Monday, February 14, 2011

Technique Class - Hand Stitching

If you have done any kind of sewing in the past, you should have no problem with adapting what you have done with fabric to what to do with cardstock and paper. The only real difference is paper is considerable stiffer than fabric - generally speaking.
If however you have never sewn before, then learning to sew may feel at first somewhat akin to learning a foreign language or trying to breath underwater - just not that natural. Still hopefully I can take some of the mystery and difficulty out of it so you no longer feel the drowning sensation. I will try to make it as easy as possible... though as with all my blogs... don't hesitate to ask me any questions if it doesn't make sense. I think I know what I'm talking about... I just may not be able to translate that into comprehendable English.

Materials aka what you need:
  • Craft Project - though if this is all new to you, I would suggest trying it out on some scrap card stock first... and yes card stock is easier to sew than patterned paper
  • Needle - not too big an eye (the hole the thread goes through) but big enough to get your thread through (otherwise you will give up in frustration before you even start)
  • Embroidery thread or fibres such as wool
To make it a bit easier on yourself you will also need:
  • Awl or something else to poke small holes in paper to sew through - it makes it HEAPS easier to sew through the cardstock if you have already pre-punched you holes. Just bear in mind you want the holes to be small enough so that they disappear under the thread, but big enough that you can easily get the threaded needle through the hole.
  • Stitching template (although not essential, if you are new to sewing, using a template shows you where to push your needle in order to make some kind of pretty picture)
  • Mat or mouse pad - to put under your cardstock so that when you poke the hole through the cardstock that you don't damage whatever is underneath... you... table... you... (you get the picture). I prefer a mouse pad - one of the old floppy & squishy ones, though I know my friend Miss Wendy likes using her harder cutting mat. It's a matter of personal preference and what you can find.


This is the easiest stitch to do.

Starting from underneath (the WRONG SIDE) of your cardstock push your threaded needle up through the paper to the top (GOOD SIDE). The push your needle back through to the other side again. Keep repeating this over and over again.
The trick is to try to keep your stitches the same length on BOTH sides of the cardstock... which is where a stitch template comes in REALLY, REALLY handy.
It's called a running stitch because when you do this in fabric (thought not really cardstock as its too firm) you can run several of the same stitches onto the needle at once before pulling it completely through. This speeds up the sewing process.

Similar to the running stitch though you end up creating a row of stitching without any gaps on the front (GOOD) side.
Start the same as a running stitch - come up from underneath the paper. Then instead of sewing forward your first stitch is in a backwards direction. Go back down to the other side of the paper behind where you started (in terms of your line of sewing.)
When you come back up from underneath you come back up one hole forward of where you first came up.
So in the picture below... come up at A. Go back down at B. Then come up again at C to complete one stitch. At this point you then start again stitch backwards into the hole back down the line of sewing which in this diagram would be the hole marked A. You keep repeating this over and over again.

The front and back of actual sewing look like the images below. Compare them  to those for running stitch to see the difference. The running stitch looks the same on both the front and back. The back stitch looks completely different front to back. And yes I usually finish off my sewing with sellotape as knot is too bulky under the cardstock.

More stitching next week... I hope you come back... I really, really do!!!

No comments: