This stitch keeps layers of fabric flat against one another, such as a hem or seam allowances. Use it on lined garments because the lining covers and protects the surface threads, which tend to catch on things. You can vary the stitch length according to taste. For the catchstitch, I recommend making stitches 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch apart.
Classic version: In the classic version, the direction of travel is left to right, but the needle points to the left. As you can see in the photos, it is a back-and-forth stitch; you first catch the surface layer and then the hem allowance layer and repeat.
My version: This version uses less thread and is faster to sew than the classic catchstitch. I like to interline garments (see “You Say Underlining, I Say Interlining,” Threads #135, p. 40). Catchstitches allow me to tack seam allowances to the interlining without the stitches showing from the right side. To stitch my version, take two “bites” on each stitch—one on the seam or hem allowance and one on the surface fabric or interlining.
The needle travels at 45 degrees to the seam, as shown.
Excerpted from “Master Class: Master the Hand Stitch,” Threads #135, Feb./March 2008, p. 63.
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