Home » Sewing Techniques » How to Slipstitch

How to Slipstitch


A slipstitch is a nearly invisible hand stitch, often used when there’s a folded edge to sew invisibly in place. You’ll see this stitch used for hemming as well.

Slipstitched waistband

Slipstitched waistband




Slipstitch to secure folded edges of waistbands and cuffs and when finishing a hem (page link) or when closing openings left in belts or other enclosed parts for turning. Slipstitch to attach bias tape trim or bias binding (page link) around necklines and armholes. Anytime you need to handsew a folded edge invisibly, a slipstitch is a good choice.

Tips + Notes

  • Instead of pinning before you slipstitch, hand baste (page link) for greater control. Keep the basting away from the folded edge so you can slipstitch easily.
  • You can stitch away from yourself or toward yourself. Sewing toward yourself makes it easier to see your work as you sew.
  • For extra strength, use beeswax on the thread. Thread your needle and run it through a cake of beeswax, then wrap your thread in scrap fabric or paper and press (page link) to seal in the wax.


How to Slipstitch (1)

Pin your folded edge in place. Thread the needle with matching thread so the stitches will be nearly invisible. Tie a knot at the end of the thread.

How to Slipstitch (2)

Poke the needle through the folded edge, about ¼” (6mm) from the end. This will help bury the start of your thread and hide the knotted end.

How to Slipstitch (3)

Catch a thread or two of the fabric on the right side, about ¼” (6mm) in from the end. It should line up more or less with where your needle comes out of the folded edge.

How to Slipstitch (4)

Bring your needle back into the folded edge, very close to where it came out of the fold the first time. Poke the needle into the fold so it comes out about ¼” (6mm) away.

How to Slipstitch (5)

Pull the thread to bring the edges closer together. Don’t pull too tightly or your work will pucker. Repeat these steps over and over again, and keep the stitches spaced evenly as you go. Pick up only a few threads of the main fabric, but feel free to take big bites out of the folded edge.

Source : The Sewtionary An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques + Definitions
About the Author : Tasia ST. Germaine