Hand Sew a Slip Stitch

  • 01 of 04

    Definition of a Slip Stitch

    Hand sewing
    Zero Creatives / Getty Images

    The slip stitch, also known as a blind stitch, is commonly used to sew hems and hand sew areas where you don't want the stitches to show. 

    Appliques with the edges turned under is another time when they would be sewn in place with a slip stitch. Seams sewn from the outside from a garment or item like pillows or stuffed animals are perfect candidates for a slip stitch.

    When done correctly, a slip stitch should be invisible. 

    Slip stitching can be done by machine if your sewing machine has a blind hem presser foot. 

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Anchor the Knot

    Anchor the hand sewing knot
    Debbie Colgrove

    Slip stitches can be made with a single length of thread or a double length in the case of heavy fabrics or where durability is required.

    • Thread a needle and pull through as much as you think you'll need for the length of the seam (within reason, of course). 
    • Knot the thread at the end. 
    • Insert the needle in a seam allowance or hem edge to anchor the knot on the inside of the garment or in a hidden location. You want the knot to be inconspicuous and out of sight.
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  • 03 of 04

    Making the Slip Stitch

    How to sew a popular hemming stitch... the slip stitch
    Debbie Colgrove
    • Use the tip of the needle to pick up a few threads of the fabric from the body of the garment, directly under where the thread knot was anchored.
    • Pull the needle through the fabric toward the hem edge.
    • Move the needle over and insert the needle into the hem edge, so the stitch itself is under the hem edge or the fabric being sewn on.
    • Repeat the stitch, picking up the threads of the garment fabric in the same direction on each stitch, keeping the stitch spacing as even as possible.
    • Continue in this manner around the entire garment until it is finished.
    • Once you finish, tie a knot close to the fabric and pull the thread through about an inch of the stitches without piercing the front of the fabric to hide the tail and then cut the thread.
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  • 04 of 04

    Slip Stitch Tips

    Sample of Hand Sewn Slip Stitch
    Debbie Colgrove
    • Use a single thread for less visibility.
    • If the area you are sewing is not a durable type area, use bobbin thread for less visibility.
    • On lightweight tightly woven fabric, consider sewing with thin bobbin thread for less visibility.​
    • Practice the stitch on gingham fabric to learn to evenly space your stitches.
    • Practice being consistent so that all of your stitches are uniform in size and direction. Always keep the stitches in the same direction and the same size as much as possible so they appear even on the outside of the garment if the stitches are visible.