Hand Tacking

I am a big believer of hand tacking when it comes to sewing now, not on all things just on some.

I have never had formal training and don’t know the expert way of tacking, I don’t use special threads or needles. For my taking stitches I use a medium to long length stitch using a regular sewing needle, thread wise I usually use a near empty bobbin in a strong contrasting colour so that I can see it easily. I like to pin and then tack. Depending on what I am doing sometimes I leave the pins in sometimes I will take them out. The things I do hand tack are zippers, curved pieces on toys, stuffed limbs in toys. anything that has a lot of pinning particularly at odd angles. Hand tacking stops the fabric layers slipping. Sometimes using my seam ripper I remove the tacking stitches just before the section goes under my sewing machine needle other times I take out the stitches afterwards.

Sometimes patterns will tell you to tack before sewing, these days even if a pattern doesn’t tell me I choose to do it. It may take a few extra minutes to hand tack a piece but the time saved and more importantly stress levels reduced by doing the tacking is worth it. I’m not finishing a seam only to discover I missed half of it. I am doing less reverse sewing (unpicking) by taking the time to hand tack. I am happier with the end result the first time around. On toys in particular I’m getting a better result on gusset pieces which before were my nemesis as I could never get both sides of the gusset to look even. The little bit of extra sewing preparation beforehand pays off in the end. I have heard that using silky type threads are good for tacking as you can remove them easier but I have never had an issue with removing the tacking stitches, plus it is a good way for me to use those near empty bobbins up.


2 thoughts on “Hand Tacking

  1. Oh you have nailed it, those old stress hormones can be the make or break of a well made piece. Thankyou for sharing. Amanda xx

    • Thanks Amanda 🙂 Sewing is meant to be fun and not stressful so if I can do anything to reduce my stress levels than I’m gong to do it. Also by knowing I can hand tack pieces to make them easier to sew I’m not avoiding harder patterns or toys with gussets like I used to, this has opened up my sewing world to try new things.

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