the very least.

  10. This is so nice! Since I don't have a sewing machine but lots of free time, I'm excited to try out some designs (super modern I'm sorry to disappoint) now that I actually know what I'm doing with the thread and needle.

  11. Do you have a tutorial on pad stitching to hold stuff in place? I've seen you use this technique but I'm interested in learning it; I've got some underlined craziness for my dolls coming up on my to-do list and it'd be super helpful.

  12. @Bernadette Banner
    Thanks for this video, I'm about to make a few formal suits for myself & am not wise to the ways of sturdy sewing. So again, thankyou very much.
    Though question, why not just set the thread up on a stick & just have one long thread instead of running out mid way or something?

  13. This has helped me a lot, even though I'm just a hobbiest. It's been awhile since I've done more than a small repair, but I want to recreate my great-grandmother's quilts (that my dad threw out) & help my brother take in some shirts, so I'm back in the game!

    I have no idea what I'm going to do without a serger, but I feel more confident hand seeing that using my tension-finicky machine.

  14. This is one of the best sewing video I have ever seen, you have taught everything so clearly which is something that I find pretty rare in sewing videos, I love how you put that peaceful background music cause it make everything become so relaxing. Thanks for this video it do help me a lot , keep up with the nice work !

  15. What about princess seams (Sewing it right face out, trimming the seam, turning it the opposite way, right faces touching, and sewing the seam again, effectively hiding the fray edge inside the seam) when did that style seam start being used? Is it called princess stitch after a particular princess?

  16. Very nice to know! I learned to sew pretty young but it’s always been very loose and messy since I was taught only a very basic stitch and it’s not…. accurate to what literally anyone actually uses. I’ll be taking this video into account in any future projects!

  17. As someone who knows absolutely nothing about sewing, that end result was absolutely gorgeous and it makes me want to take up sewing!

  18. Ok, so this is my first time watching your video. I'm actually researching for this kind of tutorials and behold! The end result is much, much nicer than the machine ones. I love it!

  19. Those stitches look better than 99.9%…okay, 100% of the stitches on my modern garments. All my clothes are officially cabbage. Thank you Bernadette!

  20. Your creativity and needlework is astounding; your command of the English language simply is exquisite. I find your video s fascinating!

  21. Im terrifyed of doing seams on a sewing machine. THEY ARE TOO DAMN NARROW!! So im going to hand sew my seams and maybe one day i will be able to do them on the machine… But who cares when i can hand stitch my life away!!! I have a skirt, a pair of gloves and a vest (based off some historical garments and patterns might i add!!) That im very excited to try. Im going to casually ignore the lining instructions though cause… I can. Teaching me "bad" (notreally) historical habits you are!

    EDIT: Just wanted to add, i have 3 denim jackets all with patches hand stitched onto them (i dont trust glue) i used the thinnest needle i had and i STILL had to pull the needle out with pliers. My fingers were often red after doing 3 measly patches so i can 100% attest to "the thicker the fabric, the thinner the needle."

    My right pointer finger hasnt been the same since i accidentally slammed it into my thumb trying to pull the needled out. I still remember the pain.

  22. Does this change the implications of "Your mom found you under a cabbage leaf"?
    Either way, I feel I learned a bit and am more confident to begin my sewing ventures!

  23. I had great seeing training at home and school. I learned how to tension the fabric over my nonstitching fingers, adjusting so it stayed flat and didn't distort. I sew by hand a lot nowadays and I'm so grateful for the teaching of so many years ago. Your approach is very good, explaining the reasons as well as the technique.

  24. I have been hand sewing since I was 5 years old, and you have taught me so much!!! I am now going to practice my hand stitching while at work and just sitting around!! Thank you very much!!

  25. This was so informative, and helpful! This was the first time I've heard about such things as "finding the grain", and now all my slightly wonky sewing projects from distant school years suddenly make sense. I knit a lot, and although I own a sewing machine (we have a complicated relationship) I really prefer the more "hands on" approach. I'm now inspired to learn hand sewing. Thank you! Now off to watch your historical stitches – video 🙂

    P.S. My grandma was a seamstress. She would have enjoyed watching your videos 🙂

  26. That's just sewing the seams, can you imagine growing the elements from the ground, processing it , spooling it, and THEN weaving the threads together to make the fine cloth ….. i pass out just thinking about it.

  27. I've always MUCH preferred to hand sew ~particularly back stitching ~ than to machine sew my projects, even though everything takes much longer. I get a lot of flack for that, of course! Machining is such a pain, and I'm constantly frustrated by how flimsy the stitching feels. I especially loath the whole "back tack a few stitches and then chop off the ends" because it doesn't hold long term, and projects unravel very easily!! Even if I'm forced to machine sew, I'm still sitting down and patiently bringing one side of the thread through and knotting and working the ends in so everything is secure and neat. I much prefer back stitching everything for strength, though, and I love how the seam allowance here is secured with the whip stitching!! I've never thought to do that before! Also super fascinated by how different threads behave, so I think I'm going to have to experiment a little and see how things change with different threads.

    Super fascinating video, thanks so much for making it!! Definitely going to have to have a browse through your channel when I have a bit of spare time!

  28. I'm so glad someone in my one of my craft groups shared one of your episodes. I know some basic hand sewing from quilting and closing seams for a few items but this has helped me feel more confident that I can hand alter a torn night gown without using my machine. Not to mention alter said night gown to better fit the person it is for.
    Also, I need to make a corset and your coset videos have inspired me to go for a more historical interpretation that and a waistcoat……which was also added to my crafting list. I didn't know how much I needed one till lady Sherlock Holmes.

