How To Tie Off A Stitch In 6 Ways
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How To Tie Off A Stitch In 6 Ways

You should leave a few inches of thread at the end of each stitch when sewing by hand. Create a loop large enough to hold your finger by bringing the needle under your last stitch. Form a knot by pulling the needle tight through the loop. Sewing machine stitches can be finished just as quickly. You can either lock or tie off the stitch. We at SewingWithEase will explain.

You just have to finish your row of stitches and tie them off. There is even a possibility that you might skip that step. Don’t do it! However, whether you’re sewing by hand or by machine, there are many ways to secure your stitches. There are some that work better than others. Are you confused? It’s no problem. Several ways will be shown to you to secure your stitches.

What You’ll Need for This Tutorial

Sewing by hand requires different sewing tools and techniques than sewing by machine.

What Tools You Need for Hand Stitching Row Endings

  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors or snips
  • Your project.

What Tools You Need for Ending a Row of Machine Stitching

  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • A pair of scissors or snips (optional if your machine comes with a thread cutter)
  • Your project.

Hand Tie-Offs: 6 Ways to Finish a Stitch

Tieing off a row of hand stitching is as simple as making a knot. This can be done in several ways.

Method 1: Tying Off A Double Thread

Whenever I hand sew, I use a double thread, as taught by my mother. As a result, your stitches will be stronger, and you will be able to tie them off easier when you’re finished. The way to tie off a double thread can actually be done in a few different ways. I’ll start with this.

  • Step 1 – Finish your row by making the last stitch. Don’t forget to leave a few inches at the end of the thread. In order to make your knot, you will need this.
  • Step 2 – Cut them apart once the two threads have been separated. The threads should be brought over and under each other. You only need to pull the threads far enough to bring them to the fabric’s edge. Be careful not to pull too tightly, or the stitches will pucker. Your first knot begins here.
  • Step 3 – The knot should be tightened by repeating Step 3.
  • Step 4 (optional) – My preference is to make another knot after this. There are even people who make two more.
  • Step 5 – Your thread end should be snipped off.

Method 2 (Finishing Stitch) for Tying Off a Double Thread

Here’s a third method for tying off your double thread sewing to ensure that your stitches stay secure.

  • Step 1 – Leaving a few inches of thread at the end of your row of stitches, finish your row of stitches.
  • Step 2 – Bring your needle through the fabric near the end of your last stitch. Make sure you don’t pull it too tight. Make a loop instead.
  • Step 3 – After you have lowered your needle, bring it up very close to the place where you lowered it.
  • Step 4 – Pull your needle gently down to the fabric after inserting it through the loop. Make sure you don’t pull too hard! You should leave a smaller loop.
  • Step 5 – Give the loop a final pull with your needle as you bring it through the loop again.
  • Step 6 – The end of your thread should be snipped off.

Method 3 (Back Stitch) for Tying Off a Double Thread

The previous stitch will be used to secure your finishing stitch with this method.

  • Step 1 – Leave a few extra inches of thread at the end of your row before sewing the final stitch.
  • Step 2 – Create a loop by bringing your needle back under the last stitch.
  • Step 3 – Your needle should now pass through the loop. Once the knot is on the fabric, pull gently until it settles.
  • Step 4 – Repetition of steps 2 and 3 will secure the row.
  • Step 5 – The next step is to snip the ends of the thread.

Method 4 (End-Off Backstitch) For Tying Off a Double Thread

Hand stitching can be tied off easily and securely with an end-off backstitch or backtack.

  • Step 1 – Leave several inches of extra thread at the end of your stitching.
  • Step 2 – Immediately after your last completed stitch ends, insert your needle back into the fabric.
  • Step 3 – Immediately after your row of stitches ends, bring the needle back up through the fabric. The loop is now complete. The thread should sit against the fabric when you pull it gently.
  • Step 4 – Steps 2 and 3 should be repeated twice more. Make sure you do not tighten the last loop.
  • Step 5 – The final loop should be brought through with your needle. Make sure it is tight.
  • Step 6 – The ends of your thread should be snipped.

