Family Life

Sewing 101: Basic Sewing Stitches

One of the next things on my list to share with you all is just as important as getting to know your machine. Familiarizing yourself these four basic stitch types is a necessity in the world of sewing, so I thought I would give you all a short lesson, complete with awesome pictures, of course.

  •  The Backstitch



























The backstitch is just a basic “going-over” of the stitch you sewed at the beginning and the end. This acts as a reinforcement to your seam so it won’t separate easily. And it makes you feel more professional. And cool. Ok, maybe that’s just me.

When you begin and end your stitch, you will use your reverse lever to go over what you’ve already stitched. That’s why it’s called a backstitch- you’re backing over the stitch you already made. Make sense?

Also, the backstitch can be used on any type of stitch you choose. It doesn’t just have to be used on a straight stitch.

  • The Straight Stitch


























The straight stitch. It’s exactly how it sounds. It’s the simplest and the most common stitch you will use when you’re sewing. It’s my favorite. But I like things easy. It will probably be the first stitch setting found on your machine.

Forgive the picture, the tension on my machine is WAY off. It looks like I did connect the dots (La, La, La, La, La!) on a piece of paper. But you get the jist. (Did you catch that Peewee Herman pun? HA!)


The Zig Zag Stitch



























The zig zag stitch is probably going to be the second stitch setting found on your machine as it is probably the second most common stitch. I have found that I use this stitch to attach borders and binding to my projects. It covers more surface area than a straight stitch and reinforces your fabrics a little bit better than the straight stitch.

It’s also really cool looking. They look like little mountains.


The Basting Stitch


























Ahh, the basting stitch.I have a love/hate relationship with this stitch. I love it because it helps you make easy pretty ruffles. I hate it because my machine does not make the best basting stitches. They aren’t wide enough, in my opinion.

So what’s a basting stitch, you ask? I’ll hop right to it.

A basting stitch is simply a really long straight stitch. When you’re wanting a basting stitch, you’ll want to set the stitch length on your machine to the widest setting possible.

Basting stitches are great for ruffling, like I mentioned before. They are also great for when you temporarily need to sew something together for whatever reason. Basting stitches are super-easy to remove with a seam ripper. Well, most basting stitches are. My machine-made basting stitches are a pain in the rear.

Guess I’ll need to do it by hand to get the results I need. Drat.


Well, there you have it folks, here is what I think are the four most basic stitches. Test them out on some scrap fabric and let me know what you think.

Are there any stitches that are your favorite or that you want to see featured to learn more about? Comment below and let me know!

Hey! Meet Vanessa

A foodie, crafty, homeschooling mom of 3, who loves her Happy Planner and all things Mid Century Modern!


A foodie, crafty, homeschooling mom of 3, who loves her Happy Planner and all things Mid Century Modern!

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  1. This is a good tutorial!!! 🙂

    1. The Rookie Seamstress says:

      Thank you!

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