There are many kinds of stitches out there, so how do you decide which ones are the most important? What sewing stitches should you know beforehand, and what exactly do those stitches look like? Well, I’m here to help resolve some of those questions.
This is the most basic and common stitch. It basically runs like a dotted line down your fabric and is used for sewing basic seams, hems, gathers and several other functions. Almost every other stitch has drawn from the basis of the running stitch making this an extremely important stitch for you to learn and know by memory.
Historically, this stitch is also seen in some clothing and embroidery styles that are thousands of years old. The running stitch is one of the first stitches designed and has also been used as a decorative stitch. It’s not just for sewing things together. This stitch is very versatile, so spend some time if you can just experimenting with its many uses.
On many sewing machines, including the Singer Stylist 7258 I use, there is generally a backstitch button. You will notice that this basic stitch applies a running stitch in reverse. It has several embroidery purposes, but for the sake of this article, in sewing, the backstitch is used to permanently hold multiple layers of fabric together. With sewing, it becomes a utility stitch more often than a decorative stitch. It’s very versatile in its usage though so take time to experiment with this stitch.
As the name suggests, this creates a zigzag row down the fabric. It can be used decoratively in embroidery and sewing, but it also suffices as a way to prevent further fabric fraying. As you sew, you will see that fabric tends to fray at its edges. Zigzag stitches help to hold that fraying off. The zigzag stitch is not the only stitch you can use for this process though. Several other stitches exist for that as well. This includes serge stitching, which completely seals the edges off so that they cannot fray.
More modern sewing machines come with a buttonhole foot for the machine and a specific stitch to make buttonholes. This provides an easier method to making buttonholes than doing it by hand. This stitch also used for couch stitching, applying appliques to fabric and several other functions. Once more, this is another stitch with multiple purposes besides utility.
This stitch is used to finish off the edges of thicker materials. It’s also another form of the buttonhole stitch. The stitches form small squares, or blankets, as they continue on down the fabric. I’ve personally never used this stitch yet, but it may come in use further down the line as you continue to work on cosplay.
This stitch is used to temporarily hold fabric together. More often than not, a basting stich is later removed once its purpose has been served. This stitch is also a basic running stitch but the distance between stitches has been significantly lengthened since this stitch will typically be removed later on. It’s merely to hold a collective of fabrics together until you’ve done your final stitching. When stitching after a basting stitch, try not to run over the basting stitch as it will become difficult to remove the baste stitches later on.
This stitch is used to finish off the raw edges of fabrics. This is a very useful stitch as it also helps prevent fraying. I’ve used it multiple times thus far, and perhaps you might too. Machines generally have a setting for this stitch.
Catch Stitch/Cross Stitch
For hemming purposes, this stitch is used to finish the edges. There are numerous hem stitches that exist. Cross stitching was also once widely used and until it no longer became a fad, it was one of the most used stitches.
There are numerous stitches available to you as you sew and grow on your journey. These listed are by no means all the simple stitches there are. There are plenty of them, but I thought this would be a good way to introduce some of those stitches and how to form a few. The sewing machine, if you have that, fortunately does most of the work. If you have any questions, as always, leave a comment below, and I will answer as soon as I can.