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Hand-stitched Teagans by Vili, with explanation of the stitches

4 months ago

The FreeSewing community enjoyed following Vili’s explorations of different hand stitch options on the Teagan t-shirt! Hand-stitching stretch fabrics is rather unusual and presented challenges, but we think the result looks great.

Read on for more descriptions and photos of Vili’s process.

1st Side

2nd Front

2nd Side

Another view

Another view

The maker shared:

My first idea was to use a blanket stitch, honestly can’t remember where I got this idea. This didn’t work very well, as you either had to leave the stitches loose, allowing the seam to gape, or pull it tight making the seam bulky.

Blanket stitch

The second idea was to do a fine/short stitch length herringbone stitch. This worked well, and allows the fabric to stretch as much as it would without the stitch! It does use a bunch of thread done this way, and is laborious, but it works.


My last experiment, and the stitch I’m going to be using for this from now on, is the humble backstitch! It’s more efficient than the herringbone, and works just as well for parts that don’t need a lot of stretch. Aside from the blanket stitch, the edges were left unfinished, which has worked out fine.


For hemming, I tried both a herringbone with every other stitch being super long (there are other ways of course) and a backstitch. The herringbone works, but I preferred the look of the backstitch. It should be noted that a hand-sewn backstitch has a lot more stretch than a machine-sewn straight stitch, so it’s worth testing and seeing if it could work for you, even when some strech is needed!

Hem backstitch

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