Tuesday's Tip - Topstitching

Posted by Bianca Howell on

 tuesday's tip topstitching from sew very modern

Topstitching - to make a row of stitches on the top of a sewn item, or the right side of the fabric. Usually used as a decorative stitch, or to stabilize the seam.

Topstitching is widely used and can be tricky for lots of beginning sewists. It's the one stitch that is on the outside of your item, so it can be seen. Like most things, you can excel at topstitching by lots of practice but here are a few tips to make your first attempts your best.

  • Use a similar colored thread that matches your fabric. For example, using a black thread on a black fabric easily hides any imperfections.
  • Follow that seam allowance. Go slowly and make sure you have your seam allowance marked on your machine, (I like to use washi tape). A common seam allowance for a top stitch can be between 1/8" to 1/4" for a neckline and 1/2" to 1" for a hem.
  • Use a longer stitch length. Your topstitch will look nice and neater with a long stitch length. I like to use a 3-3.5 length. Plus, if you feel the need to rip out those seams it is much easier. That being said, do not be afraid to take out your topstitching if it is not up to par. Even the most experienced seamstress will use a seam ripper from time to time. I know I do!
  • I prefer to use a regular straight stitch for my topstitching. A lot of machines these days do have a variety of decorative stitches and you may choose to use one of those occasionally. I would suggest trying out those stitches on a scrap of fabric first. 

tuesday's tip topstitching by owl and drum

tuesday's tip topstitching by owl and drum

tuesday's tip topstitching by owl and drum

There you have it! Thanks again for stopping by our blog, Sew Very Modern. It's been a pleasure sharing some of my favorite sewing tips and I hope you will come back on Friday for our Fabric Friday feature.



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