Monday, July 14, 2008

Invisible Closing Seam ~ A tutorial


 Invisible Closing Seam.
On all these cute little animals and friends that I'm making, I like to have a nice finish to them. It's much easier to just whip stitch them closed, but not very attractive and frankly, I think it gives the kids something to pick at. Let's hide those stitches!! No Cat Teeth.

Materials:
~Hand Quilting thread~ because it's a little stronger and I want to give my seam every possible chance to withstand lots of playing and loving.
~Needle~I basically just find a needle in my stash to use. But I do look for a slim long one with a small eye.
For the pictures, I have used a contrasting thread with the red, but if I was really closing this seam up, I would of course, use red.
Directions match the photo above them.
To begin with you might want to pin the opening closed so that you can concentrate on your stitches more than keeping the opening closed.
Cut about 12" of thread. Put a knot in the end. The thread is not doubled. You want to hide the knot in the fold. I've hidden the knot in the top of the red fold.
Going straight across from where I came up (with the knot) take a little stitch in the fold on the bottom.
Pull thread through. Going straight across from that last stitch, take another stitch from the top fold. Pull thread through.
Continue in this pattern (stitch in the top fold, stitch in the bottom fold) all the way to the end of the closing.
I've left the white stitches here to show you what it looks like.

But, after each stitch, you will want to pull the thread taut/tight.
When the thread is kept taut as you go along, the stitches will disappear in the fold.

Even using white thread, you still can't see them.
When you come to the end of your opening, it's time to knot it off.

This is the best way I can think of. I take one more little stitch. Before I pull the thread all the way through, I have a little circle left.
I put my needle through this circle, through the front end. This is important to note. You want to create a square knot and you will want to keep track of whether you went in front of the circle or in back, first. I've gone in front, first.
Pull the thread through to make a knot. This is the first knot. Pull tight.
Take another little stitch right in the same spot as the last stitch.

You're now creating another knot.
I left the little circle and I'm going to come in from the back with my needle.

Pull thread through. You now have a double knot.

Instead of just cutting it clean off there, I want to hide the thread ends. I stick the needle in right next to my double knot and travel inside through the batting, trying to weave it in there so it doesn't come out. I poke the needle up through the animal, pull thread through. Tug on the thread just a bit and clip very close to the material. I've now hidden the end of the thread. I'm trying not to draw attention to where I just ended my handiwork. :)


A nice finish.

Remember, if you're project is small, you will want to take pretty small stitches. Think of the length of the sewing machine stitches. While mine are never THAT small, I don't want to have any big gaps in my closing.

Good Luck!!

71 comments:

  1. We always called this the "Ladder Stitch". But the extra knot you put in there is a very good idea for stuffed toys.
    Very nice tutorial.

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  2. Hand stitching = THE ENEMY! Thanks for the tutorial, maybe now I will not be so fearful. :)
    WHY am I lovin' Monday?? Me thinks my Quilt Taffy order will arrive today!! WOO HOOO! Pattern,Sewing Edge,Fabric. OH YEAH!

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  3. Eileen, Is THAT what it's called??? Oh, Thank you! You now I saw a ladder stitch demonstrated on a pattern I have and it looked SO complicated and it looked like there was an opening left. ?? I'll have to take another look at it. Maybe it's more durable. Thanks Eileen!

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  4. Smart Des. I wish I had finished my elephants this way. But they are cute no matter whipstitch or not. But I'll try this next time. Smart.

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  5. Thank you so much for this! I've been wondering if there was a way to close off the seams so that the stitching wouldn't show!

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  6. Yep, it's the ladder stitch. This is how I do all my bindings. When I travel up the mitered corners I catch the spaces on the way down. It is invisable and very secure. Put the needle through the knot at the end and no one will know where you stopped or started! Love the photos of every step!

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  7. ok Des the Ladder Stitch, Island Park, West Yellowstone, hiking down to Mesa Falls you girl are almost kayak ready!!! We need to float the river your children would love it many Moose, Eagles, Pelicans and Fish jumping just to name a few plus swimming, great river entertainment and of course me. When we going, if you come float I promise to practice my Ladder Stitch Love Ya

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  8. This works great with plush and fur fabrics too. I use it to close up teddy bears.

    Nice tutorial!

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  9. i always have trouble making a knot at the end. i am delighted that you have explained this as you did. nice job!

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  10. Thanks for the tutorial! I actually learnt this stitch about a year ago and have been wondering how I managed without it!! LOL!
    Cheers! Mary Ann in Denmark

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  11. Okay, reading and studying and commenting on this again. So...on a quilt binding. I would do the same thing - 12" or so of thread, so just do that over and over and over?? Like 14 trillion times? I guess I need to get the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice...

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  12. Thanks so much for this! I was just making a little stuffed toy for my daughter and wondered if there was a more "hidden" stitch. Yay!

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  13. very nice tutorial, I especially liked the ending. thanks.

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  14. Oh thank you so much. I have always hated hand stitching items closed but this a perfect technique. Thank you for sharing.

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  15. Thank you so much for your tutorial. I am NOT a seamstress and these instructions made it very possible for me to finish a project I am working on. Thank you!! I also linked this tutorial on my blog http://ificould-ificould.blogspot.com/2010/03/blind-stitch-sewing-tutorial.html

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  16. I used your tutorial extensively in my recent pillow making adventures. I linked back to you on my post about it. Thanks for the wonderful tute!

    http://tocraftortocook.blogspot.com/2010/03/making-pillows-how-to-tips-lessons.html

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  17. Thank you I am so glad that I found this. I needed to know how to do this! Pictures definatley help!

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  18. thank you times a million for this :)

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  19. this is great, what a wonderful explanation and great results!

