Types Of Sewing Stitches
Sewing is a skill that has been around for centuries, allowing us to craft beautiful pieces of original clothing and other accessories. Without the knowledge of different types of sewing stitches, it can be hard to create quality garments. Understanding basic types of sewing stitches are the foundation for any successful home sewer or even a professional tailor. Knowing how each stitch looks and behaves allows you to choose which is best suited for your project!
In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at the different types of sewing stitches and why you might need them. We’ll also provide a few examples of how each stitch can be used in a project. So whether you’re looking to add an extra edge to your sewing projects or just want to learn more about the different types of stitches available. Read on as we explain everything there is know about each type of stitching!
What Are Sewing Stitches?
Before answering what types of sewing stitches there are, it is important to understand what a stitch is. Sewing stitches are the lines of thread used to sew two pieces of fabric together. Stitches can be made either by hand with a needle and thread, or with a sewing machine. There are many types of sewing stitches that can be used for different purposes, from attaching buttons and zippers to creating intricate embroidered designs. The type of stitch chosen depends on the strength, durability, aesthetic appeal and purpose desired. Each stitch has its own unique characteristics and advantages in certain applications such as heirloom sewing or tailoring garments. Understanding the various types of stitches available allows for greater creativity when designing projects including clothing items and home decor.
By choosing the right type of sewing stitches for any given project, you can ensure that your work is strong, attractive and long-lasting. As you become more experienced with sewing, you will learn to recognize the various types of stitches and their uses. With practice and patience, you can create beautiful projects tailored to your exact needs.
Types Of Sewing Stitches
There are many types of sewing stitches, each having its own unique characteristics. There are two types of stitching: Types Of Sewing Stitches By Machine and Types Of Sewing Stitches By Hand.
Different Types Of Sewing Stitches By Hand
Hand sewing is the traditional method of creating beautiful sewn projects. There are numerous types of stitches that can be used to secure fabric together, decorate garments and accessories, or complete an embroidery project. Each stitch is suited for a specific purpose and should be selected accordingly for the best results.
A basting stitch is used as a temporary way to keep two fabrics together until permanent stitching is completed. It’s usually done with long running stitches that can easily be removed later on. This type of stitch is helpful when adding lining to a garment, gathering fabric or quilting layers together in preparation for permanent stitching.
How To Do Basting Stitches?
- Thread your needle and knot the end of the thread securely.
- Starting from the wrong side of the fabric, insert your needle about a quarter inch away from where you’d like to start sewing and pull it through until there is a small loop of thread at the top.
- Push your needle back into the fabric, about a quarter inch away from where it came out.
- Pull the thread through until you have another loop at the top of the fabric. Continue this pattern for as long as needed to complete your stitch.
- Once your basting stitch is finished, tie a knot at the end and cut any excess thread.
This basic hand-sewing technique involves taking small stitches along the line of fabric. These are used to secure fabrics together and are typically completed using a backstitch at the end of each stitch line. Running stitches are commonly used in hemming, gathering and creating seams or pleats.
How To Do Running Stitches?
- Thread the needle and make a knot at the end of the thread.
- Pass the needle through both fabrics from back to front, leaving a small loop on the wrong side of the fabric.
- Pull the thread until it is taut.
- Take a stitch backward through both fabrics in order to anchor the stitch.
- Take a stitch forward, passing through both fabrics until the desired length is achieved and repeating steps 2-4 for every additional stitch needed.
- Once finished, knot the thread at the end of the last stitch on the back side of the fabric to secure it in place.
This is one of the strongest hand-sewing methods available and involves taking two small stitches forward with one large stitch on top and moving backward with your needle to repeat the sequence. Backstitching is often used when sewing buttonholes or attaching zippers, as it provides strong, durable stitches that will not come undone easily.
How To Do Back Stitches?
- Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread.
- Start with two small stitches in the same direction and bring your needle back out at the beginning position of your stitching line, slightly overlapping the first two stitches.
- Take one large stitch forward to form the first side of your back stitch.
- Bring your needle back up at the beginning position of your stitching line, slightly overlapping the last stitch you made.
- Take two small stitches forward and bring your needle back out at the beginning position of your stitching line again, slightly overlapping the last stitch you made.
- Repeat steps 3-5 along your stitching line until you reach the end. Securely tie a knot at the end of your thread to secure it in place.
