20 Basic Sewing Machine Stitches You Must Know! 

 December 27, 2019

By  Anna

Modern sewing machines allow you to choose from a large variety of stitches. You may have bought a really expensive sewing machine but you end up using only a few stitches and never use all the possibilities. In order to take the maximum out of your sewing machine and improve your sewing as well, it is really important to know some of the basic sewing machine stitches there are. In this list there are 20 basic stitches that you can start using once you learn them.

1. Straight stitch

This is the most basic of stitches. It is very versatile and used it all sewing machines. You can learn more about it by clicking here!

2. Reverse straight stitch

Most sewing machines also should have a reverse button that allows you to sew in reverse as you press the button.A reverse stitch is generally used as an anchor stitch.

3. Basting stitches

Basting stitch is a straight stitch with a long stitch length used for gathering or basting. You need to increase the stitch length to the maximum for this stitch. Click here to learn more about gathering stitches.

4. Zigzag stitch

This is a very useful stitch that obviously forms a zigzag line. To make this stitch you need to pressure foot with a wider hole than the one for a straight stitch.

5. Satin stitch

The satin stitch is made as a closely made zigzag stitch. It is used to to sew appliques, finish edges, stitch monogram/letters and so on. It can also be used for making button holes and other elements of decoration.

6. Stretch stitch

It is a narrow zig zag stitch and it is used to stitch knit fabrics. It is used to join elastic and for joining fabric as well.

7. Triple straight stitch

The triple straight stitch uses a two steps forward, one step back pattern. It is used to sew very strong seams in many stretchy fabrics.

8. Rolled edge stitch

This stitch uses the hemmer foot to make rolled edges on fabric cut edges. For making this stitch, the special hemmer foot is used along with the zigzag stitch.Click here to learn more!

9. Edge stitching

To make this specific stitch a straight stitch is used along with an edge presser foot.Click here for more details!

10. Coverstitch

This stitch is often used in ready to wear garments. The coverstitch uses zig zag stitching on the back and parallel rows of straight machine stitching on front.

11. Blind hem stitch

The blind hem stitch is used for blind hemming, which means hemming fabric without much evidence on the face. Certain sewing machine also have a stretch blind hem stitch.

12. Buttonhole stitch

It is possible to sew great buttonholes by adjusting your zigzag sewing machine. Certain sewing machine come with a 2-step buttonhole stitch while others come with just one.

13. Scallop Stitch

This stitch is used for making scallops which can be tricky if not done correctly. Click here to learn to make this stitch!

14. Overcasting stitch

This is a great stitch for neatening fabric edges.An overcast presser foot can be used for making this stitch.

15. Shell Tuck stitch

This neat little stitch makes beautiful shell tucks along the fabric edge.

16. Insertion stitch or faggoting stitch

If you want to join two fabric pieces together then you need to use an insertion stitch.

17. Ladder Stitch

.This stitch is used to make channels for elastic and ribbon.

18. Multi step zig zag stitch

You can use this stitch as an insertion stitch or more commonly as to finish fabric edges.

19. Overlock stitch

This stitch mimics the look of an overlocker stitch. In some sewing machines you also get a stretch overlock stitch.

20. Decorative stitches

These type of stitches can be found in a small number of sewing machines and if you have one of those then it is really important to learn how to make them. The only thing you need is a sturdy piece of thread and patience. Click here to learn more tips!


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