Some of you probably know this already. The very first hand stitch I learned when I was seven years old was the blanket stitch. I wasn't a quick learner back then but somehow I managed to sew blanket stitches on a dog applique. It's no surprise that this is one of my favourite hand stitch.
Some people call the blanket stitch by another name. I think that's confusing so for simplicity, this stitch is always blanket stitch to me.
You can use the hand blanket stitch on turned applique as well as raw edge applique. It works really well on felt, fleece and fused fabric.
The hand blanket stitch is very easy to make.
How long your stitches are (the bite) and how wide the spacing between the "bites" is a matter of preference. I like them big-assed large. You might like them dainty. What kind of thread can you use? Embroidery floss or perle cotton are the common choices. I use sashiko thread. They aren't easily available though. Plus it's really thick and tangles easily. You need to use the appropriate needles as well. Embroidery needles are the best choices for embroidery floss and perle cotton. I use sashiko needle for sashiko thread.
If you're familiar with blanket stitch, you're probably familiar with stitches coming loose like below.
The solution to keeping your stitches from slipping off? Use a locking stitch.
Outside corners & locking stitch
p.s. please ignore my yellow looking fingernails. in case you're concerned, my nails look an unhealthy pale but they aren't yellow at all. it's probably the lighting. (swear)
For sharp points like a leaf or pointy part of a heart
To get a seamless look when you end...
To avoid stitches slipping off here are the things you can do:
- keep stitches closer together around tight corners
- use a locking stitch esp for outside corners
Sometimes I don't want to do a locking stitch especially when I have many tight corners. For outside corners, I only need to do one locking stitch so that's okay but imagine if I have many small circles or little tight curves. Here's what I do sometimes...
I use another stitch called the Tailor's buttonhole stitch. If you google you'll probably find different ways of doing a buttonhole stitch and different names as well and maybe some debate about it. I don't care about all that. For simplicity, I'm going to refer to this stitch as the Tailor's buttonhole stitch.
Here's how you make a Tailor's buttonhole stitch.
The Tailor's buttonhole stitch is slightly more secure than a blanket stitch. Just slightly. I find that for tight corners, switching to this stitch allows me to skip a locking stitch. However, for outside corners, I still need a locking stitch unless you make the stitches very, very close together in which case no locking stitches are needed.
Btw, the Tailor's buttonhole stitch was designed to reinforce the raw edges of a button hole and the stitches are sewn very close together.
If you're wondering why don't I use the Tailor's buttonhole stitch in place of the blanket stitch, it's because the blanket stitch looks better!
I hope this post is useful to those of you who have never tried blanket stitch by hand.
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