Get To Know Your Sewing Stitches

When you are a novice sewist, one of the top things you need to understand about your sewing machine is the type of stitches you will use for your projects. Every sewing machine will feature a range of stitch options such as utility stitches, edging stitches, buttonhole stitches, satin stitches and decorative stitches.

Some models may only have 8 types of stitches available, while other machines can have over 100 stitches. Understanding these stitches will allow you to pick the right ones based on the sewing craft that you are making. You may not ever use all the stitches that are featured on your sewing machine. Yet by knowing what the stitches can do, you can figure out the right projects your machine can handle.

Today, we are featuring 10 common stitches for you to know about. Practice using these stitches until you become an expert as you will be able to create fashionable and professional projects that won't appear to be handmade.

10 Common Sewing Stitches

1. Straight Stitch

The straight stitch is found on every single sewing machine that is on the market. It will create a nice straight stitch on your craft project without doing anything fancy and difficult. You will use this stitch the most for your sewing hobby, so get in lots of needed practice with this one until it becomes second nature to create the straight stitch.

2. Zigzag Stitch

The zigzag stitch does exactly what it is named for; it creates a zigzag stitch when you don't want to make regular straight stitches. Some sewists will also use the zigzag stitch as an edging stitch to finish the seam allowance and will place them on hems for a nice design.

3. Automatic Buttonhole Stitch

The automatic buttonhole stitch is a great feature to have if it is on your machine. By telling your sewing machine the size of the button you are using, it will automatically create a buttonhole stitch in the perfect size as you put the finishing touches on your project.

4. Overcasting Stitch

For sewing machines with fewer features, they may include an overcasting stitch so you can finish the edges of fabric so you don't have to do it by hand. You may also find that you have an over-edge foot for your machine to make this stitch.

5. Basting Stitch

Basting stitches are used to make temporary stitches in your project that will be removed later when you place in permanent stitches. They are a great help in keeping your garments and decor items together until you are ready to work on that section of the project.

6. Overlock Stitch

The overlock stitch is an edging stitch used to create a finished edge when you don't have an serger machine. While you can use the zigzag stitch to finish edges, this stitch simply gives you another option for a different look.

7. Blind Hem Stitch

When you are making hems on jeans and curtains, there will be times when you don't want it to be seen. The blind hem stitch is perfect with this application as you can make blind hems on most normal fabrics. If you are working with stretchy fabrics, you can use the blind hem stretch stitch option.

8. Knit Stitch

There are certain stitches that work better when you are using specific fabrics such a knits or stretchy materials. The knit stitch is perfect when working with knits because it lets you create clean stitches along the edges.

9.  Applique Stitch

The applique stitch allows you to place appliques on your garments and craft projects. Many people like to do this step by hand, but the sewing machine can make the job a lot easier once you get the hang of placing appliques on fabric.

10. Locking Stitch

Locking stitches allow you to create a nice knot at the end and the beginning of a line of stitches. This technique is ideal when you don't want the thread to unravel. Some people also prefer this stitch when they don't like to backstitch.

As we mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of different stitches available based on the type of sewing machine you purchase. When your skills start to improve, you may want to pick up a sewing machine with more stitch options, like one that can do fancy stitches such as hearts and leaves.

Just keep in mind the types of stitches that you use the most often and pick up the machine that fits into your preferences. Don't purchase an expensive machine just so you can have every stitch that was ever created by mankind because - more often than not- you won't use every single one. Get the right machine that has all the stitches you need as you can find affordable sewing machines that won't break the bank.

About the author

Sandra McConnell

My sewing journey started when I was 7 years old, with my grandmother as my first teacher in her sewing room. I went from a career in teaching to professional seamstress and from stressed out and tired to happy and contented.

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