Page Two


The Scarf Dress, page 3

Useful Hand Stitches


The Slipstitch

For seams, work from the right side, with the upper edge folded and lapped over the lower.  Pull the needle out through the fold, and into the lower piece immediately opposite. Come up again about 1/8" ahead, pick up a thread or two of the fold, and repeat.  Take several stitches, draw the thread taut but not tight.  These stitches will show on the wrong side.  To prevent this, if the work needs to be reversible, run the thread through the fold between stitches, taking tiny U-shaped stitches between the fold and the lower piece.

With a matching thread, the stitches are practically invisible.


The Backstitch

The backstitch makes a very strong seam. 
Take a 1/8" stitch, then insert the needle either 1/16 or 1/8" behind the thread, and take another 1/8" stitch.


The Rolled Hem (my version) with a slipstitch

This is a soft hem, suitable for smooth light-weight fabrics.  Technically, it should not be pressed flat, but use your own judgment - after doing a test! 

Most sewing reference texts will suggest a line of machine stitching 1/8" below the hemline, and then to trim the hem allowance just below the stitching as you sew the hem; for doll clothes, I don't do this.  Also, some directions result in a slanted stitch visible on the wrong side; I prefer a straight stitch - but whatever works best for you.

a. Use a single thread to match the fabric, in a small fine needle. A fine thread works best; you may be able to find a fine (size 70 or 100) cotton or silk thread, or you may want to try untwisting a polyester thread or an embroidery thread, to use a single ply.

Trim the hem allowance to 1/8". Roll the raw edge to the wrong side, just so the raw edge can't be seen;  pick up a single thread of the fabric, take a small stitch in the edge of the roll, pick up another single thread of the fabric opposite the stitch in the roll; advance about 1/8" and take a small stitch in the edge of the roll. Repeat this several times, then gently pull the thread taut but not tight.  (It goes quickly once you get the rhythm!)


b. Another way to do this hem, for fabrics which do not roll smoothly (even when you lick your finger first), is to fold down the hem allowance; crease with your fingers.

Take a small stitch in the fold; pick up a thread of the fabric; take another small stitch in the fold, and continue this way.  When you pull the thread taut, the hem will fold up.