As you all know, almost all Delilah Iris Felt Crafts sewing projects are created using hand sewing stitches. I want to share with you my favorite types of hand stitches, as well as my favorite hand stitching techniques!
Below are the two types of hand stitches that I use most often when sewing together my felt animals and dolls.
I know that hand stitching can seem a little difficult at first. I promise you, with my videos, tips, and a little practice, you’ll be creating beautiful and even hand stitches for your felt projects in no time!
Tools and supplies:
- quality wool blend felt
- hand sewing needle
- all purpose sewing thread
Choosing a high quality wool felt is a very important part of hand sewing stitches on felt animals and dolls. A higher quality wool felt will hold together much better than the ultra cheap acrylic felt you can buy at most craft stores. Don’t get me wrong! Acrylic felt is great in a pinch! But the seams will hold up much nicer and longer with a quality wool blend felt. I find that acrylic felt can sometimes come apart at the edges with tight hand stitching, so that the work is literally falling apart. Especially with smaller dolls and toys.
Choose a good hand stitching needle. My go to is the DMC number 5 embroidery needle. I may choose something smaller for felt miniatures and detailed projects.
My favorite thing to stitch with is all purpose sewing thread. An alternative would be to use embroidery thread pulled down to only one or two strands. All 6 strands are much too think for creating smaller sized dolls and toys.
Without Further ado, my number one favorite and most often used hand sewing stitch, the Blanket Stitch! Let’s get Sewing!
Basic Sewing Stitches – Blanket Stitch
How to Sew a Blanket Stitch By Hand
The blanket stitch is my favorite of all hand sewing stitches because it is durable and strong. I have used this stitch in virtually every hand sewn felt project I have sewn in the last 10 years! Each stitch is almost like creating a little knot all of it’s own. The thread laid between stitches aids to reinforce the seams.
Blanket stitching can really take a beating and still hold your pieces with integrity! I find that I can stuff my felt animals and dolls to the max and yet the seams hold up endlessly. They even hold up after throwing pieces through the washing machine!
Hand Stitching Techniques – Starting and Stopping Stitches
A common practice in hand stitching technique is to start off by knotting your thread. Most knot the end of the thread on the needle and then begin sewing. I, however, like to knot the thread straight into the felt! You will notice in the beginning of the video above, that I start my projects by sending the needle through the width of the felt making one or two stiches then a knot. By stitching into the thickness of the felt you create a knot that holds tight yet cannot be seen from the outside of the felt surface.
After knotting your thread to the felt, send the needle out near the top edge of your project (or wherever you prefer to begin stitching).
Layer your felt pieces together so that the knot faces to the inside of the felt. Make your first stitch by sending the needle through both layers directly across from where your thread exited from the knot.
Pull the thread tight then insert the needle back through both layers about an 1/8 an inch away from the first stitch. Begin pulling the thread through until you have a small loop at the edge of the felt.
Insert your needle through the loop, then pull the thread tight against the edge. Continue this method along the edge of the felt.
At the end of the project, to finish your stitching, make one last knot then send the needle up though your stitched seam.
Pull the extra thread tight along the edge then snip the end off close to the seams.
Basic Hand Stitches – The Whip Stitch
The Whip stitch is the second runner up as the most used hand sewing stitches in my felt crafts projects. This hand stitching technique is also one of the easiest to learn and use in all sorts of sewing projects!
As in the tutorial and videos above, I start every project by knotting my thread onto the felt at the inside of my project.
After knotting I double my felt layers up and begin stitching.
Whip stitch is very simple. You literally send the needle through the felt. whip it around the other side and send it through again. Pull the thread tight against the edge and continue stitching.
As always to end my stitching I send the needle up through the seam of the sewn layers of felt. Pull the thread tight and snip the end off. This completes the project and hides where the stitching ends!
For a more in depth tutorial and demonstration of hand sewing stitching make sure and watch the videos above. Stay tuned for more Felt sewing videos and DIY tutorials.