Method 5 for Tying Off a Double Thread

Using this method, you can tie off your thread quickly and dirty. Getting the knot to sit perfectly on your fabric may take some practice.

  • Step 1 – Leaving a few inches of thread at the end of your row, stitch until the row is completed.
  • Step 2 – Your finger should be able to fit inside the loop created by the needle.
  • Step 3 – Then, double back the needle with your finger while holding the loop to the fabric. The needle should be brought through the loop and pulled gently. Tie the knot snugly against the fabric with your finger.
  • Step 4 – The knot can be repeated if you wish. It is optional to complete this part.
  • Step 5 – You can now snip off the end of your thread.

How To Tie Off A Single Thread

Single threads can be used in some circumstances instead of double threads. Finishing stitches, backstitching, or end-off backstitching are all methods that work for single-thread stitching. This may also work for you.

  • Step 1 – You will need several inches of thread to make your knot at the end of your row of stitches.
  • Step 2 – Bring your needle back over the last stitch for a backstitch or an end-off backstitch.
  • Step 3 – Make a loop at the back of your last stitch by inserting your needle behind it and gently pulling it.
  • Step 4 – Make a loop with your needle and run it through. Repeat the process.
  • Step 5 – Snip the ends of your thread after you have tied your knot tight.

What Is The Best Way to End a Row of Machine Stitches?

The stitches you make with a sewing machine can be secured in several ways.

Method 1 – Creating a Lockstitch

Using a sewing machine, lockstitching secures a row of stitches.

  • Step 1 – Forward-stitch three to five times. Then stop.
  • Step 2 – Turn those stitches over and reverse them. Then stop.
  • Step 3 – A second stitch should be sewn over the first.
  • Step 4 – Your threads can now be snipped with confidence.

Method 2 – Using the Auto-Finish Feature

Lockstitch buttons are available on some sewing machines. It eliminates the need to manually sew, reverse, and sew again by automatically making a lockstitch for you. It is possible to program lockstitches into sequences of stitches on some fancy machines.

Specialty Tie-Off Techniques

There are times when a regular tie-off isn’t the best option. You might need to use a specialized tie-off technique in some tricky situations.

You Can Hide Your Knot Between Layers

When sewing by hand, you can leave the knots on the wrong side of the project when starting and finishing. The wrong side doesn’t exist in all projects, for instance, quilts. In the process of hand quilting, you don’t want to leave unsightly knots on either surface.

A finishing knot can be hidden between layers of fabric using this method.

  • Step 1 – Leaving four to six inches of thread after the last stitch is always a good idea.
  • Step 2 – As if you were making a backstitch, loop your needle around the previous stitch.
  • Step 3 – Your needle should now be snug, but not tight, as you pull it through the loop.
  • Step 4 – Continue stitching in the opposite direction by looping your needle again, from the end of the stitch to the beginning.
  • Step 5 – Through the loop, bring your needle and pull snugly.
  • Step 6 – Bring your needle under the top layer of fabric only by inserting it through the middle of the stitch. Pull gently.
  • Step 7 – In the end, snip off the thread end and smooth the fabric so that it is hidden underneath the top layer of fabric.

Hide A Knot In Another Way

A knot at the end can also be hidden in this way. Multiplying the fabric doesn’t have to be the case, but it is helpful.

As a method of securing the row of stitches, this method uses a quilter’s knot. A hand quilter uses this knot to begin a row of stitches. It can also be used at the end.

  • Step 1 – Leave several inches of extra thread after you finish your row of stitches.
  • Step 2 – The thread should be wrapped around the needle three times.
  • Step 3 – Now, reinsert the needle close to where it came out into the fabric and pull it tight while holding the knot. You may need to practice making the knot, but keep trying. The knot should disappear beneath the top fabric layer as you pull it.
  • Step 4 – Pull the fabric until the thread end disappears. Snip the thread end and snip the end of the thread.

How to Hide Your Finish in a Seam

The knot and thread ends can be hidden inside the seam if your row of stitching finishes in a seam.


It’s worth doing a job right if it’s worth doing. A row of stitching can be finished in many ways! Your stitches can remain secure and attractive whether you sew by hand or by machine.

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