If you are new to sewing, you might be wondering what are the basic machine stitches I will need to use to get going on my first project. Well more than likely you will only need 2 – the straight stitch and zig-zag. Most modern machines have a dizzying array of decorative stitches as well but you will probably rarely use these.
BASIC MACHINE STITCHES
Straight stitch – This is the most used stitch on your sewing machine. Cheaper machine generally have several pre-set lengths while more expensive machines have adjustable lengths. If you have a really old machine and all it does is straight stitch then you are ready to tackle most sewing projects.
Zig-zag – This stitch is commonly used to stop raw edges from fraying. It is also a great stitch for sewing knits as it has a built-in elasticity, meaning your stitches won’t break when pulled.
Zig-zag can be used to applique fun motifs on your projects and for decoration.
Overlock (or over-edge) stitch – Most modern machines will have an overlock stitch which can be used to stop edges from fraying similar to a serger.
Decorative stitches – These stitches can be used for decorative effect on your projects. Use a contrasting thread for a pop of color.
So grab a piece of scrap fabric and test some of the stitches on your machine.
What are your favorite basic machine stitches and what do you use them for? Share your thoughts below.