Whether you’re closing an opening in a plushie or hand appliqueing something such as this kangaroo’s nose, the ladder stitch technique is the same and provides a ‘hidden stitch’, also known as the invisible stitch. It is easy to sew and opens so many avenues of creativity for whatever you’re making. It is THE stitch to have in your toolbox of skill sets.
Step 1: Use a long piece of thread and fold it in half. Insert the two ends of the thread through the eye of the needle. Secure the thread to the fabric in the location you want to place the applique item (or start the closure of an opening) by inserting the needle through a small section of fabric and pulling the thread through almost to the end leaving a small loop exposed. Insert the needle into the loop and pull the thread through. Your thread is now connected to the fabric.
Step 2: Insert your needle into the edge of the item to be appliqued, just above the seam if there is one. Bring your needle back out just a very short distance away from where you entered and insert your needle straight down into the other fabric. You’ll go back and forth in this manner creating ‘rungs’ (like a ladder).
Step 3: Pull tight after several stitches and continue stitching.
Step 4: Once you reach the end of what you’re stitching, tie a knot as discreetly as possible, preferably near a seam or where the two objects meet so the knot can be tucked inside. Insert your needle at the location of the knot and pull the needle through a couple of inches away. This will tuck the tail end of the thread inside your object. Trim the excess thread flush with the fabric and you’re done!
This stitch is perfect for adding eyelids, nostrils, nose pads and so much more!
…and of course it is the go-to stitch for closing openings in plushie tooshies, arms, legs and more, as was done on this Nutty Nag Plush Horse Doll.
This ‘invisible stitch’ is easy to master and gives a wonderful refined look to your project…like the nostrils on this llama.
This is a great image to pin! Pin now and save this project for later.