Saturday, 16 November 2013

whip stitch

The whip stitch is used for seaming fabric either right or wrong sides together. Normally, I use it to join two finished edges or folded edges, attach crocheted pieces, sew up a stuffing opening and also use it as a decorative touch.

The whip stitch is  a visible stitch. It can be sewn with a contrasting thread instead of a matching thread. By this way, it would make more decorative for certain projects. It is ideal when joining together two layers of felt, as it not only holds the layers together, it also creates a decorative embroidery effect around the edges.

How I do the whip stitch

Before starting, make sure the pieces even. You can either to tack or pin them first.Tie a knot in the end of the thread, then insert the needle up through the bottom layer of fabric at a depth of 1/8" (about 3mm) from between the two layers. The knot should be sandwiched between the two pieces of fabric and will be invisible. Then pull the thread through. 

Next, insert the needle through both layers of fabric from the top layer by holding the needle a slight diagonal angle a little way along the first insertion point (the knot). You can draw a mark for the first insertion point to the top layer by referring to the knot inside the layers.

The first diagonal stitch is formed. Now, the thread should be wrapped around the edges.

Once again, insert the needle through the both layers of fabric from the top layer by holding the needle at a slight diagonal angle a little way along from the first stitch.

The second stitch is formed. Repeat this step and continue to the end of the seam. The stitches should be parallel. Try to keep the stitches and spaces as even as possible.

When you reach to the end of the seam and you wish to make your last stitch, put the needle through the top layer at a slight diagonal angle a little way along from the previous stitch as shown in the photo. Pull the thread through. Now, the thread is between the two layers.

On the inside of the two layers of fabric, put your needle under the last stitch.

Wrap the thread around the tip of your needle two or three times.

Pull the needle through to create a knot on the last stitch inside of the two layers.

A knot has created.

This is the pattern of whip stitch.

You can now pull the pieces apart to flatten the stitches. 

If you are not good enough in controlling the tightness of the thread as you go, you cann't flatten the pieces easily or get a good pattern. I suggest you try to flatten your pieces before you create the knot, and then adjust the stitches which are sewn too tightly. After doing that, then you can create a knot and cut off the thread.

NOT all the projects have to flatten the stitches, only do that when necessary. For example, sewing the opening of a pillow need not to flatten the stitches. Anyway, if you think it is really necessary to flatten it, of course you can do that.

There are two methods to make a knot at the end of the seam. For the project which you need to flatten the stitches, just follow the above mentioned steps. For the closed shape projects or any projects that need not flatten the stitches, you can put your needle under the last outside stitch and wrap the thread around the tip of the needle two or three times and then pull the thread through to create a knot. After you make your knot, insert the needle in through the seam and pull it out somewhere else on the piece. Tug on the thread a little to pull the knot through the seam to hide it.

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