How To: Invisible Stitching

Learn how to sew an invisible stitch, often referred to as a slip stitch or ladder stitch. Check out our YouTube tutorial: How To: Invisible Stitching for a demonstration.

When to use a slip stitch, ladder stitch?
The slip stitch or ladder stitch is predominately used to sew up holes in items, such as stuffed toys, accessories or decorations. However it is also used in garment construction for sewing linings or in upholstery for sewing mitred corners on curtains.

To complete the slip stitch, ladder stitch using this method you will need to have two folded edges of fabric (with the seam allowances tucked to the inside) that need to abut together, neatly and invisibly. The stitch is almost completely invisible and creates a wonderful professional finish to any product.

How to sew a slip stitch? How to sew a ladder stitch?
Start by choosing a needle and thread, you can work with a single or double thread. Generally speaking use a double thread for areas that are going to take more wear and tear, perhaps in a garment. Whereas a single thread will work for most projects.

Choose a thread that is the best colour match for your project; in this tutorial we are using a black thread so that the stitching is visible.

Tie a knot at the end of the thread. Bring the thread into the hole and out of the fabric on the folded edge closest to you. The knot can be tucked neatly and invisibly inside the product.

Start with the thread coming out of the folded edge, nearest you.

Position the needle into the folded edge furthest away from you. The needle should enter the fabric directly opposite where the thread came out of the fabric.

Position the needle into the fold of the fabric and run the needle along the folded edge for approximately 1/4″ (5mm). The stitches should be on average 1/4″ (5mm) in length, unless you are sewing a curve or require more strength, then they should be closer together.

Bring the needle and thread out of the fabric.

Continue to work the stitch. Enter the fabric on the other side of the fold, directly opposite where the thread exits the fabric. Stitch along the folded edge for 1/4″ (5mm) and exit the fabric. Continue sewing, jumping from one side of the fold to the other.

Once you have sewn the required area, simply tie off the stitching with a knot or sew over yourself to secure the stitching. I sewed through the previous stitch to tie off and decided to loose the thread in the fabric.

How to loose thread in your fabric?
To loose a thread in your fabric, position the needle into the hole (so that it enters the product invisibly) and bring it out of the fabric in a random place, a short distance away from the stitching.

Pull the needle and thread tightly, push the item away from the needle and thread. Cut the thread where it exits the fabric. The thread will simply jump back inside the item once it has been cut, because it was being pulled tightly. It will become invisible.

Congratulations you have sewn a slip stitch or ladder stitch. Your stitching should be pretty much invisible, especially if you are working with a corresponding thread colour.