Introduction: Hand Sewing: Basic Slip Stitch (Blind Stitch)

Picture of Hand Sewing: Basic Slip Stitch (Blind Stitch)

A slip stitch is an easy way to sew a seam from the outside of a garment or item (like pillows or stuffed animals).

This stitch is usually used for hems when the seam should stay unseen.

Step 1: Prepare Your Thread

Picture of Prepare Your Thread

I prefer to use the double thread technique. It makes the seam stronger, especially in the case of pillows or heavy fabrics.

1) Thread your needle. pull the thread through as much as you think you'll need for the length of the seam. A good rule of thumb is double the length, you will have a lot of extra, but that's better than coming up short.

2) Double the thread over at the needle. Cut.

3) Make a knot to secure the two ends.

Step 2: Slip Stitch

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1) Start inside of your hem. Hide your knot in the fold of the hem.
2) Right next to where you started, on the other side, pick up with your needle just a few threads in the fabric.
3) Then go right back down into the fold of the hem. The needle will follow that fold, so the thread stays hidden as you make your seam.
4) Pull your needle out of the top of the fold.
5) Right next to where your needle comes out of the hem, pick up a few threads from the other side.
6) Then go right back down into the fold of the hem.

Repeat until you finish your seam. You'll make up the length under the fold of the hem, and you'll secure it witch those threads on the other side.

Step 3: Finish

Picture of Finish

Once you finish, tie a knot close to your fabric, then pull the excess thread back through your stitches without piercing the front of the fabric. After about an inch, cut your thread off your needle.


jhante (author)2016-07-02

I was so glad to find this instructable today. I had forgotten how to do this stitch and just needed a refresher. I'm sewing my first dress in 40 years!

KatrinaC17 (author)2016-04-08

This is awesome! My daughters (ages 9 & 10) and I will attempt to make new throw pillows for their new room decor. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

deathsmileyinc (author)2011-08-16

i asume you cant do this with thin fabric

you can do this with ANY type of fabric! the more delicate the fabric the smaller your stitches need to be.

ShereenT (author)kathrynmichelle2015-12-25

This is just what I've been looking for, I painted a canvas drop cloth and want a make a pillow. Can you suggest thread and needles for canvas? Thank you

JA11 (author)2015-09-12


NonaU (author)2015-06-28

BetteB2 (author)2015-03-12

Awesome instructional video! This made it so easy to learn. Thanks so much!

onceagain2007 (author)2014-12-13

This instructable was a late-night (early a.m.) sanity saver. I'm 66 years old, have been sewing and hand sewing for 60+ years, and found myself not knowing how to do a slipstitch for beans as I finished up the last of several pillows I just made. Rats - the closing stitches looked like I used my toes. I raced to my PC and Googled slipstitch and found this site. Love the detailed text and pictures with such good contrasting fabric and thread. It all came back to me and the pillow is saved - not to mention my sanity. I will finish the last 4 inch opening and head to bed. Whew! PS--I do not double my thread, but do use three strands of embroidery thread for a secure seam on heavy items like the pillow. I only double thread when sewing on buttons. My preference, perhaps, just don't question it after all this time. Thanks again.

vrasmussen (author)2014-09-07

A slip stitch, especially on a hem should always use a single thread not a double.

Pirategrenade (author)vrasmussen2014-12-07

i definitely agree here single thread is better as it tangles less.

denise_geary (author)2013-11-20

Thank you so much. I found the tutorial very simple and easy to follow and did not realise that I had already been doing slip stiches for years <3

suziemontreal (author)2013-01-06

I found the tutorial and video really helpful! I used it to slip stitch the top of an IPOD case I made this weekend:

Thank you :)

JessickaRay (author)2011-05-01

Thanx for the vid... Now I know how to do a slip stitch, yay! Still paracticing though, 'cus I can't hand-sew for my life!

Hand sewing definitely takes a lot of practice. you will get the hang of it!

Thanks for the encouragement. Lol, for some reason though, my stitching is a bit crooked!

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