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Basic stitches 2 give you an array of basic
stitches you need to know. This web page gives you the
how, when and where to use the different basic stitches. Bookmark this
page as a reference.
Although we use sewing machines for the majority of our home
sewing projects there are still certain projects that are done
by hand. To complete the final touches often hand
stitching is used. Below you get a run down of the different
basic stitches and how,
when and where to use them.
The running stitch
is a tiny, even basting stitch used for gathering, shirring,
and mending. It can be used where a strong stitch is
is not a stitch but is rather an effect. Make a
of running stitches, but at the end, do not fasten. Leave a
of thread about four inches long, and, holding this tightly,
push the material back
gently so as not to break the thread. Wind
the thread around a
pin to hold.
is the effect gotten by two or more rows of
ing. Make two or three lines of running stitches not more
inch apart and, holding all the ends together, gather
fasten threads around a pin.
is used to bring a large amount of material into a small space.
Do two or three lines of uneven basting, making sure that
corresponding stitches lie directly in line, one
the other. Pull up threads as in gathering and
(top right on picture)
is the strongest handmade stitch. Take a tiny running stitch,
go back to the end of the stitch, through to the
wrong side, and out again to the right side at a distance
the end of the last stitch equal to one running stitch.
going back and under, being sure to work in a straight
A half backstitch
is made by making one running stitch,
going back, under, and out again as described above,
that you leave a space equivalent to two running stitches,
follow up by going back the equivalent of one running
On the right side, then, the work looks like a series of
stitches. Like the combination stitch, below, it is used
you need a stitch stronger than a running stitch, but not
strong as a backstitch.
A combination stitch
top left on picture)
is two running stitches followed by one backstitch. It is stronger than a
straight running stitch, but not as strong as
(bottom left on picture)
is used on fabric edges to prevent ravelling.
Make stitches slanting from right to left on the right side
have needle point towards your left shoulder as you
through from the wrong to the right side again.
can also be done quickly on the modern zigzag type
(bottom right on picture)
is a stitch used to make flat, strong, invisible
seams. Baste the two folds to be joined together and,
the cloth firmly as you sew, make tiny, practically
stitches vertical to the seam line on the right side,
slanted on the wrong side. The same effect can be obtained
using a short zigzag machine stitch.
In hemming, turn
in the edge of the fabric ¼ inch, then turn
second time, and
baste to under fabric. Make small slanting stitches from
right to left, catching only a thread or two of
material. A bias hemming tape may be stitched on
to avoid turning hem under. Blind hemming is done
like hemming but with
larger stitches through the fold and only one
under side. The work is invisible on the right side. This
too can be done more rapidly with a sewing machine
and is especially recommended when considerable hemming
is to be done.
Slip stitching is done for very fine work and is
both sides. Take up one thread on under side of fold
and one on
underside of fabric.
is done to get a fine finished edge. Roll edge to be
whipped a little at a time,
wrong side facing you, hold roll tightly, and make tiny slanted
stitches that pass under, not through the
The above techniques give you the techniques of how, when and
where to use the different basic stitches for your home sewing
Following are sewing tips and techniques about seams 1.