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A. Schuyler
A. Schuyler, Research Analyst
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Experience:  30 years in research
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sewing... Sorry if Im addressing this to the wrong category

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Sorry if I'm addressing this to the wrong category but I wasn't sure which one this question should go to. I am a beginner sewer... Let's say I'm trying to sew/hem the bottom of a dress. So I start at one end and sew all the way around until I meet back up where I started... how do I end that stitch (so it's not likely to come apart through time? When I hand-sew, I know how to tie a little knot at the end... but how do I do the same job when using a sewing machine? Should I also go a little past where I started (over-lap a little) to re-enforce where they meet? Hope that makes sense. Thanks!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  A. Schuyler replied 5 years ago.

Hello, Always Curious,

Welcome and thanks for your question. You're embarking on a great hobby. When you reach the point where you originally began, make sure the stitching overlaps the original stitching. Some people put the machine in reverse, sew 4-5 stitches and then forward again. Then cut both threads and pull the tail of the thread on the front of the garment through to the back side and tie the two together. Just give a little tug on the back thread and it will loosen so the front end can be pulled through with a crochet hook or your fingers.


When I was a girl, I was taught to leave long tails at the end. Then when you pulled the front thread through to the back, you could thread a hand needle and tack the threads on the back side. That may seem like overkill, but you can be sure the threads weren't going to come apart at that spot.


I hope you are going to like sewing. Nothing fits as well as something you've made for yourself (unless you can afford to have clothes tailor-made) Wink.


All the best,




A. Schuyler and 33 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
More sewing help...

I'm having trouble starting a stitch. When I have to start at the beginning and the stitch needs to be really close to the hem, I only have my left hand to guide the fabric and if I only have that hand, the stitch will either stay in one spot and not move forward like I want it too, or if I try to use my right jabs to assist, it gets in the way, and the little metal piece that sticks out when FHE needle cones down seats hits my thumb and it HURTS. I hope that makes sense. What is the solution?
Expert:  A. Schuyler replied 5 years ago.

I think I have the picture Wink Let me know if I'm not understanding.


When you lower the presser foot onto the fabric where you want to begin, hold onto the bobbin thread and the tail of the top thread where they come out of the plate. Once the needle is lowered into the fabric to begin the first stitch, you can use these threads to gently ease the fabric through the feed dogs from front to back as you sew. Use your right hand on the wheel to slow the machine down so you are just making one or two stitches at a time. Once you are started with 5-6 stitches you can let the loose threads go and sew as usual.



Hope you are having fun!




All the best,




A. Schuyler and 33 other General Specialists are ready to help you

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