What’s the Project? Do you ever take a look at your sewing machine and wonder what in the world are all those stitches!? This guide to sewing machine stitches will take you beyond the straight stitch and zigzag and help you figure out what all those others are as well.
Have you ever taken a look at your sewing machine and the stitches available to be used and wondered what on Earth all those stitches do?
Sewing machines vary in which stitches they offer. Some offer just some basic ones, some offer a ton. Mine has about 100 stitches and that can be overwhelming! So I am breaking it down and helping you understand your sewing machine stitches today.
The truth is that I am writing this post with my machine manual next to me, because frankly, I don’t use a lot of these stitches and don’t fully know what they are. So you are not alone.
Your machine will have different stitches than mine or might display them differently, but hopefully, this will help you figure out what some of those sewing machine stitches mean.
First of all though, I’ve also got a guide on how to use your sewing machine if you need to start there for some basics. Then look at the stitches more closely.
And once you’re done with those, this sewing dictionary might help you understand when reading a pattern.
Understanding Sewing Machine Stitches:
Here’s the first batch, and really, the main stitches that you will use while sewing.
1-Straight Stitch: Just your basic straight sewing stitch that you will use the majority of the time while sewing.
2-Straight Stitch with Needle Far to the Left: The will allow you to sew far to the left if needed.
3-Lock-a-Matic Stitch: This stitch will automatically knot at the beginning and end of your sewing without you needing to backstitch
4-Locking Stitch: This stitch will do an invisible knotting stitch at the beginning and end of your sewing. For when you need the knotting to be invisible.
5-Triple Stretch Stitch: For use when you need something to have a lot of stretch but also sturdiness. For example, in an armpit of a shirt.
6-Zigzag Stitch: Your classic zigzag stitch. (See Learn to Sew series for information on this.)
7-Multiple Zigzag Stitch: Use this stitch to finish the edges on a stretchy fabric that is inclined to pucker if you use the regular stitch. This will help prevent that from happening.
8-Overcasting Stitch: This is used to finish an edge. On my machine this is paired with a special foot-the Overedge Foot, that guides the fabric as you sew. Check your manual to see if you have this option.
9-Knit Stitch-This stitch if for sewing on knits and stretchy fabric. Sew along the edge of the fabric with a larger than normal seam allowance and then trim off the excess, unsewn fabric on the seam close to the stitches.
10- Stretch Stitch-Use for sewing on knits or other times when you need the stitching to be able to stretch. (More about this in my ebook.)
11-Blind Hem Stretch: Use to sew a blind hem on stretch fabrics.
12-Blind Hem: Use to sew a blind hem.
These are my buttonhole stitches-used for various types of buttonholes, eyelets, and openings:
13-Sensor Buttonhole: This will create a buttonhole just the size needed for my button if I place the button in a special foot that I use while sewing this stitch.
14-Automatic Buttonhole: This one will automatically create a buttonhole if I tell the machine what size the button is.
15-Round End Buttonhole: Used on medium weight fabrics typically.
16-Keyhole Buttonhole: This buttonhole is used on lightweight, delicate fabrics.
17-Rounded Keyhole Buttonhole: This one is good on medium and heavy weight fabrics and is great with bigger buttons.
18-Stretch Buttonhole: Use this on stretchy fabrics.
19- Knit Buttonhole: For use on knit fabrics.
20-Button Sewing: With this and a special foot, I can sew a button in place.
21-Darning Stitch: This will repair rips and holes.
22-Tracking: Reinforce place where extra strength is needed such as pockets and crotches.
23-Eyelet: Creates an eyelet hole.
These stitches are called satin stitches and are created in a tight zigzag. These stitches are decorative, for the edge of a blanket or things like that.
LS-Locking Stitch: Creates an invisible knot.
These decorative stitches finish off edges of fabric:
35-Saddle Stitch-Not sure what this one is for. If someone knows, please help me out!
36-Saddle Stitch-Not sure what this one is for. If someone knows, please help me out!
37-Double Overedge Stitch: Use this stitch to finish the edges of fabric that tends to fray a lot.
38-Overlock Stitch: This stitch creates a finish along the edge similar to what a serger would create. Creates a more professional looking finish.
39-Shell Tuck Stitch: Decorative Stitch for edging
40-Applique Stitch: Use to applique things on and have a nice, finished applique edge.
My machine also has a whole bunch of fancy and fun stitches that can be used to decorate as you sew. See some of them above.
Did this help? Did you discover any sewing machine stitches on your machine that you didn’t know you had? I did!
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