Today is Day 22 of 31 Days of Sewing School.
Sewing a simple straight line is probably the most common thing you will do on your sewing machine. Most projects are in fact made up of a lot of straight lines.
Sometimes you’ll need to curve your straight stitch; other times you’ll need to stop, lift your presser foot (leave the needle down) and turn your fabric to start going in a different direction. Either way, you’re still using a straight stitch.
For the times that you want your stitching to stand out, make a statement or work as a stronger reinforcement, you’ll want to get to know the other stitches your machine offers– one in particular will be used quite often.
The best non-straight utility stitch is a zig-zag. When I want to reinforce something, keep it from fraying or give it a fun look, I usually default to the zig-zag stitch. It’s not exactly a stretch stitch but I find that it also works well on somewhat stretchy fabric. The size (length and width) can be adjusted on this stitch like a straight stitch.
Some machines have a basting stitch, which is really just an elongated, spaced out straight stitch that is used to temporarily connect (baste) fabric together that will be more permanently connected later in another step. If your machine doesn’t have one, just use your controls to lengthen the stich to a longer size.
Sergers are another type of sewing machine that do a more professional overlock stitch. Look inside a knit shirt or T-shirt, or even your jeans, and you’ll see a serged seam. Some regular sewing machines have an overlock-type stitch that can be used on fabric that frays easily or is stretchy. Your machine’s owner’s manual should tell you which stitches are good for stretch.
I also really love my machine’s wavy stitch. (Sorry it’s so blurry, but you can see it above.) The wavy stitch has a slightly more decorative look to it than the zig-zag. I have a good variety of other decorative stitches on my machine that I will occasionally use as a fancy topstitch. These can also be adjusted in size.
What’s your favorite stitch to use? Or do you stick to a straight stitch? Tomorrow I’ll show you how use your straight stitch to do a basic rolled hem.