How to start hand sewing without knotting the thread

If you’re still tying a knot in your thread to start your hand stitching, today’s tip will change the way you sew forever.  Seriously.  I used to knot my thread, and it made me crazy that half the time that knot would just pull right through, and even if it didn’t, it left a lump in my garment where the knot was.  Ugh.  This method solves the issue of loose weave fabric and doesn’t give you the “this was made by a third grader” look that a big honkin knot in your thread does.

  Here’s how you do it:
How to start hand sewing without knotting the thread

 

Incredibly poor choice of thread color so you can see what I’m doing.
  Start by picking up 3-4 threads of your fabric with your needle.  You want a small piece of fabric, but 1-2 threads, depending on the fabric, may be too fragile.  Pull your needle and thread through the fabric, leaving a thread tail of around 2 inches.
How to start hand sewing without knotting the thread

 

  Pull your needle around and put it back through the exact same spot, making sure not to pull your original thread tail through.
How to start hand sewing without knotting the thread

 

  Start to pull your thread through.  Before it is completely pulled through, a loop will form.  Thread your needle through this loop and then finish tightening your thread.  This method works somewhat similarly to the Chinese finger traps you can find in dollar stores.  The more the thread is pulled on, the more it tightens around itself.
How to start hand sewing without knotting the thread

 

  Once you’ve finished tightening this, you can trim off the excess tail.  You can also use this method to tie your thread off when you’ve finished sewing.  No more knots, no more bumps and far less frustration.
  Now isn’t that better?
  If you’ve just found my blog, please, check out some of my other posts!  All of my sewing how to’s can be found here.
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6 comments

  1. You are right this will change my life. Knot were my problems soft nails was when I would tie a knot my nail will get a ridge in it. Thank you

  2. Great tip! Do you do this on the right side of the fabric? And you can trim the thread tail right close up to the knot without it coming undone? Thanks for the tip! 🙂 Lisa

    1. Where I tie the knot usually depends on the project, but yeah, I’ve certainly done it on the right side of the fabric before. And absolutely you can trim the tail completely off, so long as your knot is tightened down!

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