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Unread 11-24-2012, 09:01 PM   #1
AnimeLuxray25
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Can't make sturdy stitches?

I've been practicing on hand-sewing lately and it's been going very well and I'm improving, except for the fact that whenever I sew something I can pull it apart SO EASILY.

Can someone help me? Why aren't my stitches ever sturdy enough?
I don't own a sewing machine yet, if that helps at all.
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Unread 11-24-2012, 10:14 PM   #2
Evil Bishounen
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Here are some handsewing tips:

- You may not be pulling your thread tightly enough. If a stitch is too lose, fabric pieces will pull apart.

- You may be using crappy thread that breaks easily, like 99-cent bargain bin thread or Wal-Mart thread. If you are using bargain thread, you should buy better stuff. I personally prefer Coats and Clark or Madeira Aerofil. Guttermann is okay too.

- You might be using the wrong kind of thread. How is it labeled? Did you buy general purpose thread? Hand sewing thread? Or is it labeled "extra fine" or "embroidery" (both of which will snap easily)? You want either general purpose sewing thread or hand sewing thread. Some thread types are weak and will break because they just can't handle the strain.

- Did you buy the thread yourself? Is it new, or did you inherit it from a deceased grandmother's stash? If you're using hand-me-down thread, it could be too old and you need to buy new stuff. (I actually had to go through my thread stash not too long ago and throw some stuff out, because I'd had some spools for so long that the thread had degraded and I could easily break it between my hands.)

- Make sure your thread is properly knotted before you start sewing, otherwise it will pull through the textile fibers. When I hand sew, I knot thread twice on itself, feed the needle through the fabric, and then I bring the needle back under the knot so that it forms a loop. Sometimes I loop it a couple more times for stability, and I end a stitch in a similar way. I also try to hide the end knots where they won't get abraded, because if you rub them around they can sometimes come out.

- How short are your stitches? More stitches = tighter, stronger seam. If your stitches are long and/or spaced far apart, the fabric pieces are really not held together well.
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Last edited by Evil Bishounen : 11-24-2012 at 10:19 PM.
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Unread 11-25-2012, 08:35 AM   #3
char99char
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Try a back stitch (see link below) instead of a running stitch (plain up and down stitches). It takes a little longer but they are much stronger stitches.

http://www.coatsandclark.com/Crafts/...and+Sewing.htm
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Unread 11-26-2012, 11:21 AM   #4
Penlowe
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Excellent post EB (as usual)

The only thing he didn't mention is the fabric being sewn, this too can contribute or combine with other factors in a tight or loose stitch. The looser the weave, the longer your stitches need to be to grab enough fibers to hold the two pieces together. The back stitch Char recommended is especially valuable in these cases. Felt isn't woven, so too tight a stitch can actually tear through the fibers quite easily.
If you want to post pictures we can help you evaluate them

NOTE: not all threads degrade at the same rate, it depends on it's fiber content, how it was made, and how it was stored. Test each questionable one by cutting off a 12" section then wrapping the ends around your fingers like you are going to floss, pull it gently first, then taut with a snap, to see if it breaks. If the gentle pressure breaks it, it's trash. If gentle pressure is ok but the snap breaks it, it's really only suitable for decorative uses (embroidery or top stitching).
I threw away the Walmart thread after the first time I used it, it's awful stuff. I've thrown away thread spools from the 80's that degraded, but still have some nylon/ cotton blend button thread from the 50's that I could put my full body weight on because it's that tough.
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Unread 11-30-2012, 06:55 PM   #5
AnimeLuxray25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by char99char View Post
Try a back stitch (see link below) instead of a running stitch (plain up and down stitches). It takes a little longer but they are much stronger stitches.

http://www.coatsandclark.com/Crafts/...and+Sewing.htm
Oh, I think you're right! I've only been doing running stitches all this time. Thanks.
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I make humble, cute Pokémon gijinkas. <3

~ don't judge other cosplayers, because in the end we all look silly wearing wig caps :3 ~

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2015 Cosplay: Poochyena Gijinka [Pokémon] - 5%

2014 Conventions: | KnightroKon | Mythicon | Holiday Matsuri |

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