Yesterday I showed you pictures of my finished 12th century embroidery “Saint Michael and the Dragon” and today I have again new pictures for you. Todays photo tutorial brings us one step closer to finishing another project – the fast and easy pouch. 😀
As you might remember, my last posting for the fast and easy pouch tutorial was about the technique details and the possibilities of the very basic hand embroidery technique “Chain Stitch“. The posting about the “Chain Stitch” was a detailed preparation for todays next step – the actual application of this stitch to the fast and easy pouch.
Todays motto is:
“Chain Stitch & how to use it for decorative hand sewing”
You might already wonder and ask yourself why I am using embroidery stitches for hand sewing.
Well, the answer is rather easy. In my opinion there is not much difference between hand sewing and hand embroidery. Yes, sure, the used materials can differ, the purpose and the final result can even differ a lot… But in the end it always has to do with a needle, some thread and some other material(s)…
My personal opinion is that everyone who can do hand embroidery can also do hand sewing and vice versa. Unfortunately hand embroidery and hand sewing seem to become a more and more underestimated and undervalued art form in this day and age. But there is still hope because there are still some people like you and me who fell in love with this beautiful and timeless art.
…but back to the decorative hand sewing. Can you imagine my surprise about 14 years ago when I was new to hand sewing and embroidery and just discovered that I can also use embroidery techniques for my hand sewing? And that this parts often looked better than if I would have executed them in a normal hand sewing technique. This was already about 14 years ago and I haven’t stopped experimenting yet. Well, I think it is rather obvious that I still enjoy playing around with techniques… 😉
…and now to the main purpose of this posting – the photo tutorial:
Chain Stitch & how to use it for decorative hand sewing
As you might remember – in the last postings for this tutorial I showed you how I pinned the top part of the pouch and how I started a new thread. Today I will continue with the work at the drawstring section…[emember_protected not_for=4 do_not_show_restricted_msg=1]
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I always start the sewing for the drawstring section at the top of my pouch near the side seam. That gives me the great possibility to hide my starting thread in the side seam like I showed in one of my previous postings for this tutorial:
“How to start a new thread & hide it .2”
To give you a better idea at which section I am working here, I added a “before the sewing” picture of the drawstring casing at the right side. If this picture seems familiar to you, you are right. I already used it in one of my previous postings for this tutorial. 🙂
As you can see on the next two pictures underneath, I place my first stitches for the top underneath the side openings for the drawstring casing.
In this special case I would like to point out the word “stitches” to you because it has an extra meaning here. At this point I normally place several stitches – at least 2 or 3 – on top of each other. Every stitch involves the left and the right side of the pouch fabric as well as the front layer and the back layer of the drawstring casing. It furthermore reinforces the “stress point” underneath the drawstring casing and also strengthens the beginning of the following joining of both sides (and further also the pouch seam) at the front.
As you can see at the picture above, I worked this stitches with an angle of about 90° to the fabric surface. The fabric layers – the side seam finishing of the front fabric layer and of the fabric layer at the back – of this pouch are together too thick at this point to work this stitch through both sides and all four layers at one time. Working this stitches at an angle of 90° and the front and back layer of one side has also another small benefit – I can get a maximum amount of fabric with a minimum stitch.
Well, it is not easy for me to describe what I mean but I give it a try:
It makes a difference if I go over 4 threads towards the joining of the fabric at the front layer and just 1-2 threads towards the joining at the back layer when I work this stitch slanted to go through the left and right side at once or if I work this stitch just through one side at an angle of 90° and get at least 4 threads of the front and also about 4 threads of the back layer towards the joining… Yay, some little extra threads can really make a difference in the future at such a “stress point”.
In my opinion a joining like this – two parts of fabric just hold together by “some stitches” – are always rather vulnerable and need some extra thought and treatment. This small stitches worked in a good material might make the difference between a ripping seam and a good looking pouch you can use for years…
Btw. I can’t point out often enough how important good techniques and good materials are. A good combination of both ensures a long lasting pleasure concerning your projects.
