I sew by hand since I don’t have a sewing machine. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot more sewing than usual. One project required me to sew a straight line that would be visible on the finished item. If I had a sewing machine, it would be no problem, but by hand? After some thought on the matter, I came up with some ideas on how to sew a straight line when sewing by hand.
Sewing a straight line by hand is necessary for most projects. Seams and hems are the most common time you will need to sew a straight line that will be visible on the finished project. Once in a while, you may even have to sew a decorative guideline, as I did in my project.
Tips to Sew Straight Lines when Sewing by Hand
First you should consider a ruler. A ruler will let you measure evenly to where you need to hand sew your straight line. Use the ruler to mark spots along the length of fabric where you need to sew the straight line.
To mark where you will sew your line, there are different options depending on your fabric and personal preference. If you can sew fairly straight, you may decide to place straight pins in the spots where you measured with your ruler. To further help in hand-sewing that straight line you might want to place extra pins in between the markings.
If you’re like me, and need all the help you can get, you might want to draw on your fabric. Depending on which side of the fabric you are working from, you might want to use fabric chalk.
I don’t have fabric chalk, or any other kind of chalk. I had been using a yellow colored pencil on the wrong side of my fabric since it was light but still visible to me. However, I needed to work on the right side of the fabric for two decorative guidelines. I chose to use a pen in the color of my thread.
It worked out very well for me. I used the ruler to measure along the length of the fabric, making small, light lines with the pen. Then I used the ruler to draw light lines connecting the smaller markings so that I had a drawn line across the length of the fabric where I wanted to sew the straight line. This way, I had a solid line to follow. A back stitch covered the pen line nicely.
If you have a fabric that makes drawing a line difficult, there are still other options. You can use tape to mark across where you measured the straight line with your ruler. Just hand sew your stitches directly above the tape. You can use masking tape or even scotch tape, just make sure which one you choose sticks to your fabric while you are hand sewing your straight line.
What if you can’t use these options or don’t have some of the materials? You could even try pinning a length of yarn, string or even thread to your fabric to mark your straight line. Be sure to pin this thoroughly so you don’t accidentally move the yarn while sewing. Although this is similar to the straight-pin method, it offers a little more guidance when sewing your straight line.
So you see, there are many tips to mark your fabric to make it easier to sew straight lines when sewing by hand.