Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Incredible Disappearing Ladder Stitch

You now have all these open places on your bear and we need to close them. What to do, what to do? Well there is a wonderful little stitch that's gonna do that for us. As the title of this post suggests it's the ladder stitch. It really is wonderful, but you do have to learn it.

I was poking around the web looking for simple ways to show you how to do this stitch and I stumbled on a great little tutorial. This gentleman at Ted's Teddy Talk took you through the entire process of making a very ingenious heirloom snap bear named Snappy. Part of the process was of course the ladder stitch which he did a wonderful job explaining. I'm giving you the address for his ladder stitch tutorial but I also suggest that you check the rest of this tutorial out! I did email Ted to let him know about our need here today and he did not mind sharing.

With that said, I did think that I should attempt to explain the process myself so here goes nothing.

Above is what the openings in your bear look like minus the fur.

Some people use heavy thread for this. It's recommended but I never have. I simply use the thread I sewed him up with. The knot goes on the inside starting within the stitches already present. I start on one side of the fabric preparing to sew into the other side.

This first stitch is taken close to where it came out but as you sew into the open space, sewing back and forth, it will form this ladder.

I'm a visual person myself. I don't know if talking you through this part will help.

But after making a few of these loose stitches you will pull your thread and voila, the stitches will disappear!

Continue sewing, a few stitches at a time and then pull, a few more, pull. Sew into the first few stitches on the other side of the opening.

This seam often looks better than the sewn seam.

You can knot it on the top when you're done. I string the remaining thread through a long needle again and take it through the back of the bear. Hold a little tension in the thread and cut the thread off close to the fabric without cutting the fabric. The thread should disappear into the bear.

I should be able to sit down tonight and get this bear sewed up. We can talk about his ears tomorrow. Don't forget the ladder stitch you'll be using it again.

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