Basic stitches for sewing machines, 10 essential stitches to start sewing

2 August, 2019

Sewing machines bring many more stitches than you would normally use in your projects. Today we show you 10 basic stitches that you need to know to handle with ease with your sewing machine. With these stitches you will be able to make accessories for your home and clothes for the whole family. The rest of the stitches are usually just for decorating.

basics stiches in a sewing machine

The basic stitches in a sewing machine

1. Straight stitch: among the basic stitches the straight stitch is the one you will use most to make all kinds of seams or hems. In it you can change the length depending of the type of fabric you use. A shorter stitch for lighter fabrics, a medium stitch for normal fabrics (poplin) and a long length for heavy fabrics.

sample of sewing machine  stiches

2. Backstitch : this stitch is used at the beginning and end of each seam to secure the threads so that the seam doesn´t get undone. 2-3 stitches at the beginning and end of each seam should be enough.

3. Basting Stitch : the basting stitch are stitches that we do only use temporarily and then they will be removed. They are used to adjust, join, gather or mark. To do this just adjust the length of the stitch to its maximum length and don´t finish it off with a back stitch, either at the beginning or end of the seam.

Basting Stitch
4. Topstitch: the topstich is the seam that we do on the right side of the fabric, normally close and parallel to the line of the seam. It is also used to make hems, cuffs, waists, etc. It is an important stitch as it is visible, hence you should practice it to get it as straight as possible.


5. Zigzag stitch: the zigzag stitch is perfect for sewing elastic fabrics (it does not break when you stretch the fabric), mesh the edges of the fabric (it does the function of home overlapping if you do not have an overlock machine) and as a decorative stitch . It also serves to sew applications and sew buttons (setting length 0). A very versatile stitch as you can see.

 Zigzag stitch

Occasional stitches

6. Overcast stitch : The overcast stitch performs the overlapping function on the edge of the fabric so that it does not fray. It leaves the seams cleaner and the garment will last longer after washing. Ideal if you don´t have an overlock.

Overcast stitch in a canvas fabric

Overcast stitch

7. Gathering stitch : The gathering stitch is like basting stitch. We set the stitch length to the maximum. We make a seam of basting stitch a 0.5 cm from the edge of the fabric and another basting stitch parallel to the latter of 0.5 cm. Leave the ends of the long threads on both sides and rails. Then pull the two ends of upper threads into the two rails on the right side of the fabric. In this way you will gather the fabric until it has the measure of the piece to which it will be applied.

Gathering stitch step 2

Gathering stitch step 2

Additional stitches

8. Buttonhole: The buttonhole function is very practical. There are 4 steps or automatics, it will depend on your sewing machine. We recommend that you learn to use the eyelet presser of your sewing machine so you can make many patterns with buttons.

woman dress

9. Blind hem stich: the blind hem stitch is used to make an almost invisible stitch in hems. Use a thread that is similar in color to the fabric so that it is practically invisible.

Blind hem stich step 1

Blind hem stich step 2

10. Reinforced stitch : It is a stitch to take into account when you are making backpacks or bags that you want to have very strong seams. You could also make the stitching visible on pants or jeans. It consists of a forward stitch, another backward and finally another forward, so it is thicker and reinforced than a normal stitch.

Reinforced stitch

We recommend that you practice a lot, at some point all these stitches will be very useful. And to be able to improve, the practice is the only way.

Katia Fabrics

Find everything you need to make this project in Katia  Shops and haberdasheries. Additionally, we encourage you to visit our online sales platform KatiaShop where you can also make all your fabric and sewing pattern purchases.