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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sewing 101: Blanket stitch

Welcome to Crafting Tuesday, a regular feature at Glory’s Garden. If you come to Glory's Garden expecting garden stuff, you'll know Tuesdays are the days to stay away. They will only disappoint you, after all. Crafting is a big part of my life, though, and this blog just wouldn't be the same without some mention of it. Alas, as much as I would like to be in the garden all the time, all year long, my short growing season and perpetual cloud bursts--yes, it tends to rain too much around here at times-- I must do something inside and that is where sewing, crocheting and knitting, both loom and regular type, come to save my sanity.

Another sewing lesson for you beginner sewers. This time I want to show you the blanket stitch.

Huge rip on work pants

I found another pair of pants, Brandon's again, with a major rip right down one leg and horror! It was not on a seam. They are, therefore, no longer good for anything other than dirty work in the shop where no one will see Brandon wearing them.

Oh, I can fix them, but it won't be pretty! It is, however, a good opportunity to show you how to do the blanket stitch. Ordinarily I wouldn't repair them this way. I would use the sewing machine on a wide zig-zag stitch with a close setting, but I thought I'd try this and see how it works.

As I've said before, I would normally use thread that matches the fabric color, but here I want you to see the nice effect of this decorative stitch. As a decorative stitch it is sometimes used to actually be seen, such as in craft projects, especially when using felt and when closing a seam by hand.
You need to hold the two fabric pieces together and make your first run through both layers from back to front with the threaded and knotted needle and thread. Once the thread is anchored--the knot should make sure of that-- you make a circle with the thread before you make another stitch. 

It may look like the whip stitch --you recall the stitch we used to hem the pants--at first, but the difference is the circle you formed with the thread. After the needle goes through the fabric, you'll wrap the thread around the needle before pulling through.

Perhaps that's confusing. Let's try again another way. You do the stitch just as you would for a whip stitch then pull the thread out part way. Then put the needle through the loop the thread forms then pull it snug, but not too tight.

I usually make a clock-wise movement to form the circle after each stitch, then the needle and thread are in the perfect spot to make the loop and all I have to do is pull it through. The perfect blanket stitch. I used this stitch when I was mending Justin's quilt. It just looked nice than the plain whip least I thought so. This blanket stitch is a great one to use when sewing fraying fabric. It helps to keep it together.

I hope you practice this and the other stitches. They may come in handy one day.

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