Basic Sewing Stiches

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 68,343
    Seamstress Beth Bates demonstrates basic sewing stitches.

    Beth Bates: Hi, I am Beth Bates with sewteacher.com. Today, we are learning how to use your sewing machine. In this clip, we are going to learn about some basic stitches such as the basic stitch, the zigzag stitch, the button stitch and the blind stitch. The first one we will talk about is your straight stitch and this is the most one -- this stitch is the one that's most commonly used. Okay, put your practice cloth underneath, lower your foot, I will turn it so you can see it. Notice here on the wheel where you can choose your different stitches, I am going to go ahead and choose the one with three little dashes on it. That represents the straight stitch, okay. I turn my hand wheel once to make sure it clears the wheel, I mean it clears the foot and I will press my pedal and begin. I will push this button to back-tack meaning going backwards and this is the stitch most commonly used. When you finish, back-tack again, that's sort of like tying in a knot. It will keep it from your stitches from falling out. Make sure your needle is all the way up. Take your snips and cut.

    Now, the next stitch is the zigzag stitch. This is a great one. If you have a seam or you have some raw edges and you think it might be washing it or dry cleaning it so it doesn't keep fraying and the fabric literally, falling apart. Go ahead, put your foot down, come over here to the wheel, put the dial on zigzag, use the handle manually, back-tack. You will notice the needle zigzag back and forth, when you get to the end, back-tack again. Turn your wheel so your needle is all the way up and then you have your zigzag stitch. Okay, alright.

    The next stitch we are going to talk about is the blind stitch. So go back here to the wheel and this stitch looks kind of funny. It sort of like reminds me of like a blip on a radar juts out like two triangles and what the stitch is going to do is it's going to go straight, straight, straight and then the needle is going to kind of jump over and then come back and go straight, straight, straight, jump over and then come back and this is good if you are making a hem, say in a curtain panel. I am using a red thread so you can see it easier. Ideally, if you are making a curtain panel you would use the same color thread as your fabric on the front. Put your foot down, do the first manually and see how it jumps over when it comes back to your fold and tie.

    Push your foot, the pedal, again back-tack just like you always would and then you want on this blind stitch, you want to fold right here. You want your needle to do your straight stitch, jump over, grab this, come back, straight stitch, straight stitch, jump over, grab this and come back. So and you can see how it jumps over and then when you are finished, back-tack. Lift it up, pull. Now, if this were a hem on a curtain panel and this thread was of course, this color you can see how you can barely see it. That's the part that reached over and grab. But then the front will look nice and smooth and clean. This is a good stitch if you do not want to hand stitch your hems in.

    This next stitch is for buttonholes. This is if you are trying to make a shower curtain or something like that where you need to have a buttonhole. You take your fabric, slip it underneath the casing, put your foot down, make sure this is all the way forward and you will note on my particular casing, it has the measurements representing an inch and a half. Foot is down, needle is up, come to your wheel, you are going to turn it to number one. Turn it manually to make sure it clears everything. Push the pedal, this is going to make a nice, straight stitch. Now at the bottom, my needle is up. I turn it to number two if you are on the wheel. It's going to be the bottom part of the buttonhole. Again, you turn it, needle is all the way up, turn the wheel to number three, this is going to do the other side of the buttonhole and travel back up the cloth. Needle all the way up, you turn it back to number four. All the way up, lift up your foot, pull it out, snip. Then the last step of course, would be to take your snips and cut away this fabric here in the middle and that would give you a nice, strong buttonhole. Snip away any loose threads that we have.

    So those are the four basic stitches that I am teaching you today. Our last clip will be troubleshooting if you are having problems on your sewing machine.