Knotting a Thread
Loosely wrap the end of the thread twice around the first finger of your hand and roll it off the finger with your thumb.
Pull the thread down between thumb and finger, and at the end will be a small knot. This will prevent stitches from pulling out as you work.
In fine sewing, knots can be considered bad form. Instead, take two stitches, one over the other, at the beginning of your work to hold the thread securely.
Ending a Thread
When you reach the end of a seam, or a length of thread, you will need to secure it so that it doesn't pull out. There are three methods you can use:
1. Take three little stitches, one over another and cut the thread.
2. Run the needle through the last three or four stitches and cut the thread.
3. Take a small stitch and before pulling the stitch tight, put the needle through the loop of the stitch. Then pull the stitch tight.
Use whichever method results in the finest finish for the fabric and application. When ending a gathering thread, do not secure the end or cut it. Put a pin at the end of the gathers and wrap the thread round the pin. This will hold the end securely while you draw up the gathers.
If you do a fair amount of hand sewing, you might consider using a thimble. A thimble is a small hard cup worn over your finger that pushes the needle when sewing. They are made of many different types of materials, but the most common is metal. There are also self-adhesive thimble pads that many prefer over the traditional thimble. These will protect your finger and are less bulky and awkward to use.