Whip stitching is similar to running stitches but can be done more quickly by wrapping the thread around both pieces of fabric several times. This type of stitch is often used to close seams or finish the edges of a project, and can be done with either single or multiple strands of thread.
How To Do Whip Stitches?
- Cut two pieces of fabric to the desired size and press them with an iron if necessary.
- Place the two pieces of fabric together, wrong sides facing each other.
- Thread a needle with the desired type of thread (e.g., cotton or polyester).
- Start at one end of the seam and take small stitches, wrapping the thread around both pieces of fabric several times as you go along.
- When you reach the other end, tie off the thread by making a few small knots before cutting it off.
- Repeat this process on all edges that need to be whip stitched together, and your project is complete!
Overcasting is another common technique used to sew two pieces of fabric together. It involves taking small stitches around the raw edge of one piece of fabric and looping them over the other side, creating a finished look that helps prevent fraying.
How To Do Overcast Stitches?
- Thread your needle with a length of thread that is twice the desired finished length.
- Knot the end of the thread and start at one corner of the fabric.
- Push the needle through both layers, leaving a small loop on top and catching just the edge of each layer separately. Do not pull too tightly as you want to leave some slack in between the stitching lines for flexibility
- Continue by pushing your needle through just above where it came out from, creating another small loop and catching just the edge of each layer separately again.
- Repeat this process along all edges until you have reached your desired stitch length or shape. Make sure to leave enough slack for flexibility between stitches so that when pulled, it does not create an overly tight line.
- Knot off your thread at the end and you’re done! Your fabric is now securely stitched together with an overcast stitch.
Catch stitching provides an invisible way to hem a garment by laying tiny hidden stitches along the raw edge, tucking them underneath the folded edge of fabric so they are not visible from the outside. This stitch is strong enough to hold up against wear and tear while remaining almost unseen.
How To Do Catch Stitches?
- Start by folding the fabric edge over twice and press it flat with an iron.
- Using a hand sewing needle, put a tiny knot at one end of your thread.
- Begin stitching from the wrong side of the fabric, making sure to keep the stitches as small and close together as possible.
- Pull each stitch through the two layers and then back up through them again, creating tiny loops between them that will secure the fabrics together without being visible on the right side of the project.
- When you have finished stitching all along the edge, tie off your thread securely in several knots and trim away any excess length.
- Now your catch stitches are complete!
Blanket Stitches (Buttonhole Stitches)
This type of stitch is used for securing two fabrics together, similar to a whip stitch. It can also be used to create decorative effects by using different colors of thread and various types of knotting patterns.
How To Do Blanket Stitches?
- Begin with a knot in the thread. You can do this by taking one end of the thread and wrapping it around two fingers, then pulling the opposite end through the loop you have created to form a knot at the base of the thread.
- Thread your needle, piercing it through from front to back on a corner or edge of fabric. Pull half of the length of thread through so that there are equal lengths on both sides.
- Now take your needle and insert it again into the same hole you used for step 2 but come out slightly further up and towards the right side (if right-handed). The distance between where you came out this time and where you inserted last time should be an indentation width.
- Take the needle and thread it back into the same hole. Pull up a loop of thread, so the two ends are even with each other again.
- Again insert your needle slightly further up and to the right, creating an indentation that is similar in size as before (the exact distance will depend on what you prefer). Pull up another loop of thread so that both ends are even.
- Repeat step 5 until you reach the end of your stitches or desired length of stitch. Tie off your thread when finished by making a knot underneath the final stitch at the edge of fabric and secure with a few extra knots if needed.
- You can also add extra decorative elements to blanket stitches by creating variations in the indentation size and changing the color of thread.
Ladder Stitches / Slip Stitches / Blind Hem Stitches
A ladder or slipstitch is usually invisible when done correctly, making it ideal for finishing hems. This technique involves taking small, tight stitches along the folded edge so they catch onto both sides of the fabric at once, creating an almost seamless finish. A blind hem stitch is very similar but with a slightly looser tension to make sure all the stitches remain hidden on one side.
How To Do Ladder Stitches / Slip Stitches / Blind Hem Stitches?
- Thread a needle with thread that matches the fabric color.
- Make sure that the two edges of the fabric are folded and aligned correctly.
- Starting at one end, take small stitches along the entire length of the hem, catching both sides of the fold at once for ladder / slipstitch.
