Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How to Pull Threads to the Back of Your Fabric

Have you ever seen directions that tell you to "pull threads to the back of the fabric" or the inside of your garment? You'll often get this instruction with topstitching, bound buttonholes, and machine-sewn buttons--or any place that you want to avoid backstitching and having cut threads on the outside of your garment. I used to be infuriated by this instruction because I had no idea how to do it. But it's actually really easy! Here's all you have to do.

I'll demonstrate on a simple row of stitching. This is the right side.

Turn the work over to the wrong side and pull up the thread tail. See how the stitch before it pops up?


Stick a pin into that little loop and pull it out.


Now both your thread tails are on the wrong side!

 Tie them in a knot; three knots on top of each other is good.

 Ta-da! Now your right side is nice and clean.

35 comments:

  1. Great tutorial! I Pinned it so I can find it again :)

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  2. brilliant. and so easy! it's the little things in life; thanks for making my day Gertie :)

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  3. This is one of those things that you should probably know straight away, and if not you should probably figure out very easy...

    But nope, I would have never even thought of that. Thank you!!

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  4. Wow, that makes so much sense! Totally one of those "why didn't I think of that before?" moments! Thanks for this!

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  5. That's what I do with every seam! Because backstitching is a little intimidating to me, always scared that it won't be perfect haha...

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  6. I usually do this for machine-sewn buttonholes, seldom for any other reason. A single back-stitch is sufficient for seam beginnings and ends; and I backstitch into the body of a dart to secure the tapered end, rather than fiddling about with all that pulling and tying. I do often leave long thread tails at the ends of seams that will need finishing touches of handsewing, to avoid a lumpy knot in my thread.

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  7. Exactly like my mom taught me to do it, probably at age 8 or so, hehe. ;) I do this with every seam, whether I backstitch or not, then tie the threads together and clip them short.

    With the backstitching, every now and then there's a thread that just refuses to be pulled to the backside. That used to drive me nuts, but recently I realized I can just thread the sucker onto a needle and push it through to the back. You know, just like sewing. Can't believe it took me this many years of sewing to realize that one, lol.

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  8. This has got to be the single most useful thing I've heard all week. Thanks! xx

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  9. Great tutorial, Gertie! Sometimes directions can really be annoying when the company just assumes you know how to do something. I think that if instructions use a certain technique, they should have to explain it - I certainly try to when I am writing instructions. I don't think you should ever take for granted that your reader knows what you mean unless the instructions are marked as intermediate or advanced!

    BTW, really cool nail polish!!

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  10. I love this trick! I make purses and, man, is it handy to know when finishing off pockets and any topstitching.

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  11. I feel so silly that I hadn't thought of that. I have been threading a needle and pulling it to the back that way doh! Thanks Gerie :-)

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  12. Thanks Gertie, this is fantastic!

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  13. I'm guessing this works with coverstitch machine stitching, too. I could NOT figure out what they meant, but really, duh.

    Thanks!

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  14. Thank you Gertie! So simple and such a nice finish!

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  15. sometimes it is so others do not I use this for buttonholes and pockets .. usually I go back and forth with the sewing machine .. your tutorial is very helpful Hello Dany

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  16. OH my gosh thanks so much! I hate the look of backstitching and this makes so much sense!

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  17. This a lot easier than what I've been doing....I've been threading the top thread through a needle and then sewing it through to the bottom (like Sarah and others I'm sure) Thank you, Gertie!

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  18. ahhh lightbulb moment!

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  19. So simple, yet so life changing :)
    Thank you!

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  20. Isn't it funny, I took it for granted that everyone knew how to do this. It's one of the first things my mother taught me how to do as a child. Guess I was wrong, how remiss of me. I forget sometimes that many of you are new to sewing and processes change. I shall have to remedy this thought process for the future.

    BTW excellent tutorial, shows the technique exactly.

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  21. Love that, genius! I'll definitely be using that nifty trick from now on. Thank you

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  22. Thanks Gertie! I was wondering if there was a better way to do this. I am new to sewing and this kind of advice is really helpful.

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  23. Genius! As they say, it's the small things!

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  24. Obviously from the comments this was a much needed lesson. Count me among those that learned something new today!
    Thank you,
    Patti

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  25. Ah ha! Thats why my topstitching never looks professional! Definately going to try this next time - thank you :)

    www.wangsfactory.blogspot.com

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  26. I never thought of that! Although my new machine ties the knots automatically I sometimes need to do it manually. Thanks for sharing this tip!

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  27. Thanks, Gertie. I hadn't had to do this yet, but I would have threaded a needle. It's great to know that I don't have to.

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  28. Thank you so much! I had no idea it was so easy. Great post.

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  29. Easy and beautiful, never would have thought of this. Thanks!

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  30. Brilliant. Mystery solved. Thank you!

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  31. I wish to thank you. I never did learn or was shown how to do this and yes many frustrating times I heard to do this. Now I know. Thanks again
    JackieS.

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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