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Slipstitches and Fell Stitches | Video

Learn two invisible, but essential, hand stitches.

Video: Jeff Roos, Cari Delahanty. Tech Editor: Carol Fresia

Couture expert Claire B. Shaeffer explains the many uses of two key hand stitches: the slipstitch and the fell stitch. Both these stitches are practically invisible on a finished garment, and they are useful for basting and permanently sewing seams. In many cases, they are used in couture garments to replace seams that, in home sewing, would be stitched by machine with right sides together. The benefit of these stitches is that they give you more control as you shape fabric, and they make it easier to match patterns such as stripes and plaids.

Although the stitches look alike from the garment’s right side, they do not resemble each other on the wrong side, and they perform slightly different functions.


Prepare to slipstitch a seam by thread-tracing the seamlines and marking notches on both sides of the seam. Fold under one seam allowance and lay it atop the…

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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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