- Move the needle in a zig-zag manner for blind hem stitch, making sure that all stitches remain hidden on the other side of the fabric.
- Once you reach the end, secure with a knot and repeat for each side.
- To make sure your stitches look professional, take care to keep them even and consistent in size.
- Trim away any excess thread for a neat finish.
Vertical Hem / Couch Stitches
This type of stitch involves taking small stitches at regular intervals along the edges of a project to create decorative effects. Vertically-oriented couching stitches are commonly used for embroidery projects, while horizontally-oriented ones can be used to edge a garment or cushion cover.
How To Do Vertical Hem / Couch Stitches?
- Start by threading a needle with the color of thread you wish to use for your project.
- Position the fabric in front of you and mark out the pattern along which you will sew.
- Take a small stitch at each intersect where the pattern crosses, pushing the needle through the fabric and pulling it back out.
- As you pull the thread tight, it will cause the fabric to bunch up slightly and create a decorative pattern.
- Continue working in this manner until you have completed your project. Once satisfied, trim any excess threads and tie off the end of your thread to secure it in place.
Half Back Stitches
Half backstitches provide added strength and durability to sewing projects without being too bulky. The process is similar to a backstitch but begins with one forward stitch before looping back and repeating the pattern. This technique is useful when attaching appliques as it produces strong, invisible stitches that will not come undone easily.
How To Do Half Back Stitches?
- Begin by threading a needle and knotting the end of the thread securely.
- Insert the needle into the fabric, leaving an inch or two of slack in the thread as you pull it through.
- Insert the needle one stitch-length away and bring it back to where you started, looping the thread around the original stitch.
- Insert the needle one more stitch away and bring it back to where you started, looping the thread underneath the initial loop. This will create a criss-cross pattern on top of the fabric.
- Continue in this manner until you have reached your desired length or area of coverage.
- To secure the stitch, knot the thread before cutting it away from the fabric.
When choosing the right hand stitching technique for a particular project, you should consider the amount of strength required, the look you want to achieve and how much time you have available. With practice and experimentation, it is possible to create almost any kind of finished product using these various types of hand stitches. Thanks to their versatility and portability, they are also great for taking your sewing on the go!
By understanding the different types of hand stitching available and their respective uses, you will be well on your way to becoming a master of creating stunning handmade garments. With practice, patience and time, you can create intricate pieces that are sure to impress!
Types Of Sewing Stitches By Machine
When it comes to sewing, there are a variety of different types of sewing stitches that can be used. Depending on the project, some stitches may work better than others. Types of stitching include:
Straight stitches are the most commonly used stitches on a sewing machine. They involve taking small, even stitches along the length of the fabric to attach two pieces together. This is often used for seams or hems, as it provides enough strength and flexibility to withstand wear and tear without being too bulky.
Triple Stretch Stitches
Triple stretch stitching involves taking three straight stitches in one pass instead of two, providing extra stability when attaching fabrics together. This type of stitch is particularly useful for attaching elastic or knit fabrics that require some give when stretched out.
Zig Zag Stitches
This stitch creates a zig-zag pattern by weaving back and forth across the fabric. It is commonly used for hemming and edge finishing as it provides a decorative element to any project while also providing some flexibility when stretched out.
Triple Zig Zag Stitches
This type of stitch is similar to zig-zag stitching but with three consecutive back and forth motions instead of two. It can be used for attaching fabrics together or creating decorative patterns on the surface of materials, such as lace-like effects or pointelle edging.
These are specifically designed to attach elastic to a garment, either by overlapping or sandwiching it in between two pieces of fabric. They provide extra stability so that the elastic remains secure even when pulled tight.
Slant Pin Stitches
This stitch is used for attaching fabric pieces together by creating a series of angled pin-like stitches along the edge. It provides more strength than straight stitching and can also be used to add decorative touches to your project.
Slant Overlock Stitches
This type of stitching creates an overlock stitch pattern along the edge using small, angled stitches. It helps to keep fabrics from fraying and provides extra firmness when attaching two pieces together.
Blind Hem Stitches
Blind hemming involves taking tiny, almost invisible stitches along the edges of a garment in order to attach it securely without showing any visible stitching on the outside. It’s often used on hems and collars as it gives a neat finish with minimal effort.
Stretch Blind Hem Stitches
This stitch is similar to blind hemming, but it’s designed for use with stretchy fabrics such as knits. It helps keep the fabric from stretching out too much when attached and provides a professional finish.
