Our new sewing pattern, The Rochester, has two options Version A is a top and Version B is a dress with a tie belt. Part of the belt is closed with a slip stitch. This is a very useful and near invisible stitch done, by hand and perfect for joining two folded edges together from the right side. A slip stitch can be used for stitching up a folded hem edge, or for stitching on trims – it’s an all around good guy!
I’ve explained the technique as if you are making the belt for The Rochester dress, but the stitching principal can be applied to any of your projects.
With Right sides together machine stitch your belt, stopping to leave the opening between the notches. Press your stitch line flat, and press back the seam allowance at the opening to make a folded edge ready to slip stitch.
After trimming the excess seam allowance at each end, pull the belt through the opening to the right side. Press the outside edge carefully and make sure each of the belt ends are the same shape before continuing.
Your opening will have a nicely pressed folded edge
So, this is the basic principle of a slip stitch. We are going to create a ladder effect by stitching from one side to the other. This will gently pull the edges together. The dashed blue horizontal stitch lines in the diagram are hidden on the wrong side of the fabric underneath the folded edge.
Work from right to left, with a knotted thread. It goes without saying but use a matching thread for better invisibility!
Start by inserting your needle from the wrong side of the fabric, under the fold, and bring out to the right side.
Insert needle back into the folded edge on the opposite side of the opening. Create a stitch by bringing your needle out to the right side again 6mm along the folded edge
Make your next stitch on the opposite side. Insert the needle back into the folded edge and out again 6mm further along.
Repeat again, each time working along the folded edge with stitches about 6mm apart.
As you stitch, gently pull the two sides together to close the opening. Don’t pull too tightly or your opening will look puckered.
The finished opening is now virtually invisible!
You can vary the length of your stitches dependant on your sewing project. Something that has stuffing and has a lot of strain on the seam (cushions or repaired toys), I would recommend a smaller stitch. For hems, I often use a bigger stitch of around 1cm. This stitch is really useful for a quick repair too. You know the ones I mean, where you can’t get in where you want with a sewing machine unless you unpick most of the garment. Well, try using this stitch instead!