A hand stitch called a ladder stitch (also called a blind stitch) is used to sew an opening you left in a sewn object to turn it right side out (like pillows, pincushions, stuffed animals...). The stitch is almost invisible and forms a ladder like structure as you sew, hence the name. I learned the stitch from reading blogs and tons of practice so this tutorial incorporates my learnings and tricks to try to make the blind/ladder stitch as easy, invisible, and pain free as possible.
Start with your sewn object stuffed and ready for the opening to be sewn shut. In this demonstration, the object is a cathedral window pincushion stuffed with polyester stuffing.
1. Begin by marking (using a removable marking device), the stitching line to follow, starting from the sides of the opening and working towards the middle. Alternatively, you may iron the opening to make a crease to show where to sew, but I find making a sharp crease difficult (and find that it disappears half way through sewing) so I like to mark with the purple markers that disappear after a short time.
2. Thread the needle with the thread, form a knot at the end of the thread, and insert the needle into the side of the opening right where the stitching as ended. (For thread, I recommend a stronger thread such as a polyester thread or a cotton covered polyester core thread as they have a lower tendency to break than all cotton.)
3. Next (and this next step is the key to an invisible stitch), insert the needle into the opposite fabric directly across from where it came out of the first fabric. To achieve this, I pull the thread across the seam perpendicular to the marked lines and insert my needle right where the thread crosses over the marked line. Take a horizontal stitch along the marked line (my stitches are about an 1/8" of an inch) from one side of the opening towards the middle.
Here is the step again...
4. Repeat steps 3 and 4 about 4-8 times, then holding the fabrics together to close the partially stitched seam, pull the thread to tighten the partial seam. The more "stuffed" the item is, the more often you should tighten these partial seams as trying to tighten the thread across the entire seam at once may cause the thread to break (ask me how I know).
5. When you have done the blind/ladder stitch all of the way to the other side of the opening, make 2-3 knots to secure the thread, then insert the needle though the pincushion right next to the knit, and tug on the thread a little to bury the knot.
6. Trim the tail of the thread off (and remove the removable markings) and now you have a beautiful, almost invisible hand sewn seam!
I'm linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, and Sugar Bee Crafts.
I am also linking up to Link a Finish Friday, Whoop Whoop Friday, Thank Goodness Its Finished Friday, Fabric Frenzy Friday, Sewjo @ My Go Go Life, and Show Off Saturday @ Sew She Can.