Basic Hand Stitching And Types Of Stitches With Methods And Images

One should master the art of hand stitches in order to construct a beautiful garment. We need to stitch various pieces together with the help of different types of stitches after cutting the cloth.

Stitch- Attaching two or more pieces of cloth with the help of needle and thread, by taking the threaded needle up and down through two pieces of cloth.

There are absolute must rules and principles in tailoring too like any other profession. It is necessary to acknowledge basic stitching before proceeding to make a garment because of some following reasons :

  • to make cut pieces of fabric into something productive like beautiful garment one has to attach them with help of stitches.
  • we need to hold fabric like nylon cloth, silk etc temporarily to be able to stitch all of them neatly and successfully.
  • it gives neat and better finishing

We can follow various methods to do hand stitching for holding or attaching two pieces of fabric.


First, there are particularly two types of stitches –

  1. Temporary Stitches
  2. Permanent Stitches

Temporary Stitches :

Temporary stitches are done to loosely attach two or more pieces of clothes, so that it can be easily removed or opened out after the construction of garment. There are various types of temporary stitches:-

Basting Stitch-

This type of stitching helps to keep slippery fabric in straight line while machine sewing. There are three different types of basting stitches:

  1. Even Basting- All stitches are of equal length. Take equal quantity of thread for upwards and downwards stitches and at equal distance.
  2. Uneven Basting- All stitches are at varying distance but of the same length(upwards and downwards).
  3. Zigzag Basting- The zigzag stitching is used to hold fabric pieces together when the cloth is slippery or you have to attach lining.
Even Basting Stitch
Even Basting Stitch
Thread marks-

Used in the situation where you cannot use pencils or chalks for marking and drafting of fabric. It is sewed in a very loose manner, one stitch is small and the next to is a large one. It is the type of temporary stitches which is removed after the garment is stitched.

Thread Marks
Thread Marks
Permanent Stitches :

Used in almost every garment making. It can be replaced by simple running sewing, but for better finishing and beauty of garment hemming is the most important stitch. It is nearly invisible on right side of fabric and very less is seen on the wrong side too.

MethodPut single thread in needle and take a single strand of cloth from the turned surface. Now pass the needle through single strand and then through surface of cloth to give a neat edge and better finishing. Used on sleeves, necks, skirts etc.

Slip Hem-

Similar to simple hemming, though stitches are taken at a little distant from each other. Usually used on slippery fabrics like nylon cloth, silk etc.

Method– Similar to simple hemming but in a lateral position. Used in finishing cuffs, necklines etc.

Narrow Hem

Stitches taken very close together, usually to finish men’s garments and is considered to be very strong. Stitches are put very close to each other using single thread. By using the method of taking needle in and out the turned in part is effectively stitched in place. Used in finishing garments like shirts, coats etc.

Blind Hem

Almost invisible to the naked eye. It must be done with great care to give a neat finish. In this method the turned in part is so closely stitched to the main body of garment so as to take a single strand of thread at a time. Usually used in men’s wears.

Rolled Hem

It is similar to simple hemming, but in this method  instead of taking a straight band of cloth a small edge is rolled between the thumb and forefinger and the stitch is put on inside the surface. Used on fine materials like edges of saris, edges of rills, puff sleeves etc.

Rolled Hem
Rolled Hem
Circular Hem

This type of hem is used on bias cut cloth. When you need to turn a straight edge on a biased cloth, that is when this stitch come in handy. The method is, put a loose temporary stitch on the required turned amount of cloth. The thread is then pulled a little to give small gathers, these gathers are then spread out and hemmed into place. Used in umbrella frock, when edge of garment is always cut on bias.

Fine Running Stitch

You can see fine dots of this stitch on the right side of garment. In this method, the needle is taken out from predetermined distance, and place where it comes out determines the point from where a single strand of thread is picked up for the next stitch. The shape of garment must be kept in mind while doing fine running stitch. Usually used in fine materials like edge of saris etc.

Fine Running Stitch
Fine Running Stitch
Padding Stitch

Generally this type of stitch is done for setting layers of fabric. The method is put at an angle this stitch resembles a temporary stitch. The first line is taken at a certain angle and in the next line the angle is in opposite direction. Used mainly in coats.


This type of permanent stitching is done on materials where the strands of cloth come out. In this method we use a single thread in needle and is taken out an angle. Stitches are taken at some distance with each other and kept loose. One should keep in mind that thread doesn’t come out while pulling the thread. Used in tricot trousers etc and to keep allowance in garments.

Back Stitch

This is done to attach two pieces of fabric together, by using a handmade stitch.

Method A crease is created on the edge of two pieces of cloth and need to be joined together. A small margin is taken on top and bottom and small stitches taken closely. This is believed to have greater flexibility and strength. Can be easily used on biased cloth and churidar pajamas.

Back Stitch
Back Stitch


Hello readers, my name is Usha and I'm a full time teacher of tailoring profession. I've been teaching since last 16 years and in year 2016 I've decided to take this online. Thanks to you readers, subscribers and internet for making this happen. Here at ushaseminary I write about drafting, cutting, clothing and fashion :)

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