In this article, you will learn how a basting stitch differs from an average stitch; the purpose of basting stitches; and alternative ways to “baste” two layers of fabric together.
There are times in garment construction when you’ll need to temporarily stitch two somethings together before fully committing to a permanent stitching line.
And the basting stitch will come in mighty handy, for example, when you’re…
- sewing a muslin to test the fit of a sewing pattern;
- fabric fitting your side seams;
- gathering fabric for a flirty ruffle; and
- inserting zippers.
You can also use a basting stitching line as pressing guide when turning up hems.
So as you can see, it’s a super versatile stitch to have in one’s basic sewing skill set.
And it’s easy to sew too.
Because a basting stitch is just an extra long straight stitch that allows for easy removable.
How to Sew a Basting Stitch
While the average stitch length for garment construction of seams is about 2.5mm, a basting stitch needs to be at least 4.0mm.
Some sewing machines can produce a basting stitch as long as 5mm.
Here’s a comparison of the basting stitch as it compares to a regular stitch length:
But I usually stick to 4.0mm, especially for fittings. Because I’ve found any stitch length longer than that might unravel faster than you can say, “Bye, Bye!” And this is beyond annoying!
So save yourself some frustration and stick to a basting stitch with a stitch length of 4.0mm.
You might also want to use a thread colour that contrasts with your fabric for easy removable.
And if you’re having problems removing your basting stitches, you can try decreasing your tension by a half increment too.
Sew easy tip: Finally, if you’re sewing basting stitches to test a fit, do not baste directly on the stitching line. Instead, baste the seam a smidge to the right of the stitching line, in the seam allowance. This will make it so much easier for you to remove them later!
RELATED: Click HERE to learn all about stitch length!
Other Alternatives for Basting
There are many, many ways to temporarily hold two somethings together other than machine basting.
You could use…
- hand basting with a running stitch;
- straight pins to pin baste;
- safety pins;
- Elmer’s School glue (It is washable. Cool, right?!);
- fabric glue (you don’t want one for paper);
- Wonder clips (the red clips in the image above; great for bulky fabrics, leather or suede);
- mini clothespins (cute and fun!); and
- bull clips ( super practical and easy to find anywhere office supplies are sold).
Well, that’s it.
You now know what a basting stitch is, how to sew a basting stitch and its applications.
Plus, you also know several alternatives to machine basting.
You’re welcome. And so glad I could help.
Life is the ultimate red carpet event. Dress for it!
RELATED: Click HERE to learn how to remove basting stitches!