Although hand stitching can be time consuming, it allows you to be very accurate and sometimes ends up saving time that might otherwise be spent unpicking machine stitching. These are the hand stitches that I use most often:
A back stitch is one of the strongest stitches. Savile Row tailors often set their sleeves in by hand as it provides some flexibility. Bring the needle up, take a stitch back, run under the fabric, come up in front of the first stitch and repeat. The right side of the work will look like machine stitching while the back will have longer stitches.
The pick stitch is sewn the same way as a backstitch but there is a space between every stitch. When taking a stitch back, the stitch should be very small leaving just a dimple in the fabric.
The tack stitch is used to hold layers together. I use it to attach interfacing to the garment. The tack stitch is done from the right side of the fabric. It is done in the same manner as the pick stitch. The stitches can be slightly longer.
A fell stitch is stronger than a slip stitch. Use this stitch to attach pockets and lining to the garment. Bring the needle up through the fabric, take a small stitch into the lining or pocket, go directly back down into the garment and take a stitch forward angling the needle slightly towards the lining, repeat. This stitch is often referred to as an appliquÃ© stitch in quilting.
The slip stitch is similar to the fell stitch but the needle travels along the fold rather than through the garment. It is not as strong as the fell stitch but is quite invisible. The needle travels along a folded edge, comes out, picks up a thread of the garment, goes directly back into the fold and repeats.
Working flat on a table bring the needle up through the hem allowance, take a small stitch over a few threads, go between the hem allowance and the garment, pick up a thread of the garment and come back through to the right side of the hem allowance, repeat.
Working from left to right insert the needle from right to left. Take a stitch, pull the thread up, take the next stitch below the first and to the right. Stitches will resemble small crosses.
The buttonhole stitch is used to make hand worked buttonholes. Although it is similar to the blanket stitch, the main
difference is that the needle is placed under the edge and towards you whereas with the blanket stitch the needle goes
into the fabric towards the edge and away from you. The buttonhole stitch will form a purl knot along the edge.
(More on this later!)