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How To Straight Stitch On A Sewing Machine

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Do you know how to straight stitch on a sewing machine? From setting the tension to the stitch width, there are options to select depending on the fabrication you are sewing. 

A proper straight stitch is one of the basic types of stitches on a sewing machine. Not only is it visually appealing, but a straight stitch also provides accurate measurements and fit to the garment.

How do you sew straight stitch? Set the sewing machine between 2.5 and 3.5 depending on the fabric, and adjust the needle position to the center. Change the tension to 4 for regular, start with a backstitch and slowly press to create straight stitching.

10 stitches per inch is common for a durable stitch to join fabric pieces together.

When working with popular Singer or Brother sewing machines, the straight stitch is one of the simplest stitches to join a seam, hemming, or any quick fixes on a garment. It can create straight lines that can be in any length, but whatever the length is it has to be completely straight. 

It is also known as flat stitch or even backstitch is some cases. If you are wondering about how you can get this stitch done using a sewing machine, then you are at the right place. 

We will discuss the steps to sewing a straight stitch in detail, along with sharing sewing tips to help you out. Answered below are frequently asked questions about sewing straight stitches and the best way to accomplish the task.

What does a straight stitch look like?

A straight stitch looks just like a crisp and clean straight line on stitching. It shouldn’t be curved or wavy, and a correct straight stitch won’t have any puckering or loopy stitches.

Have you ever drawn a straight line? Yes, the one that you draw with the help of sewing ruler, that is a straight line and this stitch looks the same. 

No matter how broad or how long the stitch is, it has to be completely straight. This is the most basic stitch used in many different ways to complete a design.

correct way to straight stitch

Straight stitch sewing machine settings

As a rule of thumb, the best setting for a straight stitch ranges between 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm. This depends on the type of stitch you want for the design, along with the thickness and weight of the fabric.

The setting may differ from one sewing machine to another, or based on the type of design you want to accomplish. 

Here is the basic settings for a straight stitch with a regular sewing machine:

  • Stitch length 2.5-3.0 mm or 8-10 stitches per inch.
  • Needle is right at the center position over the stitch plate.
  • Stitch tension is set to 4.

Keeping the needle position in the center will allow you to get the most accurate seam allowance. Once you start sewing, it is easy figure out the correct positioning and tension based on the fabrication.

straight stitch on center of fabric

How to sew straight stitch on a sewing machine?

As a beginner, sewing straight with sewing machine is intimidating, especially since the speed of the machine can be tough to control. The more you practice and utilize tools, the easier it becomes to create straight stitching.

Always check the condition of the sewing needle if needed to changed and properly thread a bobbin to avoid needle or thread breaking.

Here are some of the steps that will help you to sew straight stitch with a sewing machine:

  • Prepare correct sewing foot and needle that works with your choice of fabric.
  • Take a cloth and place it right under the presser foot. If you are beginner, it is recommended to draw a line on the fabric with a pencil or fabric chalk so that you can stick to the straight line throughout.
  • Lower the presser so that it can hold the cloth or fabric perfectly in place, and gently press the foot pedal to start sewing.
  • Stitch for an inch and then push the reverse button again to backstitch that 1 inch. Sew forward, and then backward in a straight line.
  • Once you have done the backstitching, proceed again to the forward stitch. This way, it will create a knot that will not become loose.

Keep the setting somewhere between 2.5mm to 3.5mm. If you are a beginner and you are just practicing, then start with 2.5mm.

Continue this back and forth motion until the design or length of the stitch is accomplished. 

Back side of straight stitch

Tips for sewing straight stitch

For beginners, it is important to have some helpful instructions to get started. These sewing tips will get you started, but it ultimately requires practice to get comfortable with a straight stitch under every circumstance.

Here are tips for sewing straight stitch:

  • Follow the seam guides and lines that are present on the throat plate of the sewing machine to help you to sew in the correct way.
  • Learn to pin and sew with a sewing machine when attaching 2 pieces of fabric together to create a straight line.
  • When you are sewing for the first time, choose a cotton fabric as it will be easier to control and handle than other materials or fabrics
  • Keep patient and sew three times; sew forward, then backward and again forward to complete the straight stitch
  • Being a beginner, you can draw a light line on the fabric before sewing so that you can easily follow it and create a straight line while stitching
How to straight stitch

Sewing Straight Stitch: Final Thoughts

These are some of the steps that you have to follow to get a perfect straight stitch every time. It is quite easy to do and this doesn’t take a lot of time, just practice. 

Evaluate the sewing machine by adjusting the stitch type and length. Set it between 2.5 and 3.5 stitch length, and have the stitch type as straight stitch on the sewing machine. 

Tension may vary based on the weight of fabric. In general, medium weight fabrics work best on tension 4, and be sure to adjust up or down based on the fabric being lightweight or heavyweight. 

Start with a couple backstitches in the beginning to secure any loose thread. Test 1 inch length of straight stitch to count the amount of stitches is between 8 to 10 stitches per inch for a perfect straight stitch.

Sewing straight stitch on a sewing machine can be done within a few minutes, but it requires practice to get the stitching straight without any tools or pencil markings. So, follow the sewing tips mentioned above and start practicing to get more accurate with your straight stitching using your sewing machine.

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