A ladder stitch is the very best way to sew openings closed by hand! Learn how to hand sew a ladder stitch with this step-by-step photo guide.
If you ever have wanted to make a pillow but have been intimidated by the hand stitching involved, today’s tutorial for how sew a ladder stitch (sometimes called an invisible stitch or a blind stitch) will be invaluable to you! This hand-sewing technique really is very simple to execute, and with a bit of practice, it results in a nice, tidy seam every time. Let me show you how it’s done!
Ladder Stitch Instructions
To begin, thread your needle, and tie the two thread tail ends together in a knot. Stitching with two strands of thread will provide added strength to your finished seam.
Next, grab any project with an opening that needs to be stitched closed, such as my pillow below. It is very important at this point to make sure the seam allowance at the opening is folded over and pressed very crisply. You will use the creases of these folds to guide you as you sew.
Now, let’s stitch! Push your threaded needle up and through one of the folded seams, from back to front, and pull the thread tail completely through. The knotted end of your thread will now be nicely concealed within the seam on the inside of the project.
Now, directly across from the point at which your thread emerges at your starting point, push the needle down and then back up through the opposite seam crease to create a stitch that is between 1/8-1/4″ long.
When you pull the thread through, you will notice that the stitch you just made is concealed within the seam crease, and there will be a horizontal stitch connecting the left and right sides of your opening.
The rest of the process is essentially a repeat of the previous step. Directly across from the point at which the thread emerges from the seam crease, make another 1/8-1/4″ stitch through the opposite seam crease: down, through, and up.
Note how I pinch both sides together as I work to pull things nice and taught. This helps ensure your stitching is even.
You will continue this process until you reach the end of your opening, creating a “ladder” of connecting stitches as you work.
When you reach the end of the opening, pull the thread to tighten the stitches, so that each of the connecting “ladder” stitches is magically concealed between the two sides of the seam. So nice and tidy!
To finish, use your needle to pick up a tiny section of the seam opposite where the thread emerges…
…and then pass the needle and thread through this loop and tighten and form a knot. You can repeat this step if you wish to further reinforce the stitching.
Now, snip your threads, and you are finished. Congratulations on creating a nice, tidy seam to close your project!
With a bit of practice, you will soon have the ladder stitch mastered. Then, you will no longer have to be intimidated by any project that requires stitching an opening closed by hand! (Yay!)
Use this ladder stitch technique in these fun projects!
…and my Plush Patchwork Pumpkins.
Having grown up in a home brimming with sewing notions and paintbrushes, Amy has a deep love for all things creative. On any given day, you’ll find her knee-deep in her latest creative endeavor, with projects ranging from sewing and crafts to home decor and kid-friendly ideas. Amy believes that everyone, regardless of skill level or experience, possesses the ability to create something beautiful, and Positively Splendid was born of her passion for helping others harness their innate creative potential.