With any sewn seam there is a start and endpoint. A backstitch is one way to secure the endpoints of your seam and prevent unravelling. In machine sewing, backstitch means to sew backward, and then forward over the existing stitches.
The backstitch is a commonly used method for securing seams, but it's not always the best choice. Here are some alternatives that work if you need to avoid bulk at the seam.
No. 1--> Shorten the stitches. When starting the seam, sew the first inch or so with a very short stitch, around 20 stitches per inch. The short stitches will make the seam very secure without any backstitch or knot tying. This method works well on all fabrics, but especially well on lighter, sheer fabrics that can't handle the bulk.
No. 2 --> Leave a long tail at the beginning and end of the seam. Use the tails to tie a small, secure knot. This method works great on darts.
No. 3 --> Drop a lockstitch.
Want to learn more about sewing machine stitches?
Check out my Stitch + Seam Catalogue!
How To Backstitch
Use your sewing machine to secure seams quickly and easily by backstitching.
- Sewing Machine
- Place your fabric under the presser foot so that the foot is completely on your fabric.
- Sew in reverse for the first few stitches until the foot is nearly off the fabric.
- Sew forward along the stitching line until the seam is near the end and the foot is nearly off the fabric.
- Sew in reverse for a couple of stitches.
- Press your seams, first as they were sewn to set the stitches, then press the seam open and flat.
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