Starting and Ending Seams | VideoLearn couture-worthy methods, whether you're sewing by hand or machine.
Couture sewing includes a combination of hand and machine sewing. In each case, it’s important to secure the stitching at the beginning and end of a seam without creating bulk or leaving visible knots.
Claire B. Shaeffer demonstrates several methods for handling seam ends.
Starting a hand-sewn seam
Try any of these options:
At the start of a seam, don’t knot the thread. Instead, take one or two backstitches in place, then trim the excess thread.
Knot the thread, then backstitch at the beginning for added security.
Knot the thread, and insert the needle about an inch from the start of the seam. Bring it up at the seam’s beginning, make one or two backstitches, and continue sewing. Cut off the waste knot when the seam is complete.
Finishing a hand-sewn seam
When sewing by hand, you can secure the thread with backstitches, or create imperceptible knots by looping the thread around the needle, and hiding the thread tail between the fabric layers.
When sewing by machine, don’t backstitch at the start or end of a seam. Instead, sew the seam, then pull both threads to one side of the work. Twist the tails together, then knot them close to the fabric surface. Hide the thread ends between the fabric layers. This method is called the tailor’s knot.