Basting in sewing creates professional results and helps beginners hold tricky seams in place. So, what is basting stitch? When basting a seam you temporarily hold a seam together before the final seam is stitched. By taking a little extra time either machine basting or hand basting, you will get great results with the minimum of unpicking.
What Is Basting Stitch? HOW TO BASTE A SEAM FOR SEWING
A basting stitch is just a temporary stitch to hold several pieces in place. It might be a gathered skirt attaching to a waistband, a piece of bias tape on the edge of a quilt or a sleeve joining to an armhole.
There are several ways you can baste a seam. They include
- Hand basting
- Pin basting
- Basting with wonder clips
- Double sided or iron on tape
- Machine basting
- Improvised basting
The most common one you will use in the majority of clothing sewing patterns is machine basting. This is closely followed by pin basting and hand basting.
#1 Hand Basting
When you need accurate control of a project you can’t beat hand basting. This is especially useful when setting in sleeves to armholes or joining curved pieces.
Use a simple up and down running stitch about 1/4 – 1/2 inch (6mm-12mm) apart. The smaller the stitches, the more control you will have.
#2 Pin Basting
Using pins is one of the fastest and easiest basting methods. Pin fabric by placing pins vertically or horizontally to your seam.
Sewing over pins is definately not recommended, so remove them to prevent breaking a needle or possibly your machine!
#3 Double-sided and iron on tapes
Iron on double-sided tapes such as Wonder Tape is great for basting before sewing knit fabric hems.
Not only do they hold the hem in place before you start sewing, but they also eliminate puckered hems.
#4 Basting with Wonder Clips
These cute little clips are used by quilters and bag makers to hold bulky seams in place. I have found they tend to slip slightly on thinner fabrics so save them for bulky projects.
#5 Machine Basting
Lots of my sewing patterns use machine basting to hold pieces in place before sewing the final seam.
Just set your machine to the longest stitch length of 4.0.
Most of the time the basting will be hidden in the construction of the garment but if you need to remove it later, using a contrasting thread will enable you to unpick it easily.
#6 Improvised Basting
If you need to hold vinyl or other fabric in place that marks easily, consider heading to your cupboards for help. Try hair clips, paper clips or even pegs.
So next time your pattern calls for basting, think of all the methods you could use and choose the one that makes your life easier!
What is your most used method of basting? Share your thoughts below.