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Starting and Ending Seams | Video

Learn couture-worthy methods, whether you're sewing by hand or machine.

Video: Threads Magazine

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.

Waste knot

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,…

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About This Video Series

This video series features three hours of insider tips and secrets for creating high-end couture garments and home accessories. See an expert at work as Claire Shaeffer illustrates the basic techniques that take sewing to the next level -- from hand sewing and machine stitching to marking methods, pressing, and hemming.

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