How To Sew Without A Sewing Machine – 7 Steps to Sew by Hand

Last Updated on July 20, 2022

How To Sew Without A Sewing Machine

How To Sew Without A Sewing Machine: Sewing machines are quite expensive to buy. Not everyone can afford them to sew clothes. Besides, some fabrics might require special needles which your machine doesn’t support. Again, if your sewing device breaks or stops working, you can’t use it until fixing.

Can You Sew Without a Sewing Machine?

In such cases, you have to sew fabrics without a sewing machine. It may seem not very easy, but some sewing techniques don’t need any sewing tools. We are going to describe the methods in this article. Let’s get started.

What Items You Need to start Hand Sewing?

This has been one of the most ancient sewing practices. Though many think that it is not very easy, it is the easiest one to get fashionable designs. It is cheap, doesn’t need a big space, and you can sew wherever you want.

How To Sew Without A Sewing Machine

To start sewing by hand, you need to collect the required tools, including needles, thread, fabrics, etc. The hand sewing needle differs a lot from the sewing machine needle. Unlike the needle of the sewing machine, it is smaller, and its eye situates at the top.

For cutting the thread, don’t forget to take scissors. Moreover, it would be best if you also had thread clippers to prevent pricking yourself while working. Once you get everything, it is time to start working.


You need to use a good thimble so that your fingers are not destroyed. Thimbles come in many varieties and materials, so you almost have to try to find your favorite. If you find it difficult to use a thimble on your finger, there are small round sticky notes that you attach to the fingertip, right where the needle hits the finger.


Use small sewing scissors to cut the thread when you have finished sewing. A small pair of scissors fit in the seams and is easy to handle. Choose a pair of scissors of really high quality.


Use a thread color that matches the darkest fabric you are going to sew with. Light stitches can be seen more than dark ones. A beige-gray color is good for patchwork with many different fabrics.

You sew with a thickness of 50wt on the thread but feel free to try thinner thread to see what you prefer. Cotton thread is not as elastic as polyester thread, which can be an advantage, and there are combination qualities that are good for hand sewing.

Start with a strong and smooth (slippery) thread. The thread can be waxed with beeswax to become smoother and prevent knots.


We all have quite different fingers, and you need to try different needles to find the needle that suits you best.

How To Sew Without A Sewing Machine

The needle for hand sewing should be small, short, and strong. “Sharps” and “Betweens” are mostly used in patch technology.

The between needles are shorter and a little stronger than “Sharps.” Numbers indicate the size of the needles; the higher the number, the smaller the needle. Feel free to have a good needle applicator and proper light because the needles have a small eye.

7 Steps to Sew by Hand

The technique we will show you here is hand sewing “in American,” i.e., without the help of ready-made cardboard templates. This way, you avoid getting bored around cardboard templates, but you have to be very careful to cut all the pieces of fabric exactly with a ¼ ”seam allowance in advance.

How To Sew Without A Sewing Machine

In this case, it is smart to have good rulers and hand sewing templates designed for this purpose. Feel free to take a look at your quilt shop because they can certainly help you with this! Templates are available in many different designs.

1. Now start by producing some nice fabrics. Squeeze them smooth. Use templates and cut out the shapes with a ¼ inch seam allowance. Some templates have holes in the corner points. Take a water-soluble felt-tip pen and mark these with a dot on the wrong side of the fabric.

2. As you practice and get better at hand sewing, you will become friends with the seam allowance and be able to sew the correct width without having to mark the corner points. Insert needles hitting that the tip of the needle comes out through the point.

3. The seam consists of small basting stitches, with a small backstitch every 2.5 cm. You sew from corner point to corner point without sewing in the seam allowance. Start by attaching the thread to one corner point. Sew in a straight line towards the other corner point with small basting stitches.

4. Use a thimble on the middle finger and then slide the needle through the fabric.

5. If it is more than 1 inch (inch) away from the point, take a small backstitch in the middle. Strive to get many small stitches at even distances.

6. Then attach the thread to the other corner point with a small stitch. Now you can put on a new piece of fabric, put a pin and continue sewing. The seam ends at a corner point by taking a backstitch and threading the needle through the loop before tightening the thread. Cut the thread about 5 mm from the knot. Finger press the seam gradually.

7. Remember to never sew in the seam allowance. This is what it looks like on the wrong side of sewn-together diamond shapes.


Pre-stitches are the lightest stitches you can think of and are common in London finds. They are rightly called “running stitch” in English, as they are quick to sew. Pre-stitches can be used to hem garments, to sew down seams with, and also to sew garment parts together.

  • Attach the thread by sewing a couple of stitches over each other, or make a knot on it.
  • Insert the needle up and down through the fabric layers several times, at 2-3 mm intervals.
  • Pull through the thread.
  • Repeat.


Backstitches are not harder to make than stitches, but they take a little longer to sew. In return, they also give a much stronger seam.

Backstitches are mainly used to sew garment parts together, especially where the garments will be exposed to heavy loads, such as in trousers and other tight-fitting clothing, or in armholes and at the top of wedges. Here too, 2-3 millimeters is a good length on the stitches.

  • Attach the thread by sewing a few stitches or make a knot over each other.
  • Insert the needle into the fabric and insert it a little further away.
  • Insert the needle in the same place where the previous stitch ends (i.e. back) and pull through the thread.
  • Repeat.

Front Stitch + Backstitch

Backstitches can advantageously be combined with front stitches. If you have a seam that will only be subjected to a “normal” load, you can sew it with a front stitch, with a backstitch every 1-4 cm.

This way of sewing is faster than if you only use backstitches and becomes stronger than if you only use front stitches.

You can also sew backstitches in the part of a seam that will be heavily loaded (as here, at the top of a sleeve wedge) and sew front stitches or front and backstitches mixed in the rest of the seam. These two stitches will go a long way in the manufacture of your medieval clothes.


In a draped garment, a whole piece of fabric gets wrapped over a dress. These dresses involve pinning and tucking instead of actual sewing.

Firstly take your measurements, get a dress and a muslin fabric. Mark the draping position and the pinning position.

Now start wrapping according to the design you like. Secure the fold with pins and cut extra materials. Then unpin the dress and sew the seams with your hand.

In these ways, you can sew without using any sewing device.

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