Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hand Couture Stitching Class

Hello Readers,

I've just completed my first sewing class online! Of all things, it was the couture methods involving handstitching - which, paradoxically I signed up for less than a mere week after acquiring my wonderful vintage serger.

Susan Khalje (Susan's Website), a wonderful couture designer, hosted the online class on Pattern Review - and guess what, I kinda really like hand stitching now.  It has a certain look, and when done well, is gorgeous.  And, I think, the most important aspect is the amount of control it gives you when stitching (zippers, lining, and gathering can be very easy!).

Here are some stitches that I really liked best:

The Prick Stitch (an easy variation of the back stitch) - here is my practice zipper (first try!):

The catch stitch (for adhering fabric have linings or lace)

The fell stitch (the go-to stitch for security). I have it pictured below attaching two lace pieces.  But in reality it is THE stitch used, for example, to put in linings by hand because of its strength.

We are also learning hand-overcasting, the slipstitch, the basting stitch, the backstitch, the blanket stitch, buttonhole stitch (using buttonhole twist thread), and the invisible hem stitch.  We also learned how and when to use beeswax!

There were some other techniques and stitches taught as well!  One that I didn't master was the thread chain.  This particular decorative stitch is used to attach the lining to the skirt or for belts, for example.

We also learned about threads and needles (size 9 sharps are best for hand-sewing; cotton, polyester, mix of cotton polyester or silk finish cotton threads are all used frequently (she recommends high quality imported threads, like Guterman or Mettler).

Unexpectedly fun class!

I also stated I was going to post on my serger class - I've since decided not too - I read over my post and it was too defensive and a bit snarky.  I wish this blog to be a positive sewing blog!

Hopefully, now I'll actually sew something:)


  1. Sounds like you are learning a lot of great techniques! It sounds like the serger class wasn't so great. :(. That is a shame!

  2. Yes, the techniques were wonderful. To recap my serger class - great techniques, learned everything quickly great serger - BUT for four hours all I heard was "we can't believe you bought that machine if I were you I would have bought a new babylock" (this class was at the bernina/babylock dealer where I bought the vintage bernina serger). . .

  3. I've done several online courses with Pattern Review and I've really enjoyed them. The handstitching course sounds great - I love your samples - you are clearly an excellent student!

  4. That's damn fine stitching! I should've signed up for it, now that I've got to hem 2 fancy dresses by hand. Maybe next time...

  5. Thanks E. and S!! It was amazingly good to take the class - you're then forced to do it!!