Whether you're sewing a hem or stitching a stuffed animal, there are times when you don't want your stitches to show. Blind stitch, sometimes called invisible stitch or slip stitch, allows you to sew without letting people see your stitches. And that makes the finishing on your project look more professional!
There are two main methods for blind stitching, but they're similar to each other. The first one is what to use when you are hand sewing a hem on a nice pair of trousers, a skirt, or even some beautiful curtains. The stitches vary in size, which is what makes it possible to keep them more hidden. The second method, often known as ladder stitch, is good for sewing the openings on soft toys or other projects that need joining on the right side of the fabric. The stitches are even, but completely concealed.
Both types of blind stitch are essential for hand sewing and finishing off any type of sewing project, from clothes to accessories and toys to home decor.
Although it's often possible to sew these types of things with a sewing machine, the stitches are usually far more visible. Hand sewing hems, linings, or seam openings takes a little longer, but the results are worth it!
Equipment / Tools
- Sewing Needle
Blind Hem Stitch
Start this version of blind stitch by preparing the hem of your fabric. Fold and press the edge of the fabric under and then fold and press it under again. When following a pattern, always use the hem size they provide and keep the fold even.
You should have a folded edge at the bottom with the raw edge of the fabric tucked inside the double folded hem.
For visibility, this tutorial shows contrasting thread, but you should always use matching thread for more invisible stitching.
Thread a sewing needle with thread and tie a knot in the other end. Working on the wrong side of the fabric, bring the needle up through the top folded edge.
Stitch Horizontally Through the Fabric
Take a very small stitch horizontally through the main part of the fabric. Keep the stitch very close to the folded hem and try to catch only a few threads of the fabric.
Go Through The Edge and Bring the Needle Back Out
Next, go through the edge of the folded hem close to the first stitch. Bring the needle back out through the fold about 1/2" away.
Repeat the Steps Above to Continue Stitching
Repeat the steps above for each stitch as you go. Make a tiny stitch through the outer fabric.
Make a longer stitch through the folded edge.
Use a Marking Tool If Needed to Keep Stitches Straight
Continue stitching the hem, always keeping your stitch spacing even. If you find it hard to keep the stitches spaced well or remain on a straight line, you can use tailor's chalk or another marking tool to make guidelines.
As you can see, from the back, the stitches are barely visible!
And on the front or right side of the hem, even with contrasting thread, the stitches are so small you hardly notice them. When you use matching thread, they truly are blind stitches!
Blind Stitch Openings
Follow the steps below to learn how to blind stitch openings of your projects.
Push Together Edges That Meet One Another
Start this version of blind stitch with two folded edges that meet each other. This might be the seam allowance of a handmade doll or pillow, for which the edges come together as you see above. It could also be a project for which it makes more sense to hold the pieces flat, but with the wrong sides facing.
Thread a sewing needle with thread and tie a knot in the other end. Again, use matching thread to keep the stitching invisible. Working on the right side of the fabric, bring the needle up through the bottom folded edge.
Make a Horizontal Stitch Through the Top Edge
Make a short horizontal stitch through the fold of the top edge. Insert the needle directly above where the thread came out on the bottom edge.
You can make these stitches whatever size you need, but smaller stitches are always stronger and less visible.
Make a Horizontal Stitch Through the Bottom Edge
Next, make another horizontal stitch in the bottom edge. Insert the needle directly across from where the thread came out on the top.
Repeat the Previous Steps to Continue Stitching
Repeat these steps to blind stitch the seam. Make a small stitch on the top edge.
And then make a small stitch on the bottom edge.
You can pull the stitches tight as you work, but on stuffed items, it's usually helpful to leave the stitches loose for a few stitches before you pull them tight. As you add stitches, you can see how they stretch across the opening. They look like a ladder, which is why this is sometimes called ladder stitch.
Pull Stitches Tight and Finish
Once you pull the stitches tight, the seam closes up and your sewing becomes almost invisible, just like a seam sewn with right sides together.