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Monday, September 26, 2011

Sewing 101: Running/straight stitch

Yes, were doing another sewing lesson, so grab your sewing notions and let us practice the running stitch. Why its called the running stitch is anyones guess, but it is also called the straight stitch, and that does make more know, because it's straight.
Needle starts from the front to the back

To begin, take a threaded needle and make a knot at the end. You do recall how to thread a needle the easy way I hope. If not go back to Lesson #2. Well wait for youDum-dee-dum-dee-dum Youre back! Groovy.
Needle goes in and out at even intervals

Now for the beginner you may wish to draw a line a ¼ inch from the edge of the fabric where you wish to sew the seam. Especially for little kids, it could be difficult to get that line straight and marking the fabric just makes it that much easier. Even experienced quilters sometimes mark seams, so you neednt feel this is a sign of ineptitude. Whos going to know anyway? I most certainly wont tell. Im the soul of discretion, you know!
Like an accordion until you pull the needle and thread tugging lightly
Okay, back to sewing. You start, of course, at the beginning of the seam which you may or may not have marked. The needle goes from the front to the back. Then you bring the needle back up to the front again trying to keep even spacing. You neednt be fanatical about this. With practice, evenly spaced stitches will come easily, but for now, no worries.
When you get 2-3 stitches on the needle pull the needle out and tug the thread out until it is even with the fabric. This means dont tug too much or the fabric will bunch up. Just pull until the fabric and thread lie straight and flat.
Tie a knot at the end
Continue in this fashion, going in and out accordion style until you reach the end. At the end youll want to make a knot. To do this make another stitch on top of the last stitch you made but then wrap the thread around the tip of the needle and pull the needle through this loop. That should form a knot. I usually do two knots just to be extra sure it takes, especially with seams on clothing which will get loads of wear. We dont want that seam opening up again, do we?
One seam completed
So, that is the straight or running stitch. Can it get more simple than that? No, it cant.I hope you will practice this sewing lesson and put it to use on a torn seam.Next time I may show you the whip stitch for using to hem pants. Betcha you can't wait for that, huh?
Let's not all cheer at once!
3-bar quilt block
If you want to know what I was making with these pieces of fabric, I'll tell you. It's part of a 9-patch-3-bar quilt I made for Brandon. You can see the finished project in the craft room, but to see the making of it you'll have to go to Self-Reliance Works where I show you exactly how to make the 3-bar quilt block.

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