Sewing Machine Stitches – 3 Basic Ones To Know

Today we’re going to talk about sewing machine stitches.  Most sewing machines will have a wide variety of stitches available on them.  We are going to focus on the three stitches that I use most often for my sewing projects.

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Sewing Machine Stitches from

Sewing Machine Stitches


1)  Medium Straight Stitch – The first sewing machine stitch we are going to talk about is the straight stitch.  This is definitely the stitch that I use the most, and I think most sewists would agree.  It is a simple way to connect two pieces of fabric.  I usually have the stitch length set on a medium length.  The tighter the straight stitch, the more secure the connection of the fabrics will be.

2)  Long Straight Stitch (Basting Stitch) – This is the straight stitch set on a longer stitch length.  There are certain applications where this stitch works well.  I use it to baste two pieces of fabric together, temporarily, until the real stitching is done.  I probably use this stitch most often when I am making cording – when I sew the wrapped fabric around the cord.  I also use the long straight stitch when I want to mark my fabric, for instance, when I am going to hand sew the bottom edge of a pillow closed.   Finally, by pulling the threads on the long straight stitch, you can use it to make gathers for a ruffle.

3)  Zig Zag Stitch – The zig zag stitch is a like a straight stitch only it crosses back and forth instead going in a straight line.  There are two applications that I use the zig zag stitch for.  The first is for button holes, and the second is when I want to make gathers for a ruffle, gathered dust ruffle, or even a valance.  I zig zag over a heavy string or dental floss, and then pull the strings to make the gathers.

Like I said before, there are a lot of other sewing machine stitches available on most machines.  What are some that you use most often?



  1. Nice tutorial. When I first learned to sew I thought basting was a waste of time but I soon realized it was faster to bast two pieces of fabric together than remove a line of sewn stitching. Thanks.

  2. My mom used to sew at night while my Dad and my siblings and I were in bed. It used to irritate me to no end, but now I equate the sound of a sewing machine with bedtime, safety, family and parental love.

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