Neat Backstitch Tutorial

In Patterns of Fashion 4, page 106, Janet Arnold mentions that the “backstitch which had the effect of chainstitch on WS as it is so neatly done”. I had this in mind while backstitching run and fell seams on a new pair of drawers. It looks something like this:

Backstitched run & fell seam

WS of backstitch looks like chain stitch

When I posted these pictures to Facebook, a friend asked for instructions, so this is a short tutorial. It’s really a matter of neatening the back when doing an ordinary backstitch. Quick summary: Hold the thread on the back side off to the side when inserting the needle, every stitch.

To start, perform your initial backstitch.

Initial stitch

When inserting the needle, I like to go into the previous hole to the side, which may or may not be important here.

Second stitch

As usual, bring the needle back up into the fabric, preparing for your next backstitch.

Full stitch

Here’s the trick. Use your fingertips to gently move the threads on the back to one side, during each stitch, so your needle always pierces to one side.

Wrong side

It should look like this on the back, after a few stitches:

Wrong side

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