Tutorial: Invisible Seams, The Hidden Stitch

To close up a seam without showing any stitches you can use the hidden stitch, sometimes it is also called a ladder stitch. This is a really useful stitch to use when you are closing up stuffies, a turning hole or binding the edge of a quilt.

1. Thread your needle and tie a knot on the end (I’m using red thread in this tutorial just so it will show up better)

2. Insert the needle from the inside out and pull it through until the knot catches.

3. Insert your needle on the opposite side of the opening directly across from the knot and bring it back through about 1/8 of an inch over ON THE SAME SIDE.

4. Now do the same thing on the other side. keep repeating this on each side and It should look something like this:

5. As you pull the thread the seams will come together with all the stitches hidden.

6. Continue until the entire hole is closed up. When you reach the end of the hole tie off your last stitch. You are finished but don’t cut the thread here, you want to hide the thread so take your needle and poke it in beside your knot and bring it back out about 1 inch away.

8. Pull the thread taught and cut it off as close as you can, this way the ends will stay hidden inside.


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100 Responses to Tutorial: Invisible Seams, The Hidden Stitch

  1. Andrea says:

    Hey, thank you for this, I finally undrestood how it is done!!

  2. the freckle says:

    Hi Andrea, I’m so glad you found it helpful! rebecca

  3. Linda Lou Loukos says:

    I’ve been sewing (lots of mending) for over 50 yrs., but so appreciate any info I can get. Thanks!

  4. Anabel says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post this. It was exactly what I needed to know! So very helpful! Thanks!

  5. Kristina says:

    I am so excited I found this on pinterest! Great tutorial! Thank you!

  6. I’m so glad to have found this..great tutorial!!

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  8. Dawn says:

    Oh my word! I can sew — even have my own business — but this tutorial is just AMAZING! It’s the simple things, ya know? I just finished up a pillow made from a sweater. I was tempted to video this stitch because I couldn’t believe how easy it was and how nice it looked. Sounds nerdy, but just proves how wonderful your post is! Thank you!

  9. Corine says:

    This looks easy! For sure I’m gonna try this.
    Found your tutorial through cold hands worm hearts.
    Thank you so much!!

  10. Renata says:

    I’m just adding to the thankful chorus! I found you via Pinterest.

  11. Michele N. says:

    Thanks for posting! Found this on pinterest & can’t tell you how I wish I had found this sooner!! Can’t wait to start my next project and have nice, neat seams!

  12. Rebecca says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I was able to fix my husbands vintage coat! He’ll be thrilled to see it fixed!

  13. Rose says:

    An elderly lady tried to show me how to do this when I was a teenager but I wasn’t interested because it made me sew slower and I wanted to get my project done. BUT years and I do mean years later I remembered what she said and how she said to do it and I started using what she’d taught me wayyy back then. NOW I appreciate it when I didn’t then. She’d be happy that I am finally using what she taught me. lol

  14. Sam says:

    Found you on Pinterest – awesome tutorial, thanks!

  15. I needed this to finish up a quilt! Found it on pinterest. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Madi johnson says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! Very useful. And easy to follow! Cheers! X

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  18. Tiko says:

    Found this today on pinterest. How did I make it so far without knowing how to do this? You inspired me to finally tackle the mending that has been sitting in the corner of my bedroom. Thanks!

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  20. sarah says:

    you made it look so easy! thank you! i’m going home and finishing some pillows i started with this technique!

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  23. Sally says:

    Very helpful. I am new to sewing and I’m having a difficult time keeping the stitches pulled tight while tying it off. Any tips? Thank you!

  24. Michele E. says:

    I learned this stitch about 20 years ago. It changed my entire attitude about hand sewing! Thanks for sharing–I never knew what the stitch was called until now. 🙂

  25. I found this on Pinterest months ago and finally got around to looking at it. I’m such a novice and this tutorial worked wonders. I’m making some stuffed animals today and this will definitely get put to good use. Thanks for sharing!


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  27. Janet says:

    I learned this stitch when I was a tenner but I always got in trouble at the end so finally with your tutorial I will have a nice finish. Thank you so much for sharing.


  28. Lacy says:

    Thanks for posting this! I pinned it months ago on Pinterest and just used it to mend a stuffed animal of my sons that was brand new! Saver!

