Easy Slip Stitch Sewing Tutorial – (Step by Step)

Last Updated on June 11, 2023

Guide to Slip Stitch Sewing: Whether you’re a seasoned sewist or just starting out, there will come a time when hand sewing becomes necessary, even in the presence of a trusty sewing machine. The slip stitch is one of the most versatile hand stitches to have in your repertoire.

This stitch is particularly useful when it comes to closing holes in your seams, especially when the only access point is from the right side of the fabric.

Slip Stitch Sewing Tutorial

What is a slip stitch used for in sewing?

A slip stitch is primarily used in sewing when you require an invisible stitch. Its versatility makes it suitable for various applications, such as:

  • Hemming Garments: When you want to create an invisible hem, especially on delicate fabrics or garments with a narrow hem allowance, the slip stitch allows you to secure the folded fabric without any visible stitches.
  • Finishing Bias Bindings: Bias bindings are commonly used to finish raw edges or add decorative accents. The slip stitch provides a neat and concealed way to attach the binding, ensuring a professional finish.
  • Enclosing Seams on Collars and Waistbands: Slip stitching is an excellent technique for enclosing seams on collars, waistbands, or any area where the stitching is hidden. This creates a clean and polished look without visible thread lines.
  • Closing Pillows or Plush Items: When closing pillows, stuffed toys, or other plush items, using a slip stitch allows you to discreetly join the seams without the need for machine stitching, resulting in a seamless appearance.

The slip stitch offers a seamless and invisible finish in all these applications, giving your sewing projects a professional touch.

Slip stitch sewing Tutorial

Slip stitch sewing Tutorial
Image Source: Youtube (Professor Pincushion)

Here, we’ll explore the art of slip stitch sewing using a practical example: a Scrunchie. Traditionally, a gap is left in the seam of a scrunchie during construction, allowing for easy turning of the fabric to the right side.

However, simply stitching the gap closed on the sewing machine can result in a less-than-desirable finish. Let’s compare the outcome of machine stitching versus slip stitching and discover how this technique can elevate the overall appearance of your projects.

Even with the convenience of a sewing machine, there are times when hand sewing is necessary. One popular hand stitch is the slip stitch, often used for closing holes in seams.  

Materials Needed

How do you Sew a slip stitch step by step?

Here is the step-by-step guide that will teach you how to sew a slip stitch to neatly close a gap in your fabric.

Step 1: Prepare the Fabric

Prepare the Fabric
Image Source: Youtube (Professor Pincushion)
Pin the gap closed
Image Source: Youtube (Professor Pincushion)
  • Pin the gap closed: Start by pulling the fabric in the area around the gap. The raw edges should fold to the inside, creating a neat folded edge. Use straight pins to hold the folded edges in place.

Step 2: Thread the Needle

Thread the Needle
Image Source: Youtube (Professor Pincushion)
Tie a knot
Image Source: Youtube (Professor Pincushion)
  • Cut a piece of thread: Choose a color matching your fabric. Cut a length of thread, approximately 18-24 inches long.
  • Tie a knot: Thread one end of the thread through the eye of the hand needle. Tie a knot at the opposite end of the thread.

Step 3: Start the Slip Stitch

Start the Slip Stitch
Image Source: Youtube (Professor Pincushion)
  • Position the fabric: Begin your slip stitch at one end of the opening, with the knot on the inside of the fabric.
  • Take the first stitch: Insert the needle from the inside of the fabric to the outside, near the folded edge. The knot should be concealed between the layers of fabric.

Step 4: Stitching the Gap Closed

Stitching the Gap Closed
Image Source: Youtube (Professor Pincushion)
  • Stitch the left folded side: Move to the left folded side of the gap and grab a small amount of fabric along the folded edge. Make small stitches to ensure a secure hold. Gently pull the thread to bring the sides together.
  • Stitch the right folded side: Cross over to the right folded side and grab a small amount of fabric along its folded edge. Keep your stitches small and pull gently to bring the sides closer together.
  • Continue zigzagging: Alternate between the left and right folded sides, taking small stitches along each folded edge. The stitches should appear as a zigzag pattern when viewed from the top.
  • Repeat until the gap is closed: Repeat the zigzag stitching motion, moving back and forth between the left and right folded sides until the entire opening is closed. Adjust the tension of your stitches as needed to maintain an even closure.

Step 5: Finishing the Slip Stitch

Finishing the Slip Stitch
Image Source: Youtube (Professor Pincushion)
  • Create a knot: When you reach the end of the gap, take a final stitch and leave a small loop of fabric.
  • Pass the needle through the loop: Insert the needle through the loop and gently pull the thread to create a knot. This secures the slip stitch in place.
  • Trim excess thread: Use scissors to trim the thread, leaving a small tail.

FAQ – People Also Ask on Slip Stitch Sewing

To further help, here are some answers to questions you may have about Slip Stitch Sewing.

Is a slip stitch strong?

Yes, a slip stitch is strong and sturdy despite its nearly invisible appearance on both sides of the fabric. It provides a secure and permanent finish, making it a reliable choice for various sewing applications, including closing holes in seams and securing hemlines.

While the slip stitch may not be as visible as other stitches like the catch stitch, it still maintains its strength and durability, ensuring the garment’s or project’s longevity.

Is the slip stitch a stitch?

Yes, the slip stitch is indeed a stitch. It is a versatile finishing stitch commonly used in sewing to hem garments with regular fold-up hems and to attach bias tape to the inside of necklines, waist edges, and sleeve/skirt/pant hems.

When would I use slip-stitch sewing?

Slip stitch sewing is commonly used when you need to close a seam hole from the fabric’s right side. For example, it is often used to close gaps left for turning a project right side out, like a scrunchie.

How can slip-stitch sewing improve the appearance of my project?

Slip-stitch sewing can greatly improve the appearance of your project because the stitches are nearly invisible when done correctly. Using small stitches and matching thread makes the closed opening seamless, resulting in a neater and more professional-looking finish.

Can slip-stitch sewing be done with a sewing machine?

No, slip-stitch sewing is a hand-stitching technique and cannot be done with a sewing machine. It requires precision and control, which is best achieved by hand.


By following this step-by-step guide, you have successfully learned how to sew a slip stitch to close a gap in your fabric. Slip stitches provide a neat and nearly invisible closure, making your finished project look professional. For more sewing tutorials, subscribe to TheSewingStuffs YouTube Channel, and also you can leave a comment below.

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