How to Sew an Invisible Ladder Stitch

Have you ever made a garment, a bag or any sewing project that involves sewing everything wrong sides together and then turning it out through a small opening? Then you have to close that opening from the right side. Often, a tutorial will instruct you to topstitch it, or hand sew it closed with an invisible ladder stitch. But what is an invisible ladder stitch? Today I am going to show you! 

An invisible ladder stitch is perfect for when you need to close up a seam from the right side of the project, but you don’t want your stitches to show like they would with topstitching. It is a quick and easy method, and gets great results! Never done it before? Practice on scraps first!

You will need:

Two scraps of fabric

A needle (smaller is better!)

Coordinating Thread

In this tutorial I am using contrasting thread so you can see it better, but using coordinating thread will get you as invisible of a seam as possible!

invisible ladder stitch

Start by sewing your two scraps right sides together, leaving a two inch gap in the center. Turn right side out and press well. Your stitches will all be going in and out of the creases of the fabric where it has been pressed, so pressing crisp creases makes it easier!

Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end. To begin your invisible stitch, insert your needle into the gap, and bring it up through the fabric in a crease as close to your original seam line as possible- I like to actually overlap mine by one stitch!

invisible ladder stitch

Bring your needle tip down into the crease directly opposite where it came up, creating a horizontal stitch. Your needle came up through the crease on one side, and down through the opposite side. Before pulling your needle through, bring the tip back up on the SAME side, about ¼” inch away. 

invisible ladder stitch

Pull the needle all the way through.

invisible ladder stitch

Repeat: Bring the tip of the needle down into the opposite crease, directly horizontal from where you start. Bring the tip back up on the same side, ¼” away.

invisible ladder stitch

Pull the needle through. Each time you are creating a horizontal stitch. The stitches will start to resemble a ladder- hence the name “invisible ladder stitch!”

Repeat until your “ladder” is about one inch long.

Gently pull the threads tight. You will see the stitches disappear!

invisible ladder stitch

Repeat until you get to the end of your gap.

invisible ladder stitch

Tie a knot in the thread as close to the fabric as you can.

To finish off your invisible ladder stitch, insert the needle down into the seam right by the hole, then bring the needle back out a little bit away on the fabric

Gently pull the needle until the knot disappears into the seam, then holding the needle thread taut, trim the thread right by the fabric- the tail will disappear into the project!

Press your seam well and those stitches will be nearly invisible!

I hope this helps you get perfect results with the invisible ladder stitch every time. Have questions or need help? Join our Facebook community for sewing inspiration and support.

Don’t forget you can check out a video for this method on the Boo and Lu YouTube channel!

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