Sewing stitch

What is a Sewing Stitch?

A sewing stitch is a loop made of thread or yarn interlaced manually using a needle or a sewing machine. It could be used for clothes, a quilt, or even a cute little pouch—think of it as being like the building blocks! Stitches can combine fabric items, add a decorative touch here and there, or perhaps even fix up some tears.

What Types of Sewing Stitches Should I Know About?

There are so many stitches, but some basics will help every sewer. Here’s where you should start:

Running Stitch

The most basic stitch, perfect for seams and mending.


This one’s stronger than a running stitch and is suitable for areas that need more support.

Zigzag Stitch

It prevents fraying on edges when done by a sewing machine; it is also used decoratively.

Buttonhole Stitch

As the name suggests, it’s used to create buttonholes but is also great for stopping edges from fraying.

Can I Do All the Stitches on a Sewing Machine?

Not all! Especially not those fancy ones with lots and lots of detail. Nevertheless, modern machines have a wide range these days, so even if you’re starting or have been sewing for years, there’s bound to be something new waiting for you there, too.

How Do I Choose the Right Stitch for My Project?

Choosing the right stitch depends on what kind of fabric you’re working with and why and where it’ll be used. Below is an easy reference guide:

    • You can use either straight stitching or backstitching (which is similar but stronger) to create straight seams that securely join two pieces of material.
    • If you’re using stretchy fabrics such as knits, consider using zigzag stitches instead so they don’t break when stretched.
    • Decorative or stronger buttonholes can be achieved by an embroidery machine or hand using the decorative stitches offered by your sewing machine.

Remember, the right stitch holds your sewing project together, adding beauty and functionality.

Can I use decorative stitches on all types of fabric?

No! Some will be able to withstand repeated stitching more than others. Regarding decorative stitching, heavier woven fabrics like cotton and denim work exceptionally well. The decorative stitches stand out nicely because they aren’t able to sink in too deeply, but with lighter-weight materials, this isn’t always possible as sometimes there’s not enough room for them between fibers. Therefore, Before proceeding, it’s a good idea to test out any decorative stitch patterns on a scrap piece first so you can see how it looks and whether or not the fabric gets damaged.

What stitch should I use for stretchy fabrics?

When sewing stretchy fabrics, you need stitches that can stretch along with them. This means using a zigzag stitch unless your machine has specific built-in options designed specifically for such materials, such as the “stretch stitch,” which could also be suitable.