Threads Logo Threads Logo Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram 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
Insider

Sign in or become an insider to access this story

Sign In

Back to Basics: Hand-Stitched Garments

Article Image

­Hand stitching. Argh! Many garment makers will do anything to avoid the dreaded “H-word.” Stitching by hand, for some of us, is reserved for reluctantly basting something together or sewing on buttons. So the idea of making hand-stitched garments may have only been a passing thought.

Hand sewing alternative

Our beloved machines give us myriad options to create garments without ever picking up a needle and thread. We can thank Elias Howe for helping us avoid hand stitching since 1846. Mr. Howe is credited with receiving the first U.S. patent for a sewing machine in 1846. Although there were other similar inventions before that, notably Thomas Saint in 1790, Howe’s “lockstitch” version is the Grandma of what we use today.

It is difficult to imagine a time when all clothing was made by hand. Today, we rarely encounter entirely hand-stitched garments. Now, there is a mystique around any hand-stitched couture dress…

Start your 14-day FREE trial to access this story.

Start your FREE trial today and get instant access to this article plus access to all Threads Insider content.

Start Your Free Trial

Sign up for the Threads eletter

Get the latest including tips, techniques and special offers straight to your inbox.

Sign Up
×
Discuss

Threads Insider

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

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Subscribe to Threads today

Save up to 42% and get a free gift

Subscribe

Discuss

  1. mjz | | #1

    Excellent article, with great inspiration for mixing textiles. Sheer knits really lend themselves to some of these ideas.

    1. User avater
      BeckyF | | #3

      Oh yeah! Layering sheers gives so much texture and interest without the weight and knits don't have the fraying issues of woven sheers. Can't wait to see your creations.

  2. CathV | | #2

    I really like the cut of the dress pattern you used for the "Alabama" Chanin look. Could you share the pattern please? I've read her books but hadn't taken the leap to create a piece yet. I appreciate your article. thanks

    1. User avater
      BeckyF | | #4

      The pattern for this dress is in one of the AC books. I am not a standard AC size so there was a bit of hacking involved to get to this version, but the starting point was from the book. On the website there is a pattern called the "Factory Dress" that looks to be very similar. I remember taking quite a bit of fullness out of the skirt so my dress looks a bit straighter from the waist to the hem. Hope this helps. B

      1. CathV | | #5

        Thank you. In looking for that I see they also used to have a "fitted tank dress". I'm going to check her books again and see what I can find. Thanks again for your help! C

  3. OsewViolet | | #6

    I had the privilege of visiting the Alabama Chanin shop in person just this month. I love her creativity. I have two of her books and checked others out from the library. Last summer, I made a tank top all by hand using her pattern . It is one of my favorites. I like the idea of combining machine and hand sewing. I'm very impatient to finish the project. I think I will copy your suggestion and put together a project to take on trips and contain my desire to finish it fast.

Log in or become a member to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All

Shop the Store

View All
View More