Get Yourself Familiarized with Sewing Machine Stitches


For new stitchers, it is quite an amazing experience to know about all the different stitch types of a sewing machine.

If you have just started out, then you need to know about the two basic stitches and a buttonhole stitch. The number of stitches may differ according to the sewing brand and machine model.

As a beginner, it is normal to think that having 500 stitches is better than having 20. But it is totally okay only to have a few stitches because you won’t be using many of them.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of sewing machine stitches.

Straight Stitch

It is the most common stitch type. You can find it on any domestic sewing machine. A straight stitch is a basic utility stitch. It is usually labeled as number one on your machine.

Many machines tend to pull all their basic utility stitches first, and almost every machine is turned on to the straight stitch by default. You can use this stitch to use to sew a variety of fabrics. You can adjust the straight stitch length according to the needs and requirements.

2.5 is the common sitch length. It is ideal for many stitching projects. The most preferred stitch length is between 2.0mm and 3.0mm. You can practice with the different lengths to find out which length suits your machine.

4mm-5mm stitch length is good for basting and gathering as it makes it easy to pull out when basting a project and pull up into gathers. You can also adjust the needle position on some sewing machines. The straight stitch is available at the center or on the left. It is better to keep your needle in the center position when you are sewing with the straight stitch.

There is also a variation in the straight stitch known as Triple Straight Stitch. It is also a basic stitch and is similar to a straight stitch. It sews one stitch backward and two stitches forward to make a strong seam. This stitch is best when you are sewing with knits.

Zig Zag Stitch

This is another utility stitch. It is used t prevent fraying. You can use this stitch when you want to sew a buttonhole. This default setting for this stitch is usually a 3.5mm width and 1.5mm length. It is ideal for stitching fabrics like knits that have a lot of movement. You need to adjust the stitch length and stitch width to make any changes.

You can play with the measurements and figure out what stitch length and width works for you. Keep in mind that the zigzag stitch might tunnel when sewing on thin fabrics. It is better to use a stabilizer to prevent any damage.

Overcast Stitch

This stitch is similar to a regular zigzag stitch with a slight difference. The overcast stitch is designed to enclose the unfinished or raw seam on woven fabrics. Many machines come with a special overcast foot that making this stitch a good option for sewing.

You can use it as an alternative to a serger seam, and if done properly, you will have a seam without raveling. One thing to keep in mind is you will have to trim the excess seam as there is no cutting feature.

Button Whole Stitch

As the name suggests, the buttonhole stitch is used in making buttonholes. It is a variation of the blanket stitch. However, it is slightly different from the blanket stitch. It is a knotted blanket stitch.

To make a buttonhole stitch, you need to insert the needle from top to down. Whereas in a blanket stitch, you insert the needle from bottom to top. You can use the You can use this stitch in cutwork or applique. In cutwork, you need to cut out the shape. After that, use the blanket stitch against the edge.

buttonhole stitches for a variety of purposes.

In applique, you can use this stitch as an alternative to the blanket stitch.

Another area where you can use the buttonhole stitches is Hebedo embroidery. Hebedo embroidery is Danish peasant embroidery which is done using white thread on a white fabric used against the outlines. This technique uses the buttonhole stitches to make edges look elegant and beautiful.

You can combine the buttonhole stitches with many other stitches such as satin stitches, overcast bars, insertion stitches, and others to make the embroidery work more beautiful.


These are some of the most basic sewing machine stitches that you need to familiarize yourself with. You can almost do all the projects with these basic stitches, which means even if your machine only does straight stitch and zigzag stitch, you are good to go.

If you still have any questions about the topic, feel free to reach out to us on our website MigDigitizing. We will be happy to assist you.

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