Hand-stitching vs. Machine-stitching

Dec 17, 2012

As part of a recent moccasin project, I had to gather suede with a basting stitch in order to apply the sole to the top of the slipper.

Well, you can laugh at me, but I actually did try to do a machine basting stitch on the sole.  It stitched just fine, but once I pulled up that bobbin thread, it popped. I was using a silk thread, instead of nylon so it just didn't have the strength to  gather the leather.

Glovers needles are inexpensive.

The needle has a chiseled point.

  Basting mission accomplished
with the glovers needle.

That meant my only option was hand-basting.. Good thing I had my glovers needle with me.

A glovers needle is specially designed for working with leather (as in gloves!)  and has a chiseled point that neatly pierces the leather. While it was a little tough at first to get the needle through the suede, I was able to get the hang of it pretty quickly.

I double-threaded the glovers needle with my silk thread, to make sure it was extra strong, and sewed around the edges of the sole with a large basting stitch. I actually ran two basting stitches to ensure even more strength in gathering. These super-strong hand-basting stitches let me gather the suede easily.

Technically, if I were proficient at, say, the saddle stitch, I could use the glover needle to stitch the whole sole to the top of the shoe by hand. I'm not quite there, but someday I may be! That's how big a fan of hand-stitching I am! 

For lots more great information on hand-stitching and more, check out the Season of Sales, with 20-65% off in the Sew Daily Shop.

What situations to do you prefer for hand-stitching vs. machine-stitching? Do tell!

Happy stitching!







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byhahn wrote
on Dec 17, 2012 8:01 PM

I prefer had stitching for hems in "good" garments--also had stitched zippers look great in the "good" garments.  I do machine stitching for "utility" garments.