Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to Sew a Whip Stitch


A whip stitch is the first stitch I teach my students. It's an easy stitch to learn. And, it's useful.  


There is a rhyme I learned to help children remember how to make a whip stitch. It goes like this. 


Come up through the dot, pull all the way through.
Now, what is the next thing that you do?

Come up through the next dot, pull all the way through.
Now, what is the next thing that you do?

Come up through the next dot, pull all the way through.
Now, what is the next thing that you do?


And so on, repeating until the sewist automatically remembers what to do.



When teaching small people to sew I cut felt into familiar shapes which they sew together and stuff. I draw dots around each perimeter to show the children where to sew each stitch. It’s like the old, pre-school sewing card idea. You can read about why I do this here.  


Now, let me explain the above verse. When the rhyme says, come up through the dot, it means poke a threaded needle through a pre-drawn dot from the back of the project toward the front.


Pull all the way through reminds children that they need to tug on the needle until the thread pulls snugly. They should check every once in a while to see that there are no extra loops, twists or knots in the thread.



Using quality thread helps reduce the chance of twists and knots. I use a 30 weight crochet thread called Cebelia by DMC.


What is the next thing that you do? This alerts the sewist that the whip stitch process is about to start over again. (S)he needs to whip the thread around the outside edge of the fabric in order to be able to be ready to poke the needle from the back of her project up through a dot again – the next dot in the line of dots.


Continue sewing stitches by directing the thread over the fabric's edge each time and coming up through the next dot. It begins to look like this...



Each new stitch is made by coming up through the next new dot. Always from back to front.


This stitch is called a whip stitch. 

Happy sewing!

10 comments:

  1. thanks for share....

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    1. You are welcome! Thanks so much for visiting.

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  2. Oh this is a wonderful thing for kids.You teach so well via the internet I love the photos of those smiling faces. B

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    1. Seeing those smiling faces in person is even better. I hope you have a little loved one to sew with :-)

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  3. oh Sue - i will definitely pass your site on to friends with small children...but heck - i am going to spend a lot of time here learning how to sew better! this site is beautiful! i love it!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Thank you Kymber! I hope you find it helpful for both you and your friends. Thanks for visiting :-)

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  4. I love the rhyme that you came up with! I think I might find your blog useful as I don't really know how to sew so this would be a good way for me to learn! :)

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    1. I would like to take credit, but the rhyme is an oldie that I learned along the way. If you run into any questions feel free to ask. I'd like to help in any way I can. Thanks so much for visiting! :-)

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