Friday, November 8, 2013

Basic Sewing Stitches & How to Use Them

If you're just learning to sew or hope to learn one day, this post is for you. Sewing machines come with lots of different stitches, but there are just a few that I use all the time. The other stitches are fun and used for various projects, but learn the basics first.
Normal Stitch.
This stitch is used for most seams. It's just a straight line. The normal stitch setting is 10-12 stitches per inch. This is the one I use for 95% of my sewing. You probably will, too.
Basting Stitch.
This is the longest stitch on your machine. Go to the stitch length setting and set it as high as it will go. You'll get 6-8 stitches per inch with this stitch. It is used for temporary stitching and can be removed easily with a seam ripper once the permanent stitch is in. A basting stitch basically holds your fabric pieces together while you add another layer of fabric, etc. Gathered waistbands sometimes require a basting stitch.
Zigzag Stitch.
I probably use this stitch second most, just after the normal stitch. The zigzag is used for stitching seams, finishing raw edges (great if you don't have a serger), and for decoration. I like to use it on elastic waistbands to reinforce the seam on the elastic. For this stitch you may need to adjust the width of the stitch, as well as, the length. Test it on a scrap fabric first to see which setting will work best for the project you are working on.
Satin Stitch.
This is great for finishing edges like on a baby blanket, tablecloth, etc. You use a zigzag stitch but the length of the stitch should be set on the lowest setting so that the stitches are very close together.

Do you have a go-to stitch besides the normal stitch? I feel like I need to experiment with all the stitches on my machine. Maybe I'll find another one I really like using.

Want to see more basic sewing tips? Visit my page above labelled {Sewing Basics}.

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  1. Great post! I'm pinning this - hopefully it will help some beginning seamstress!

  2. Why do I keep getting clumps of thread on the bottom of my stitches? I can't figure it out! Thank you for any assistance you can give me!

    1. Hi Ashley! There's nothing more frustrating than that! When that happens to me, the first thing I do is completely rethread my machine, spool thread and bobbin thread. A lot of times, that fixes it. Other times, it has to do with thread tension. I saw a great pin today all about thread tension on Pinterest. It's pinned on my board labeled Sewing. I hope this helps you!

  3. Please I need further lessons on cutting and stitching Indian girls clothes please. Guide


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