Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Video: How to Sew a Pickstitch

Threads magazine - 169 - Oct./Nov. 2013

Evamarie Gomez and Judith Neukam; Shot by: Gary Junken

Whether you are new to sewing or have years of experience, there are several hand stitches that every sewing enthusiast must know. One of them is the classic pickstitch. In “Teach Yourself to Sew”, Threads #169 (October/November 2013), couture sewing expert and frequent Threads author, Claire Shaeffer illustrates how to make a pickstitch and shares its various uses and applications.

In this quick Threads Essential Techniques video tutorial, we demonstrate step-by-step how to make this indispensible hand stitch. For more information on pickstitches, be sure to pick up the Threads #169, and don’t miss other fundamental techniques like this one by purchasing a print subscription of Threads Magazine.

How often do you use pickstitches in your sewing? Where do you use this type of backstitch the most?


Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in


  1. sathya_india | | #1

    I have got so much confident, thank you

  2. User avater
    LuvThreadsMagazine | | #2

    These videos are as beautiful as they are useful.

  3. User avater
    Madame_Mooshi | | #3

    I used a pick stitch to insert a zipper into my first ever couture dress! I love the result!

  4. rr528 | | #4

    The pickstitch is worked left to right if you're left-handed.

  5. Grandmomof7 | | #5

    My poor internet connection does not allow me to watch video, is there a tutorial instead?

  6. User avater
    agapantha | | #6

    I don't use a pick stitch often but it is the only way I can put in a zipper without screwing it up somehow.

  7. User avater
    newimage | | #7

    From downunder Australia I have tried unsuccessfully three times over a 16 hour timeframe to watch this video without success. It is now 10:36pm on 4 September 2013 and the Error Code is:
    any clues please? I have logged into my Insider account to view this video. Love Threads and all the knowledge it imparts.

  8. user-1108895 | | #8

    The pick stitch demonstrated in the magazine shows the thread fastened off with a tailor's knot and the end of the thread cut and visible.
    The thread end should be buried after knotting by inserting the needle in the fabric, running it between the layers for an inch or so, bringing it out onto the surface, pulling the thread lightly and then clipping it close to the fabric. The end will then disappear.
    No good tailor would leave visible ends.

  9. gingerlaw | | #9

    could not see the video :(

  10. XIII | | #10

    Thanks for this tutorial! Very informative.

  11. User avater
    thepkl | | #11

    I used to go to the high end shops looking for ideas to copy when I noticed a Valentino dress had a hand inserted zipper. That would have been in the 80's and it is the only way I have ever inserted a dress zipper since. When you do it this way you never have to take them out. I do machine stitch the zipper to the seam allowance on the inside.

  12. user-2632502 | | #12

    I have used the pick stitch to insert zippers, and to understitch a neckline facing. When there is a tight spot that the zipper foot cannot fit into, the pickstitch is a life saver. I have used a variation of the pick stitch, making the "pick" a little longer, to sew seams. Hand sewing a garment makes the garment that much more personal.

  13. mycreation | | #13

    To Gingerlaw, try a different internet browser. I sometimes need to change from Mozillafirefox to Google Chrome to see some of the videos. Good luck.

  14. gailliemac | | #14

    Totally cool, neat and certainly easier than machine stiching.

    My next project will have this as a technique used

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All