…and now back to the sewing – after about 2-3 “reinforcement” stitches at this point I make a very flat stitch through the surface fabric. This “flat” stitch is also the “opening” stitch for the further chain stitches. Therefore it would be good to make this first stitch already as long as you plan to make the next stitches.
This very first stitch, as shown at the picture above, doesn’t need to go through the back of the fabric because the “reinforcement” stitches with which we started already do that for us.
As you can see at the next picture I am again working at an 90° angle to sew through the seam finishing of the front and the back layer…
…but as soon as you leave the side seam behind, the chain stitch can be worked rather fast like I described in my last posting “Chain Stitch and how to use it for hand sewing“.
You only need to pay attention that you always make your “chain stitch” stitch through the front and back layer at once and that you have some surplus fabric left at one side of the seam at the inside for the next step – the seam finishing. A proper pinning is very helpful at this point. 🙂
At the next picture you can see how my first chain stitches for the drawstring casing look like.
Just continue with this chain stitches until you reach the opening for the drawstring casing on the other side. Underneath the opening of this drawstring casing you can make the same “reinforcement” stitches like the stitches with which we started today. After that you can finish the drawstring casing by proceeding with your sewing line of chain stitches. 😀
It is really as easy as that – no further secret, no miracles… Finally I can say that the only difference between the usage of chain stitch for embroidery and the usage for sewing is that for embroidery you normally only have one layer of fabric with which you are working and that sewing involves more than one layer… that’s all…
Last but not least a short hint: You can also use other basic and very decorative embroidery stitches like the “Stem Stitch” for decorative hand sewing. 🙂
..and after this detailed photo tutorial we are again one step closer to finishing the pouch. I guess you might ask now why we don’t use this technique more often for handsewing… *giggle* Please feel free to use it much more often for you projects. 😀
PS.: Btw. this detailed photo tutorial might let the work at the top appear more difficult than it actually is. But please don’t forget – like always I tried to think of and cover every possible question which might arise. I hope that this detailed tutorial will help you through every difficulty you might discover while working at this step of your pouch project. Whenever you have a question – please feel free to contact me.
I hope you enjoyed your tutorial so far… 🙂
You can find all postings about this project in the category:
Craft with Racaire – #2 fast & easy pouch
Short overview of the postings till now:
Step 1) Fast and easy pouch tutorial & how to work with “rapports”
This posting explains how to calculate the needed fabric for the easy pouch tutorial. I also added some extra information: “how to work with rapports” (repeating patterns).
Step 1.1) Hand sewing stitches: Running Stitch…
This posting is an in-depth description of the first and most basic hand-sewing stitch you will need for this tutorial – the Running Stitch.
Step 1.2) Hand sewing stitches: Back Stitch (and Stem Stitch)…
Another in-depth description of a basic and helpful hand-sewing stitch you will need for this technique – the Running Stitch.
Step 2) Hand sewing the sides
Here you can find a detailed step-by-step photo tutorial about how I hand sew the sides of the “fast and easy pouch”. It includes all important basic steps for this process including the pinning, how to start with the sewing, how to secure your thread from slipping,…
Step 2.1) Hand sewing the corners
Another detailed step-by-step photo tutorial that shows you how to hand sew the nice pointy pouch corners of your fast and easy pouch.
Step 2.2) How to start a new thread & hide it…
Here you can see how I start a new thread while I am working at a seam finishing and how I hide the beginning of the new thread as well as the end of the old thread inside the seam.
Step 3.1) Hand sewing the top – pinning
This posting is about how I pinned the top of the pouch for the final hand sewing.
Step 3.2) Hand sewing – how to start a new thread & hide it .2 🙂
Sounds similar to “Step 2.2” above but is very different – in this step-by-step tutorial you can see how I start and hide a new thread in an already finished seam.
Step 3.3) Chain Stitch and how to use it for hand sewing
Another in-depth description of a basic embroidery technique – the Chain Stitch.