Hand-stitching vs. Machine-stitching

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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Hand Sewing, Sewing Stitches

About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and SewDaily.com. She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and SewDaily.com. She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

One thought on “Hand-stitching vs. Machine-stitching

  1. 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.