the (non-embroidery) stitch you need to know
If you do much hand sewing, or even if you mainly sew on a sewing machine, you'll frequently need to sew up an opening. I used to do this with a whip stitch, or something close to that. But not too long ago I tried a ladder stitch and haven't gone back.
It's strong and you barely see the stitches. Plus, it's really easy to learn and do!
I'm working with pieces that are folded, because the folded edges are what you'll sew together. Think about the opening on a stuffed animal and how the the seam comes together. First you'll see them flat and up against each other, then you'll see the pieces held together. The stitch works both ways!
Start with a knot in your thread bring it out from the wrong side of the fabric, through the fold.
On the opposite side, directly across from where your thread came out, take a stitch that goes in and back out again. I usually take stitches that are about 1/8th", although it can vary for different purposes.
Take a stitch directly across from where the needle came out on the opposite side.
Keep taking these stitches, forming what looks like a ladder.
When you pull them tight, they close up the opening and you hardly see them. Typically you'd only want to take a few stitches, then pull it tight, rather than stitching a long way. Just be sure that you don't pull it too tight, or you'll cause too much stress on the thread.
Now, instead of working with the sides flat while you're working, you can also hold the sides together like this. You'll still take the stitches across from each other, working along the folded edges.
This is even how I've been joining hexagons with lately too!
Here's what I'd like to point out: I stitched this in pearl cotton. Don't do that! Regular thread is what you want. I used pearl cotton so it shows up well in the photos...and to show off that even with this thick thread, the stitches are still hidden! To me, it's just an impressive stitch.
But here's the best part. The simplicity is what really makes this amazing to me. Because what do we have? A running stitch! Sometimes the basics are exactly what you need.