Sewing Machine Stitches and More to Master Your Machine

Expand Your Skills by Learning Straight Stitches, Zigzag Stitches and More

When you shopped for a sewing machine were you fascinated with all the built in stitch options? A straight stitch and a zigzag stitch are the basics. How often have you used any of those beautiful built in stitches or the adjustments that your sewing machine offers? Do you know when or why you might use those stitches? The more you learn about adjustments to basic stitches and the special stitch options, the more you will use your sewing machine to it's fullest extent.

  • 01 of 11
    What parts of the sewing machine are named
    Sewing Machine Parts - Front View. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

    If you are new to your sewing machine and don't know what all the doohickeys and whatchamacallits are, this is the place to start. Once you know what all those parts of a sewing machine are called, you'll be able to understand further instructions.

  • 02 of 11
    stitch length adjustment on an older sewing machine
    Stitch Length Adjustment on Singer Fashion Mate. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

    The most commonly used adjustment on a sewing machine is the stitch length. Learning about this adjustment and why making changes to the stitch length is about more than basting, the more you will have control over the quality of your sewing machine stitching no matter what fabric you are sewing.

  • 03 of 11
    Adjusting the stitch width and stitch length on a simple zigzag stitch.
    Zigzag Stitch Adjustments to Stitch Width and Stitch Length. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    Even the most basic sewing machines today, usually come with a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch. Do you know about all the adjustments your sewing machine is capable of to make the most of these two basic stitches. You'll be amazed just how much you can transform those stitches with simple sewing machine adjustments.
  • 04 of 11
    A Sewn Lock Stitch and Back Stitch Example
    Lock Stitch and Back Stitch Example. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    If you do not back stitch or lock stitch the ends of your sewing, odds are you will have your sewing becoming undone. Do you know the difference between a back stitch and a lock stitch? Do you know why you might use one rather than the other? Learning once again is the best way to get the most out of your sewing machine.
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  • 05 of 11

    Do you sew knits and stretchy fabrics? Have you tried sewing a bathing suit? Learn about stretch stitches and why you would use them for your stretching sewing projects.

  • 06 of 11

    How to Use a Sewing Machine Blind Hem Stitch

    The diagrams that represent sewing machine blind hem stitches.
    Sewing Machine Symbols for Blind Hem Stitches. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    I know many people avoid hand sewing... and have a pile waiting to be finished because of that avoiding. Hemming does not have to be done by hand sewing methods. Learn about the possible sewing machine blind hems titches and how to use them. You may whittle that hand sewing pile down to nothing once you master the techniques.
  • 07 of 11

    Satin Stitch

    Do you know what a satin stitch is or how your sewing machine will sew a satin stitch? This short and sweet definition tells you what you need to know. If you are going to sew fabric bowls you must learn about a satin stitch.
  • 08 of 11
    How to place your buttonholes
    Buttonhole Placement. Sew News, Licensed to About.com
    Almost all newer sewing machine shave built in buttonhole options. Do you know how to use all those options? Does your machine offer more than one type of button hole and have you tried them all? This article from SewNews Magazine will help you unravel the button hole mystery and have you confidently choosing a buttonhole for the project you are sewing.
    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11
    Feed Dog Under Presser Foot
    Feed Dog Under Presser Foot. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    Do you find yourself sewing distorted stitches and changing the sewing machine needle more often than you think you should need to change it? You may be forcing the fabric and not even be aware of it. This article will guide you through the information you need to solve your problems.
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  • 11 of 11
    One of the most important aspects of mastering your sewing machine is learning to sew straight lines. Straight sewing is imperative for accurate seams and stitching lines. Learn how to master this sewing technique through the tips and tricks presented in this article.