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What Are The Different Sewing Machine Stitches? Find Out Here!

Basic Sewing Machine Stitches

Modern sewing machines are one of the most common machines in our homes. I bet you have one in your home.

It is helpful to have a basic understanding of the different basic stitch types used in a regular sewing machine, as it will enable us to choose the right sewing machine for our sewing projects.

Sewing machines are an essential part of every household. They allow us to create beautiful pieces of clothing, bags, home decor items, etc.

The sewing machine has been around for ages and is a handy tool for many. It is simple to use and can make many goods. For sewing, there are different stitches, and some of them are more suited for certain tasks.

The most common types of stitching used in clothing include straight and zigzag seams; French seams; buttonholes; blind hems; tucks; darts; pleats; gathers; ruffles; and appliques.

But what is a stitch? What do they mean and how can you tell which one your machine uses? In this article, I will show you all about the different types of stitching that exist in the world today.

What is Stitch?

A stitch is simply a line or series of lines that connect two materials together. There are various ways to sew these lines on a piece of fabric or material, but each method creates its own unique look. We call those looks “stitches”.

Stitch is a machine that sews. The style of stitch is used to make a machine stitch by a machine.

There are many types of sewing machines, but most fall into these broad categories:

  • Lockstitch sewing machines, which form stitches by using a needle which passes through both fabric layers, piercing the second layer and forming a loop on the opposite side.
  • Chain stitch sewing machines, which form stitches by successively forming a loop on the opposite side of the fabric to be attached to the previous loop.

Types of Sewing Stitches

There are many sewing stitches and each specific stitch is used for a specific reason. In order to understand the meaning behind each type of stitch, let’s inspect each one individually below:

Straight stitch

A straight stitch (also called a standard stitch) is a type of stitch used on woven fabric to join two pieces of fabric together.

It is the most basic and common stitch used in sewing. A straight stitch is a continuous loop of stitches made in one direction.

It is used to sew simple, straight seams or to sew simple shapes such as darts and pleats. The straight stitch length determines how long the stitch will be. There are also three widths: 6mm, 4mm, and 2mm.

Zigzag stitch

Zigzag stitch is machine stitch that zigzags back and forth in the shape of the letter Z.

A zigzag stitch is a stitch that is created by moving a sewing machine needle back and forth, and at various intervals.

They are used for sewing together fabric pieces such as a skirt or pants. Zigzag stitches can also be used in place of a straight stitch on decorative materials.

Zigzag stitch is a widely used combination of a basic zigzag and a straight sewing stitch, used in applique, topstitching, and quilting. The zigzag portion of the stitch can be adjusted to have a range of widths from very narrow to quite wide.

It is also used to finish raw edges of a fabric. This stitch can also prevent raveling.

French stitch

French stitching is a type of embroidery stitch that creates a zigzag or sawtooth stitch pattern. This stitch is mostly used as a sewing decorative stitch, but can also join fabric, especially when a sewing machine is stitching several pieces together at the same time.

The French stitch is a variation of the basting stitch in which the stitches are longer and slanted. The French stitch is used when the seam allowance needs to be pulled in for fitting.

It is a type of running stitch. It can be used as a decorative stitch for hand-sewn items, but it is also used for its practical properties such as holding sewing seams in place. French Stitch is also used in free embroidery decor projects.

Blind Hem Stitch

Blind hem stitch is also known as “blind stitch”. It is where an overcast regular stitch is sewn with the fabric edge of the delicate fabric rather than the normal position of the needle.

This is useful when you have a fabric that frays easily as the medium stitch is hidden on the reverse of the fabric.

It is a stitch that is used to finish the edges of a garment. It is done with a blind stitch special foot, which allows the sewing machine to pass the needle straight down the fabric edge of the types of fabric without piercing the stitches.

Blind hem stitch is a variation of a hem stitch used on the fabric edges to eliminate the need for hand hemming. It is most often performed on a sewing machine.

Stretch Stitch

Stretch stitch is a machine-applied decorative stitching purposes is used to hold a seam or an edge in place.

Stretch stitch is a type of stitch frequently used in sewing. A stretch stitch causes a fabric to stretch in one direction, but not in another (usually in the lengthwise direction).

Stretch stitches are used when you want a garment to have some “give” or when you are sewing a stretchy fabric. It is usually referred to by its trade name, which is the Stretch Stitch.

This strong stitch is not frequently used but can be extremely useful.

Buttonhole stitches

Buttonhole stitches are a type of handmade machine embroidery stitch that is used to create decorative edges on stretchy fabric.

Buttonhole Stitches can hold two pieces of material together or to close the opening of a buttonhole. Usually, the left needle is used to hold the end of the buttonhole stitch in place.

Buttonhole stitches are a series of stitches that are used to secure two layers of fabric together.

  • It is a series of vertical straight stitches that will secure two layers of fabric together.
  • To create the buttonhole stitch, make a series of vertical, straight stitches.

There are several variations for creating button holes, depending on the size and placement of the hole. A standard buttonhole has four basic steps:

  • Mark the position of the centerline
  • Remove some excess fabric
  • Press 
  • Trim.

Buttonholing requires precise measurements and careful handling. Each step must be carried out carefully so that no mistakes occur.

If done incorrectly, it could lead to an uneven appearance of the final product. It’s best to practice on scrap fabric prior to sewing onto real clothes.

Reverse Applique

Applique means “to apply” in French. Reverse applique involves covering something existing. For example, you can cover a shirt sleeve cuff with fabric and turn it inside out to make a new design.

When reverse applique was developed in the 1950s, designers began incorporating textiles and embroidery techniques into their garments.

The first piece featuring reverse applique were military jackets from Europe. Today, reverse appliques are common among fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton and Prada.

Understanding Sewing Machine Stitches

Here are things to consider:

  • Sewing Machine Needles

The needles found on your sewing machine help stitch the threads together. Different type of needle will produce different results.

Most modern home-use sewing machines feature interchangeable spools to accommodate various thread thicknesses.

These spools usually contain either mono or polyester thread which makes the difference between cotton and nylon, respectively.

Other factors that affect the outcome of common stitching includes sewing machine tension setting, stitch selection, and finishing options. 

  • Thread Thickness

When selecting a needle for any wonderful sewing project, consider the amount of weight required. Lighter materials require lighter needles whereas heavier projects call for thicker needles. Thread thickness is measured in deniers.

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.View Author posts

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