Learn How to Hand Sew an Invisible Hem Stitch Known as the “Blind Hem Stitch” or the “Catch Stitch”
If you need an invisible hand-sewn stitch to use for hemming pants, dresses, or skirts, it’s worth learning how to do the blind hem stitch, also known as the catch stitch. This is a fantastic choice of stitches to use if you’re hemming pants or garments made from stretch fabrics that incorporate lycra or spandex.
Pictured above, you can see how the blind hem stitch looks on the wrong side of the fabric. If you work the stitch correctly, using a thread color that’s an exact match for your garment, it’s invisible on the right side of the work.
How to Sew the Blind Hem Stitch
- Choose a hand sewing needle with an eye that is large enough to hold your thread, but not much larger than that.
- Thread your needle with sewing thread that’s an exact color match for your garment. Knot the thread at the end. I’ve used a contrasting thread color in the sample above to enable you to see the stitch, but it’s better if your thread color matches the fabric color as closely as possible.
- Prepare the garment you want to hem. Ideally, you’ll want to fold the hem twice, positioning it where you want it; then press it using a steam iron to help it stay in place. Then pin the folded hem in place with straight pins. As you stitch, you can remove the pins that are no longer needed.
- If you’re right-handed, you’ll probably find it easiest to stitch from left to right. If you’re left-handed, you might find it more comfortable to work from right to left.
- Begin with your needle positioned in between the folded hem and the body of the garment. You might have to remove one straight pin to enable this. You’ll insert your needle into the fabric and bring it up through both folds of the hem.
- Move your needle ever-so-slightly to the right and ever-so-slightly up above the folded hem. Your goal will be to make a stitch that catches a tiny bit of the garment fabric that’s just barely above the upper edge of the folded hem. If you’re right-handed, stitch from right to left, catching just a few threads of the fabric. If you’re left-handed, and you’re working in the opposite direction, you might prefer to stitch from left to right instead. Pull your needle all the way through the fabric, but do not pull it too tight.
- Your next stitch will be made slightly to the right of your last stitch, and it will dip back down to catch the folded garment hem again. Position this stitch so it’s evenly spaced with the previous stitch. Stitch from right to left if you’re right-handed, or from left to right if you’re left-handed.
- Repeat these steps over and over until you’ve finished hemming the garment.
I hope you found these hand sew hem stitch instructions helpful. Now you’ll be able to hem all those skirts, pants and dresses that are too long, or mend a coat with a lining that is coming undone. Happy hemming!