I don't like hand sewing. What can I do?

techniques Aug 05, 2021

I wonder why you say you do not like hand stitching? Like everything there is technique and although it seems like everyone should naturally be able to just pick up a needle and sew, you would not be surprised to hear that I often help students find this more enjoyable when I point out various things. Of course there are physical reasons, like arthritis, that can prevent you from doing some tasks with comfort and ease, but for this chat let's assume this is not the case.

Can I suggest you look closely in the classes at how I am doing my hand stitching - how I hold the needle, how I make the stitch, the needle and thread I am using and so on. Then compare this with what you do and see if there is any difference, and if so whether my way might be helpful to you. I think the needle is of critical importance and a fat needle is horrid to sew with as it will not glide through the fabric.

It is hard to do absolutely everything in quilting, garment making and home sewing by machine - so rethinking hand sewing as a pleasurable and thoughtful skill might be they way to approach this. In my work I continually analyse what I am doing to see if I can think of a better way. I also do not allow myself to say that I do not like any bit of the process. Some of it could be mind bogglingly boring (endless stippling or finishing off thread ends for example) but I approach it all as being of equal value and what needs to to done to complete the project. It is concious decision on my part to do this. Why set yourself up for disappointment by telling yourself you do not like hand sewing? Why not take a good look at how you hand sew and tell yourself that you are going to improve this and that it is a lovely thing to do. Hand sewing really is a lovely thing to do!


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