Have you always wanted to make and sell your own designs, but weren’t sure which beginner sewing stitches to master first? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with this ultimate guide to beginner stitches.
Before you can run, you must walk. Similarly, before you can make your own clothes and handmade gifts, you must learn the basic stitch patterns.
Hand-sewn details can change the entire appearance of an item, so it is just as important to learn the basic sewing stitches as it is to learn sewing machine patterns, even though you are unlikely to ever need to make an entire garment without a sewing machine nowadays.
Top 5 Sewing Stitches Needed To Become A Master Sewer
Many beginners will feel nervous about making the commitment to buy all of the materials and equipment without knowing how to complete a simple stitch. Luckily, this guide will go over all of the basics and will turn you into a sewing pro in no time.
Recommended Resource: Sewing Machine Basics [Expertly Taught Class]
Getting Started With Sewing Stitches Isn’t As Hard As You Would Think
Mastering these beginner stitches will take some time of course, but practice really does make perfect. Before you know it you will be completing these stitches flawlessly without giving them a second thought.
Firstly, you must ensure you have all of the right materials and equipment to get started. These can be found in most craft stores and supermarkets and should be fairly easy to get your hands on. Stuck for choice on choosing the right sewing needle? Why not check out our mini-guide to ensure you pick the perfect sewing needles for you.
For these beginner sewing stitches we recommend you have:
- Fabric – A closely woven fabric such as cotton or linen is best for sewing, as it will show your stitches clearly.
- Threads – Stranded cotton thread is the most common. This can be any colour you would like but bolder colours are great to start out with as they are easier to see.
- Embroidery hoop – These are great to practice on as the fabric is pulled tight, embroidery hoops can also make for beautiful artwork within the home.
- Fabric Scissors – These cut through material much easier than regular scissors and are essential for when you are ready to make a garment or gift.
The 5 Most Important Sewing Stitches To Master
Now you have all the necessities, it is time to learn some of the basic beginner stitches. Although these are just the basics for sewing, you will realise their importance as you gain more experience as a sewer. These sewing patterns are sometimes all you will need to create hand-made gifts and decorations, including some of these amazing hand-made Christmas decorations. Therefore it is crucial to master these before rushing onto other more complicated sewing patterns.
The running stitch is probably the best-known sewing stitch – the stitch which all other stitches are based on. Commonly called the straight stitch, this is the easiest permanent stitch to learn. If you have already given sewing a go before, you will have most likely used this stitch. The running stitch sewing pattern is great to outline designs and add patterns to your work.
To complete a running stitch, you should start with a threaded needle poking up and through the fabric. Then take your needle back down and through the fabric, this will create a small line which is your first stitch. Leaving a small space from your previous stitch, take your needle back up and through the fabric and then down again. Continue this pattern until you have finished sewing and use the excess thread to create a knot to end the stitch.
This stitch pattern is great to begin with and you can start creating little decorations using the running stitch. You can find loads of inspiration floating around online that would be easy to recreate with this stitch; I think a star garland is a truly adorable design to decorate with and would look perfect in any child’s room! Click through to find out how to make a star garland.
When creating a solid line, a backstitch sewing pattern is used. This pattern is perfect for outlining designs or creating embroidered letters.
The backstitch got its name as the individual stitches are made going backward to the direction of the actual line being sewn. Similar to the running stitch, the backstitch is a permanent hand stitch and has the reputation of being the strongest and most adaptable stitch.
To start the backstitch, poke the threaded needle up and through the fabric and then back down ensuring to pull the thread tight. You will then want to repeat this step twice, ensuring you go up through the first hole and back down the second hole.
Next, poke the needle up through the fabric to the right of the second hole and feed the thread back down through the second hole. This is what puts the ‘back’ into the backstitch. Carry on this pattern of the needle coming up through the fabric and back down through the hole made before it.
The split stitch creates a solid line but has a braided texture. This makes it perfect for anything from outline and lettering to filling in designs. However, this sewing pattern looks more delicate and is more complicated than the previous two methods. Why not test this stitch out on spare bits of fabric and try creating a simple yet effective gift bag or fabric book cover for a friend?
Start with a threaded needle, and poke it up through the fabric and complete the first stitch by pushing the needle back through the fabric on the opposite side of the first hole, similar to the start of a backstitch.
You will then need to split the first stitch with the second stitch. To do this, push your needle up through the middle of the second hole you previously made and then back down through the first hole you made.
You should then have a second stitch over your first stitch. Continue this pattern down the line and you should be able to see how this sewing pattern creates a delicate braid-like effect.
The satin stitch is popular for filling in designs as it gives a raised texture but has a smooth appearance. It is a very fast way to fill in areas or designs, which is just one of the many reasons why this stitch should be mastered by beginners.
Thread your needle and proceed to poke the needle up through the fabric at your chosen starting point. Push the needle back down through the opposite point of your starting point. This can be as wide or as long as you want it to be.
You will then want to repeat this process, going directly below the stitch before until you have fully filled in your shape. With this stitching pattern, it is important to not pull the thread too tight as it can cause the fabric to bunch up underneath it.
A chain stitch can be used as an outline for a shape or as a frame around a design. It gets its name from the chain-like pattern that is created by the series of looped stitches. This type of stitch is traditionally used to hem jeans, making it a useful technique to master if you want to start making clothes.
The chain stitch pattern can be hard to master due to its fiddly nature. I found this post extremely helpful when I was learning this stitch.
Begin by making a simple straight stitch, bringing the threaded needle up through the back and then back down through the fabric. However, you do not want to pull this tight as you will need to loop the needle through this stitch.
Create a new hole by bringing the needle back up and through the fabric, this should be in line with the first stitch. Then bring the needle under the original stitch and pull the thread through and push the needle back down through the hole it just came up.
This creates the first link of the chain and is what you will need to repeat to complete this stitch, ensuring that your needle passes through the links each time it comes up before going back down.
Bonus Stitch: Lazy Daisy
Also known as the detached chain stitch, the Lazy Daisy is an easy way to add some small flowers or petals into your work. This is perfect for adding some extra details and as the name suggests, it is an easy way to incorporate flowers into your design.
The process of creating a lazy daisy stitch is extremely similar to a chain stitch, except it circles round to create a flower rather than being a straight line. Start by creating a loose straight stitch, this will be the flower petal.
Push the needle back up through the loop and down on the other side of the petal, pulling it tightly to secure the petal in place. You will then want to go back up through the petal’s starting point and repeat these steps until you have done a full 360 and formed the shape of the flower.
To Conclude These Beginner Sewing Stitches
Once you have perfected these beginner sewing stitches you will be able to create hand-sewn gifts, decorations, clothing, and much more. It may take a lot of hard work and practice to master all of these techniques – even the best can sometimes struggle with the more complicated chain stitch every now and then.
Using an embroidery hoop to practice these beginner stitches will prevent the fabric from pulling and bunching up, allowing you to focus all of your attention on the pattern. Once you feel confident move on to creating items on loose fabric, this will give you more experience for future projects which will require you to work without the embroidery hoop.
Happy sewing everyone!