  29. Alicia says:

    I remember getting points off my home-ec pillow because I didn’t know how to do this, I never have figured it out…until now, thank you so much!

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  31. Maurine says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to do this, so everyone can benefit from your expertise! I so appreciate as I am always frustrated with that hole left behind and being so particular – this is perfect for me.

    Thank you!


  32. I was looking for just this because I’m working on a sewing project that requires this invisible seam and I’ve been wondering how it’s done.

    This is a life saver! Thank you.

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  34. Thank you for this information. I have always wanted to know how to do this and now I do thanks to you. Keep up the good work.

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  36. What an awesome tutorial! Thanks so much!

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  38. Pat C. says:

    Thank you for this wonderful tutorial! xoxo

  39. Amanda says:

    Ahh! Thank you!!!! My seams are always terrible

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  43. bekswhoknits says:

    this tutorial was invaluable.

    thanks for sharing in such an easy to follow manner. there’s definitely an art to creating a good tutorial, and this is a good one.

    thanks guys – it’s helped my cushions to look fantastic

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  52. Khanh Do says:

    Thank you, ur tutorial is very helpful.

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  55. judith says:

    useful for knit projects, thanks

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  58. Karen Balsz says:

    Can’t thank you enough for this great way to close up a quilt or pillow! I sort of remember how to do this, but your photo’s reminded me how easy it really is!! Thank You so much !!!

  59. Richard Clarke says:

    Thanks for this great post. Needed to know how to finish off a draught excluder and now I can do it with no seams showing! Thanks sew (haha) much!

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  61. Sarah & Matthew says:

    Thank you!! My 13-year-old son Matthew is determined to make pocket warmers for his church youth group gift exchange in a couple of weeks – sounds easy, right? Well now that we know how to properly close the hole, it will be!! Thank you again so much!

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  63. Aravis says:

    Wow, thank you very much for such a clear and easy explanation! Now to make my stuffies without a thread sticking out 🙂

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  65. Lesa Hudman Linton says:

    thanks!!! so helpful!!!

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  71. Valerie says:

    Thank you for the tutorial and wonderful photos! I’ve never sewn a stitch in my life but I found myself in a “do or die” situation and had to attempt to fix a burst seam on a stuffed animal. Your photos and directions made it do-able for this newbie. I wasn’t sure how to knot or tie off the end of the thread, so I just followed another tutorial and made three tiny stitches on top of each other, then used your method of hiding the ends inside. Not perfect, but I think it will pass (I hope). Thanks so much!!

  72. Love your site. Used this stitch many times never new what it was called.
    My Grandmother showed me, but didn’t tell me the name.
    Again I love your site.

  73. matt says:

    I am doing textiles at school and needed to know this, so thanks!

  74. Amber says:

    I love you. My pillows always look weird where I sew the gap from the filling closed. Now they’re perfect. You rock! Such a great tutorial.

  75. Truly says:

    Thank you so much! I’m repairing a friend’s old quilt and I could get away with big obvious stitches, but I think she’ll appreciate it more if I can make it look like it was never repaired at all.

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  82. Robin says:

    Stumbled across this sight in hopes of fixing a ‘burst seam’ on the leg of my son’s duck. I really don’t know how to sew and the leg turned out great. Thank you for the step by step instructions and great visuals.

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  84. Jamie says:

    Thanks for the instructional. You say: “tie off your last stitch” but I’m not sure how to do that so the knot goes inside. I’m sewing a leather juggling ball. Can you advise?

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  86. Jenny says:

    I’ve always had problems with this technique but not any more! Thank you so much.

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  89. Christina says:

    I have had to do some repairs and was baffled by how to do this. Thanks for such a clear easy explanation.

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  91. Nikki says:

    Great tutorial! Thanks a million.

  92. John says:

    Thank you for this information. I have always wanted to know how to do this and now I do thanks to you. Keep up the good work.

  93. Elena says:

    Am I the only one who can’t figure this one out? 🙁 I feel so silly…

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  95. Michele Willand says:

    I love this!!! My closures always showed! This will be fabulous. Makes me want to tear a seam out and practice…LOL. One question and it maybe the way the picture is but can’t tell. Are you stitching with double thread or single strand. Thanks in advance and thanks again for this wonderful tutorial!!!

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