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  20. i'm new to sewing and this has helped me a lot...have just started making little stuffed hearts and they are much neater now! thanks!

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  21. Whoooohooooo Thanks you so much for this great tutorial, made my first sock monkey yesterday and today and my stitching was ugleeeeey LOL,

    moved onto a glove bunnie and ugh... ugly stitching again, when I had to sew the top of the head I had enough and looked at other instructions which said invisible stitching was needed... "what's that I asked" soooo I searched and came to a few complicated instructions and then whoooooheeee I land on your GREAT Tut!! yayyyy pretty stitching.

    Thanks trillions xoxo

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  22. You're a wonder! Thanks so much for this, I always wondered how to get a neat finish (neatness is not my strong point!).
    thanks again
    Lx

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  23. I'm brand new to sewing and while I'm getting the hang of the sewing machine, hand-stitching frightens me! I think these instructions will help though. Thank you!

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  24. Thank you, this tutorial has helped me improve the finishing of my sewn items immeasurably. Looking forward to exploring your blog.

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  25. I love you! I've exploration anywhere on the internet to find such a thing! And finally I found! Looooooove your blog! I'm here to stay .. =)

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  26. Thanks for posting this, and with so much detail. I like how you hid the threads.

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  27. Thanks a lot! This is a great idea!

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  28. great tutorial! thanks so much!

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  29. Oh this is great, we're doing cushions in DT and this really helps. My teacher was going on about some kind of complicated secret stitch but this is so much easier.

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  30. Thanks for the great tutorial! I use it in my project and I linked back to you on my post.
    http://krasart.com/?p=194

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  31. THANKS! I had forgotten how to do this and have it look professional and your tutorial was exactly what I needed! Now my new pillows look great! - Tammy

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  32. I have always had trouble with this stitch....thanks for sharing!!!

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  33. Thank you! Thank you! I was ready to throw my project out the wondow and your tutorial saved me!

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  34. Thankyou so much for this im just a beginner at sewing and have been wondering how to get the end of a project sewn up with out seeing the stichting. Im so excited to do my next project and have it look so much better :) xxxx

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  35. Amazing! Thank you! I just linked back to you on my blog post using your tutorial :) http://www.aloadofcraft.com/2011/10/stuffed-owl.html

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  36. Thanks very much for the tutorial ! I am currently working on a batch of square lavender bags and this is perfect for the last seam - I was about to resort to fabric glue !

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  37. Thanks to you I was able to fix a rip in a plush toy. 8o)

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  38. Thank you so much this was very very helpfull to me. i love the easy to follow instructions. :)

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  39. THIS WAS UNE OF THE FIRST STITCH I LEARNED AS A LITTLE GIRL. MY MOTHER WOULD SEW SO WHEN IT WAS SOMETHING WITH A HIDEN STITCH I WOULD DO THIS.

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  40. I began sewing at a very young age. (about 3 yrs of age) I was told it was called "mattress stitch" (I never questioned why)The stitches disappeared and I thought it was magic! As a child I was much in demand to turn cut edges on net curtains (they were cotton then) I turned hems on draw curtains, the top one for the "curtain wire" or "curtain rod"

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  41. I was directed here from Make it and Love it. I have never been able to figure this out until I followed your tutorial. Thank you so much for being so detailed with pictures to follow. I feel like I can close any project now. :)

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  42. I used to use whip-stitches to finish my stuffed animals.

    This does a much more impressive job!

    Thank You!

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  43. Thank you, a great tutorial! I was wondering how to do this.

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  44. Love it~ your explanation is very simple, tenx ^_^

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  45. Brilliant! Thanks so much for a fab tute, have pinned it <3 xxxx

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  46. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I just made my son a t-shirt quilt for his high school graduation. I had not idea how to close the hole from turning it right-side out with a hidden stitch. This tutorial was GREAT!

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  47. Ha! This is what I've been doing all along! Good to know I'm doing it right!

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  48. I've heard it called the Ladder Stitch, the Tunnel Stitch, and the Mattress Stitch. Guess it all comes down to which era you learned it in...

    I do a stitch similar to this (and teach it to my sewing students too). The major difference is that every 3-5 stitches I go backwards for a stitch and then return to the first direction that I was sewing (kinda like sewing in a circle for 1 stitch). This keeps my stitches taut without me having to retighten them all of the time, and it eliminates the puckering or drawn-up look that happens when you pull it too tight. My closure really does become almost completely invisible.

    Thanks for putting up this wonderful tutorial with the pictures. You did a great job!

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  49. Wow this was really cool. I'm going to do this to one of my dog's stuffed toys so she can't chew it up again.

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  50. Great tutorial ... thank you so much!

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  59. Thank you so very very very much for this tutorial! It has taught me so much that was so obvious but I never seemed to figure out on my own. Thank you for taking the time to teach us all.

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  60. thank you so much for posting this, i was racking my brain trying to figure it out on my own, never getting it quite right, but close lol...your easy step by steps helped me sew much lol!

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  61. Thanks a bunch!!! This is exactly what I needed to fix Buddy Bear after he needed a small "operation" to replace some stuffing. Your pictures and descriptions made it "sew" easy!

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  62. Just the tutorial I needed to finish my project-thanks!
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  63. THANK YOU!! Great pictures. Best tutorial on the web!

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  64. Wow....that was amazingly easy to follow and now I feel so accomplished! Thanks for the great tutorial!!

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  65. Thanks for the tutorial. This might be just was I was looking for.

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  66. I'm a beginner when it comes to hand sewing...I might have to practice this with some scrap fabric. I've done a few projects, and my closing stitches are rather messy...

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