  29. How inspiring!!! I've always wanted to sew by hand and your tutorial gives me confidence that I could actually do it! Subscribing!!

  30. ooh A new use for my sewing ham. Delightful. I love my ham. I am also lucky enough to own an antique sleeve pressing board inherited from grandma. It was very gratifying to see these seams being done up close especially the felled seam. Thank you very much.

  31. I know this is meant for historical garments, but I can use so much of the information given here for doll clothing. I have come to the conclusion that that sewing machines are not for me. They're too loud, and loud noises bother me very much, and sometimes the machine likes to eat the tinier pieces, sucking them down into the black whole that the bobbin lives in, never to be seen again . . .

  32. Thank you for your beautiful videos, I finally went and did my sewing project that I avoided doing for too long. It's no garment but it was still heaps of fun. I don't have a cushion to pin into so I ended up kneeling in from of my bed and pining it into the mattress, with the added bonus that I didn't have to bend down to see my stitches 😉 I'm looking forward to go on more sewing adventures!

  33. I prefer hand sewing. Machines and I don't seem to get on. I also find it more relaxing just doing things by hand. When ever I try using a machine, I get very tense. I do hope to eventually over come this, simply because some of my future projects would otherwise just take too long.

  34. Long story short. I graduated with my apparel pattern design and construction certificate four years ago. My life went on a WOW journey and I'm just now getting back to ME. so I'm looking for videos to "refresh" my education. This video is beautiful and easy to follow. So the point of my comment is to ask you to do more videos like this to demonstrate all hand stitches. I have seen other you tubers who are informative, but I have found them hard to watch, or fallow. So for ME, you are the sewing diamond in the coal, and will be my you tube sewing teacher. 🙂

  35. I like the content but
    am i the only one who is uncomfortable with the focusing and unfocusing of the video?
    I think ill have a headache

  36. Thank all that is sane, I studied physics in college! Physics has to be simpler than the art of hand sewing. I can easily ponder, while weak and weary, equations of motion or the dynamics of thermodynamics, etc., etc. But, “. . . felling for eight hours straight . . .”? Stark, staring mad I would be!

  37. I love how you put this instructional together. I hope you make many more videos in this series, as this one was particularly helpful to me. I always have a difficult time keeping my stitch length the same along the length of the seam. I start with a reasonable stitch length and by minute increments the stitches become smaller. On one such instance using back stitching by the end of the seam one stitch was only one thread wide on the right side of the fabric having started with a stitch length of three threads on the right side of the fabric. The example was from the main seam of a microwave heating bag containing grains, cotton printed quilting fabric and waxed cotton thread were used.

  38. I’ve done every kind of needlework — embroidery, cross-stitch, needlepoint, crocheting, and knitting — since I was a child, but I always hated sewing. I think it’s because sewing machines were the only options presented to me. You inspire me.

  39. I am grateful that I saw this video before I had started back on my doll clothes I've been meaning to finish. Often I find hand sewing preferable than a sewing machine for those little details!!!

  40. I would very much like to suggest the sewing mannequin DIY, but you may need a friend or two to do it. It will help you to drape your patterns much more easily as it will be perfectly fitted to you 🙂

  41. I have been sewing for about 50 years. I mostly make quilts these days, and home projects. I find your videos strangely fascinating, and I am inspired to make garments again!

  42. I'm going to use this stitch to make clothes for our American Girl dolls! I have Felicity and my daughter has Samantha and they are both "vintage" (aka 1992/1994, mine is original as I was a child in the 90s lol). Now Felicity can finally have historically accurate clothing!

  43. This is a great help! I do mending for myself and my partner and make doll/miniature clothing by hand and will look into a cushion for controlling the tension since that's a recurring issue.

  44. Came across your videos by delightful chance! My mom could make a sewing machine whistle Dixie & had every tailoring tool ever made. She used her tailor’s ham for pressing only so was surprised when you used it as an anchor to keep the project taut. Wonderful! And thank you!

  45. I'm helping a friend make a carolean uniform and military reenactors take their authenticity very seriously. It looks like there are many hours of hand stitching ahead of me and I am greatful for this video. I need Netflix recommendations.

  46. I've never seen the cushion used for tension before, that's a good idea! I usually just use my knee and the side of my hand.

  47. Not uninteresting but I've been bingeing through from the beginning and all these methods and tips are old hat. Besides, I am a brute and generally only repair a pocket or re-attach buttons. Still, I fear not the day I actually run two pieces of fabric together!

  48. I try to keep my thread on shorter side to keep hand-stitching faster rather than to prevent tangles. I'm yet to figure out how short it should go before time wasted making knots outweighs whatever i save in stitching process

  49. I can’t believe how flat and nice the seam is without pressing! I am a modern electric machine sewer so I’m in awe.

  50. I have always worked away from me but I see those who do it towards themselves. I can switch but I try not to mid seam as the differing slants can be obvious and look messy.

  51. Huh, I guess in primary school we were taught to hand-sew much more similarly to the historical ways than the modern. We were taught to single-thread, to add knots in the ends for strength, and to always pull the thread taut.

  52. This is a bit overwhelming, but I hope to learn to be a seamster one day, so I watched it in its entirety. Most likely I will watch it again one day!

  53. I tried sewing some fabric samples I've had for years this way, and when I showed my grandma she couldn't believe it was hand sewn. Really great technique! A very strong stitch.

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