Shell Tuck Stitches
Shell tucking involves taking small stitches along the edges of fabric in order to create a decorative scalloped border. It can be used on hems or anywhere else you want to add an extra special touch to your project.
Elastic Shell Tuck Stitches
Similar to shell tucking, this type of stitching creates a scalloped border using elastic thread instead of regular sewing thread. This allows the stitch to remain flexible when stretched and is useful for attaching knits or other fabric that requires some give.
Fagoting is a type of decorative stitching used to attach two pieces of fabric together while adding an intricate pattern along the edges. It creates a unique look and is often used on garments, home decor items, or even quilting projects.
This stitch creates a honeycomb-like pattern by taking small stitches in alternating directions along the edge of fabric. It’s often used to add texture and interest to any project and can be combined with other types of stitching for added effect.
Blanket stitches are commonly used for making blankets, but they are versatile and can be used for a variety of other projects as well. This type of stitching creates small loops along the edge of fabric that provide extra stability when attaching two pieces together.
Ladder stitches take long, continuous stitches along the edges of fabric in order to attach them securely without visible stitching on the outside. It’s often used for hemming or edging and can be combined with other types of stitching for added effect.
Elastic Overlock Stitches
This type of stitch is specifically designed for use on elastic fabrics such as knits. It helps keep the fabric from stretching out too much when attached and provides a neat finish with minimal effort.
Double Overlock Stitches
Double overlocking involves taking two rows of small, overlapping stitches along the edges of fabric. This creates a neat and secure finish that helps to prevent fraying or unraveling.
Double Action Stitches
Double action stitching involves taking long, zig-zag stitches along the edge of fabric in order to attach it securely without visible stitching on the outside. It’s often used for hemming or edging and provides extra strength while creating an interesting texture.
Feather stitching creates tiny loops along the edge of fabric which can be used to make a decorative border or even cover up any errors you may have made when sewing. It’s a great way to add interest to any project and is often used in quilting or embroidery.
This type of stitching creates a series of small “V” shaped stitches along the edge of fabric in order to give it a decorative scalloped border. It can be used to add an extra special touch to any project and is particularly popular for making baby blankets or other items requiring delicate detailing.
Tree stitching involves taking small, zig-zag stitches that are arranged in a tree-like pattern along the edges of fabric. It provides added stability when attaching two pieces together and is often used on garments or home decor items for a unique look.
Bridging stitching is used for attaching pockets or other fabric pieces to a garment. It takes small, zig-zag stitches in alternating directions along the edges of both fabrics and creates a smooth finish that helps keep the pocket securely in place.
This type of stitch creates a strong, durable buttonhole that’s perfect for attaching buttons to garments and other projects. It involves taking multiple rows of small, overlapping stitches around the edge of fabric which provides extra stability when attaching two pieces together.
Keyhole Buttonhole Stitches
These stitches are used to create decorative buttonholes that have an opening at both ends. They involve taking multiple rows of small, zig-zag stitches around the edges of fabric in order to provide extra stability and ensure a tight, secure fit.
These are just some of the many types of sewing stitches available for use on a machine. Each type has its own unique characteristics and is best suited for specific projects. Knowing which one to use can help you achieve the desired result with less effort and time. Learning these techniques can be a great way to enhance your sewing skills and create professional looking garments and other items. With practice and patience, any sewist can become an expert in no time!
Overall, there are many different types of sewing stitches that can be used for various projects and purposes. The type of stitch you choose will depend on the fabric, the design and the purpose of the project. Each type of stitch has its own unique characteristics that should be considered when selecting the best stitching technique for a particular project. By understanding each type of stitch, you can ensure that your sewing projects look professional and are made to last.
Conclusion On Types Of Sewing Stitches
Overall, there are several types of sewing stitches used for many different applications in sewing. Straight and zig-zag are the two basic but versatile stitches that should be mastered first. When you’re ready for more complicated techniques, blanket, buttonhole, overlock and topstitch can all come in handy. Remember that with practice and dedication, even the most difficult types of sewing stitches become achievable!
We urge readers to start practicing themselves with each of these stitches until they become second nature. With the proper knowledge of these special stitches, your garments will look like they were made by a professional tailor! Bon courage and happy stitching!
List of sewing stitches – Wikipedia
How to Sew Basic Stitches by Hand for Beginners – wikiHow