Use a machine stitch as a perfect guide for hand sewing
Creating a rhythm when I hand stitch helps me maintain equal stitch tension. I also find it helpful to use lightweight interfacing on both the fashion fabric and the facing wherever possible to provide extra body as I stitch. My greatest hand-sewing assistance, however, comes from my sewing machine. When I want to sew evenly spaced hand stitches, I machine-baste a line and use it as a stitch guide. I adjust the stitch length to the hand stitch I plan to use. I remove the machine stitches just before hand sewing and follow the stitch holes left behind. But if it's difficult to see the holes, I leave the stitches in place until after I finish my hand work. I can use the machine stitches as a guide for many different hand stitches-blanket stitch (shown), topstitch, herringbone stitch, to name a few-and I always get perfect hand stitching. It takes some extra effort, but making a garment with details that rival very expensive designer clothing is a satisfying accomplishment that's well worth the time.
-Janice Engle, Aurora, Illinois
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