EDGE STITCH {With Regular or Edge Stitch Foot}

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Edge stitch is exactly what it says it is.  A stitch used on the edge, no hidden agendas, straight and true and to the point.  Edgestitch is decorative and functional at the same time and is easy to sew even without a specialized foot. 

How to Edge StitchPinHow to Edge Stitch


What is Edge Stitch?When to Use Edge StitchHow to Edge StitchStep 1 – Prepare the SeamStep 2 – General Stitching Edge Stitch with an All-Purpose foot How to Use an Edge Stitch FootEdge Stitch vs Top Stitch Edge Stitch for TrimsOther Sewing Feet ArticlesMore Stitching Articles

What is Edge Stitch?

The edge stitch is the line of stitches used to neaten an edge, a seam or to stitch around the edge of a facing to keep the edge nice and flat and looking professional. 

The stitching distance is usually ⅛ inch (3mm) from the edge. This technique is common on the edge of denim seams and adds strength and decoration. On clothing, edgestitch sewn vertically draws the eye down making you seem longer.

Edge Stitch is Stitched ⅛" (3mm) from the EdgeEdge Stitch is Stitched ⅛" (3mm) from the EdgePinEdge Stitch is Stitched ⅛” (3mm) from the Edge

When to Use Edge Stitch

Edge stitch is used along a folded edge or around the inside edge of a facing. It can also be used as a decorative edge just along the ditch of a seam to add some detail. 

Edge stitch is usually stitched with the same type of thread you are sewing your garment with and in a matching color. I used a contrast color just so you could see my stitching more clearly.

How to Edge Stitch

Edge stitch can be sewn with a all-purpose foot or an edge stitch foot . You can see that the edge stitch foot has a guide in the center, where as the all-purpose foot is flat with no guide.

Sewing Machine Feet for Edge StitchSewing Machine Feet for Edge StitchPinSewing Machine Feet for Edge Stitch

Step 1 – Prepare the Seam

Stitch your seam with the required seam allowance and finish the edges if necessary with a serger or zig-zag stitch.

Press your seam. Your pattern may specify whether you press the seam open or to one side. This is important to create a neat ditch to stitch along. It is more common to press the seam to the side when using this technique.

Press Seam to One SidePress Seam to One SidePinPress Seam to One SidePressed Seam Ready to Edge StitchPressed Seam Ready to Edge StitchPinPressed Seam

Step 2 – General Stitching

Edge stitch ⅛ inch (3mm) from the seam created with an all-purpose or edge stitch foot.

TIPS: Turn down the speed of your machine to enable a slower, more steady pace of stitching.  Reverse stitch at the beginning and the end.  You will be sewing over multiple layers so check on your stitch length before you begin.

Edge Stitch ⅛" (3mm) from the SeamEdge Stitch ⅛" (3mm) from the SeamPinEdge Stitch ⅛” (3mm) from the Seam

Edge Stitch with an All-Purpose foot

It is always wonderful to have fun sewing gadgets, but if you do not have an edge stitch foot it is still possible to follow this technique without any fancy tool

Set up your machine with your regular all-purpose sewing machine foot. Follow the seam and stitch ⅛ inch (3mm) away from the ditch. If you have pressed your seam to one side, you will be stitching on top of the seam allowance. The length of the edge stitch can vary according to your decorative requirements.

All-purpose Foot

Needle position: centerStitch length: 2.0-3.0Distance from seam: ⅛” (3mm)stitch edge stitch with regular footstitch edge stitch with regular footPinEdge Stitching with a All-Purpose Foot

How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot

The edge stitch foot will replace the presser foot on your machine. Whether you have a generic brand or a specialized one for your machine, they all work with the same principle.

The edge stitch foot has a small projection in the middle of the foot that acts as a guide while you sew along the seam line. 

Edge Stitching FootEdge Stitching FootPinEdge Stitching Foot

The guide follows the seam line and the needle is moved to the left to stitch ⅛” (3mm) from the seam. If you don`t move the needle to the left, you will be stitching in the seam itself (this is called stitch in the ditch).

Although the guide will help to keep the stitching accurate, it is still wise to sew slowly.

Besides the added accuracy when using the edge stitch foot, you can also get closer than ⅛” (3mm) to the seam if necessary.

Edge Stitching Foot

Needle position: leftStitch length: 2.0-3.0Distance from seam: 1/16″ – ⅛” (1.5-3mm)Edge StitchingEdge StitchingPinEdge Stitching

Edge Stitch vs Top Stitch

Topstitching gives a tailored look to a plain outfit and can be sewn with a thicker, contrasting thread and a longer stitch for effect. 

Topstitching, because of its decorative element, stands out and is best seen at a ¼” (6mm) distance from the seam. Although the basic principle of these two stitches is similar the edge stitch really has the edge so to speak because it serves two purposes in one – function and decoration.

Topstitch vs Edge StitchTopstitch vs Edge StitchPinTopstitch vs Edge Stitches

Edge Stitch for Trims

Edge stitching is a great way to stitch on ribbons and trims. Use the edge stitching foot as a guide, enabling you to sew accurately and close to the sides.

Stitching Ribbon with an Edge Stitch FootStitching Ribbon with an Edge Stitch FootPinStitching Ribbon with an Edge Stitch Foot

Without using the edge foot as a guide, there is no way I could have sewn the ribbon down so neatly or so close to the edge. The special foot allowed me to sew even closer than ⅛” to the edge by adjusting the needle position further in.

Ribbon Using Edge StitchRibbon Using Edge StitchPinRibbon Using Edge Stitches

Using an edgestitch gives that extra professional touch to your dressmaking and sewing projects. In this day and age, anything that serves more than one purpose or can multitask is a winner. 

Edge StitchEdge StitchPinEdge Stitches

Other Sewing Feet Articles

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