24 Aug 2016

Starting and finishing the saddle stitch - An overlooked part of sewing


You can find dozens of tutorials showing you how to do the saddle stitch but they never really goes into detail about how to start and finish the stitch. They do show how you should do it but for some reason they accept uneven and dissimilar stitches.


Here we have stitching shown from Armitage Leather. You clearly see that the first two stitches (to the right) are painfully ugly. The threads are laying on top of each other in a weird way. Also the last stitches are far from perfect. The very last stitch is actually very nice with the two threads laying nice and parallel. The following two stitches are a mess.

           
Same goes with another popular leatherworker. To be fair his stitches are not uneven he just uses a very big thread so the last two stitches (to the left) just gets a bit thicker. This is not the look I'm after so that doesn't really help me.

These two examples are not meant to question the ability of the either of the two. Their contribution to the leatherworking community is immense and have without a doubt helped a lot of people. I'm sure that they agree that there is always room for improvement and therefore I have made this guide.

To show you what I'm after have a look at these stitches from daisukenshin on instragram. Perfectly parallel stitches:

I always seem to forget how to avoid these ugly start and finishes so I decided to once and for all figure it out. I have included a number of different starts and also how to continue a stitch after running out of thread. I'm sure that there are better ways to archive the same or better results but this is the way I do it for now. There is still room for improvement so it might very well change in the future. To be able to get the same results as me you have to stitch the same way I do. Go here to see how I do it.

Simple beginning 

This is what the end result looks like:



And this is how you do it:

Beginning with threads over an edge

This is what the end result looks like:



And this is how you do it:

Beginning with threads over an edge at 90ยบ

This have already been covered here

Simple finish

This is what the end result looks like:

And this is how you do it:

Finishing with 2½ double stitches over an edge

This is what the end result looks like:

And this is how you do it:

Finishing with 2½ double stitches over an edge at 90ยบ

It is actually not 100% correct pictures of the finished stitches. The ones shown here has a bit crossed threads in the stitch going over the edge. This has been corrected in the step by step guide.


Continue stitching over new stitches

This is what the end result looks like:

And this is how you do it:

Continue stitching going over old stitching

This is what the end result looks like:

And this is how you do it:


7 comments:

  1. Fantastic post, thanks!

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  2. Fantastic post, thanks!

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  3. Hi Mr Andersen - thank you for all your time and effort to record and share this. If possible, could you show your new alternative method to the 'simple beginning' with the small needle above?

    Thanks again, I really admire your workmanship.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Charlie,

      I'm glad you find it usefull. I will upload the new method sometime next week ๐Ÿ˜Š

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    2. Much appreciated! Thank you.

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    3. I found time to fix the post. Enjoy :)

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    4. Thanks again Mr Andersen. Look forward to seeing your next creation...

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