As I previously mentioned, I’m taking an online class on puppet-making. I have been learning the different stitches on the Project Puppet site. The tutorial covered four different stitches: whipstitch, locking whipstitch, baseball stitch, and ladder stitch.
And also, you know what’s a really good resource for learning this stuff? YouTube. Text descriptions and pictures are good, but watching demonstrations (provided that they are filmed well) helps even more.
Whipstitch: This is simple enough. Just a bunch of loops. It’s pretty basic. It reminds me of the way a spiral notebook is bound together. A good example can be found on YouTube here, although this one doesn’t really require that much explanation.
Locking whipstitch: I actually could not find a good example video for this one, but since I’ve done it in my elementary school craft class, I already know it. Strangely enough, many of the crafting skills I currently have were learned in elementary school in Taiwan. They seriously made children try a lot of things like pencil figure drawing, basic sewing and stuffing projects with felt, water-color, embossing a sheet of soft metal, carving your own stamp, making and decorating frisbees out of cardboard, decorating cans with straws, working with playdough/paperclay, etc. “Kids, bring your knives to school tomorrow so we can carve some wood to make prints” is something you will never hear in American elementary schools.
Baseball stitch: Although the instructor Andrew recommended baseball stitch and ladder stitch for puppet-building, I wasn’t quite sure about it. This is the kind of stitch that’s also used for baseballs (hence the name), but wouldn’t that leave big seams? After trying it out though, I like it. The seams are quite hidden if it’s done right and it seems to join together the fabrics and hold it pretty well. I like this video on YouTube. She’s actually demonstrating the baseball stitch using a knitting needle and yarn as opposed to the regular needle and thread. This makes things a lot more visible, because sometimes needle and thread just doesn’t show very well in web videos because of the video quality, or because the view is easily blocked by the person’s hands.
Ladder stitch: At first I wasn’t quite understanding this one. Though I am told that this stitch is almost invisible, I had some doubts. The pictures I am seeing about this stitch look like there would be a bunch of horizontal stitches visible on the top. So that makes ladder stitch not that different from whipstitch. But later I studied it a little more closely and realized that as long as I pull the stitches tight, the stitches really do disappear! This quickly became my favorite stitch. This video is a good example of the stitch, and this page is what I was looking at when I had the realization of needing to pull the stitches tight.
I am now practicing these stitches on a fleece puppet head that I am currently sewing together. I am almost done, and will post pictures soon early this week!