Do you feel like you only work with straight stitches and have absolutely no idea about what the rest of stitch options offered in your sewing machine are? It is likely that as you gain more sewing experience, you’ll realize that straight stitch is simply not enough. Want to up your sewing game? Read on to learn more about these essential stitches and make the most of them.
The basic element of all sewing projects, straight stitch is the most used stitch in the machine. You can adjust the stitch length for different purposes, like piecing or gathering fabric.
Reverse stitch is simply a straight stitch sewn in reverse direction. You can sew this by pressing the reverse stitch button of the sewing machine. It is mainly used at the beginning and the end of stitch, which strengthen the straight stitch so that the fabric can be sewn firmly.
Buttonhole and button stitch
As the names suggest, these two stitches are used for creating buttonholes and sewing buttons. Buttonhole stitch is made up of densely sewn zigzag stitches and you can find different styles, for example round end and keyhole, in some sewing machines. It is noted that some machine models offer 1-step buttonhole stitch and some offer 4-step buttonhole stitch. The difference lies in whether it can be sewn automatically, so if you tend to work on garments, you may want to purchase a machine with 1-step buttonhole stitch. When sewing buttonholes and buttons, you need to change presser feet. When sewing buttonholes and buttons, you need to use buttonhole foot and button sewing foot.
Buttonhole presser foot (left) and button sewing presser foot (right).
Zigzag stitch is usually used for overlocking seams if you don’t have an overlocker. It can also be used in appliqué and patchwork, or create a satin stitch pattern by lowering the stitch length. If you use this stitch to overlock edges, you need to use overlocking presser foot.
Overlocking presser foot for overlocking seams with zigzag stitch.
This stitch is used for sewing on elastic.
The elastic stitch helps create gathered fabric.
Blind hem is used for securing seams without showing much of the stitches (only small dots are found on the right side of the fabric), making it an ideal option when you don’t want the stitch to be shown on your work. It can also be a decorative finish for fine and delicate fabric. You need to use blind hem presser foot when sewing with this stitch.
Only the tiny dots can be seen on the right side of the fabric when sewing the blind stitch.
Blind hem presser foot.
Stretch blind hem stitch
The blind hem finish for stretchy fabrics, the stitch consists on two big zigzags and several smaller zigzags in between, enabling it to secure the stitches.
Only tiny dots can be seen on the right side of the fabric when sewing the stretch blind hem stitch.
Also known as ladder stitch, this works well on overlapped seams and brings embellishment to clothing or handicraft. It is also used for creating channels for ribbons or elastic to pass through.
This stitch is used for joining two pieces of fabric by the butting together, with the decorative stitch in between. It is usually applied in heirloom sewing, an array of sewing techniques with a strong French influence, applied on lightweight fabrics.
Stretch triple straight stitch
It consists of three horizontal parallel stitches and is used when you need to reinforce heavily strained seams, making the finished piece more durable.
A domed-shaded decorative stitch, it is applied on the edges of garments and handicraft works. Depending on the design, it can give the finished piece a feminine, soft, or playful touch.
Hem sewn with the scallop stitch.
Like a line of tiny triangles, the stitch can be found in sewing stretchy seams on non-fraying materials.