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How to Do a Slipstitch

Aug 13, 2009
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This is an excellent hemming and finishing stitch because the thread is hidden inside a fold when it’s sewn properly. The needle “tunnels” between the layers of the folded edge-hence the word “slip.” Use it for hemming and sewing linings in or garment sections together. To keep the stitches flat and hidden, tunnel the needle about 1mm below the fold. In hemming and finishing applications, keep the thread tension snug but not tight; otherwise, you’ll get a ripple where the stitching is.

Blind on both sides: When you hem, emerge from behind the fold on the hem allowance. Next, take up one yarn of the body fabric. Pull the thread. 

Then, about 1mm below the hem edge fold and slightly behind it, tunnel the needle for about 1⁄4 inch, before it emerges for the next stitch. Pull the thread. That was one-stitch cycle; repeat.

Blind on one side: Emerge…

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  1. boogey August 18th

    This is a useful thing to know I have been using it for years

  2. zzz123 August 24th

    Many, many thanks for explaining this WITH PHOTOS! As a beginning quilter the slipstitch is used to attach the quilt binding and I've had such trouble trying to do this stitch. This really helps! Thanks again! :)

  3. JDtailor August 26th

    I find it easier to do exactly opposite: keep the body of the garment towards me, and catch the hem on the away side. This is also the stitch to use for a pinked (catch 1/4" down) or seam-binding-edged hem. Keep the stitch under 3/8" total.

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