4-5. HAND STITCHING REPAIR IN FABRIC ASSEMBLIES (CONT).
b. Handstitches. There are five common hand stitches used to mend fabric in different situations. Choose
the one that most closely resembles the repair you are making.
(1) Flat Stitch. This stitch is used as a
temporary fastening until machine
repairs can be made. Pass the needle
over and under an equal amount of
material, each successive entering the
material from the opposite side.
(2) Round Stitch. This stitch is used to
hand-work grommets. Insert the
materials at right angles to the edge of
material and bring cord around edge
before making the next stitch.
(3) Overcast Stitch. This stitch is used to
apply a hand-sewn patch. Insert the
needle through the material at an angle
so that it comes out to one side and
ahead of the point of insertion, and bring
the cord over to the original line of
insertion before making the next stitch.
(4) Backstitch. This stitch is used to secure
an open seam. It is so named because
the needle is always set back one half of
a stitch length into the last stitch made.
Make two small stitches in the same
place to secure the cord ends. Continue
by inserting the needle into the middle of
the preceding stitch and bringing it out
on the same side of the material one
stitch length in advance of the preceding
(5) Fishbone Stitch. This stitch is used to
join edges of a tear until a patch can be
applied. Insert needle between two edges
of material to be sewn together. Take a
diagonal stitch from one side toward the
other, bringing the needle out between
the two edges. Repeat this operation on
the opposite side, and continue
alternating stitches from side to side. To
keep the stitches uniform, hold the edges
smoothly together. Make stitches firmly,
but do not pull them tight enough to
pucker the fabric.