How To Do Double Stitch On Sewing Machine

Sewing with a double stitch on a sewing machine is a relatively straightforward process that most beginning sewers can master with a bit of practice. The double stitch is a fantastic way to create finished garments that look professional, is long-lasting, and has a neat and tidy appearance. In this article, we’ll look at exactly what a double stitch is, how to set up your sewing machine, and the best advice for achieving great results.

What is a Double Stitch?

A double stitch (also known as a back-stitch) is a line of stitching with two sets of stitches sewn in the same direction. The machine creates the second row of stitching by looping back over the previously sewn stitches. This will help to create a stronger and more secure seam than a single stitch, meaning that your garments will stay well-fitted and be less likely to unravel.

Preparing the Sewing Machine

Before you start sewing, it’s important to make sure that your machine is set up correctly. Firstly, check that you’re using the correct needle – for a double stitch, you’ll need an extra-large (EL) needle size, which will ensure your stitches are strong and durable. Secondly, ensure that your stitch tension is correctly adjusted. This will depend on the type of fabric you’re working with, so it’s important to consult the machine manual. Lastly, set the stitch width to ‘5’ on your machine, as this will give you the most even stitching.

Gathering Your Materials

Before you begin sewing, make sure that you’ve got all the materials you’ll need. You’ll need a spool of thread that’s the correct length and strength for the fabric you’re working with, and coordinating coloured thread for the top and bottom stitching. You’ll also need a marking chalk or marker pen to create a guide line when stitching, and fabric scissors to snip the excess threads.

Getting Started

Once your machine is set up, you’re ready to begin. Start by pinning the fabric to hold it firmly while you sew. This will help to ensure that the fabric remains in position as you stitch. Draw a line on the fabric to mark the nail presser and guide you when sewing. Now you’re ready to start sewing. Place the fabric under the needle, press the foot pedal to begin sewing, and follow the guide line to ensure you stitch in a straight line. When the stitching is complete, you’ll have one row of stitches.

Sewing the Second Stitch

Next, you’ll need to sew the second row of stitches. To do this, loop the thread around the tip of the needle twice and hold in place with your fingers. This will help to prevent the thread from slipping while you sew. Place the fabric back into the machine, and using the markings you made earlier as a guide, sew a second row of stitches. When you’ve finished, remove the pins and snip away the excess threads to finish.

Troubleshooting Tips

As with any sewing, if your stitches don’t look as neat as you’d like, there are a few tips you can try to improve the results. Adjusting the stitch tension can make a big difference – try experimenting with different settings to find the perfect tension for the fabric you’re working with. You can also try reducing the stitch length for more control over the stitch, or using a walking foot attachment for an even, smooth finish.

Getting Creative with Double Stitching

Once you have the basics down, you can start to explore some more creative applications for double stitching. Try decorative top-stitching in contrasting thread colours, or reinforcing seams with a triple stitch for extra strength and durability. You can also use a double stitch to secure a hem or cuff, as this will help to keep the fabric in place and give your garments a professional finish.

Practice Makes Perfect

Though double stitch may seem like an intimidating task, it is a skill that is easy to master with a bit of practice. Spend an afternoon creating samples, experimenting with different stitch lengths and tensions, and sewing a few practice garments. Before you know it, you’ll have the knack of stitching a perfect line of double stitches every time.

Double Stitch for Garment Detailing

As well as seam reinforcement and hems, a double stitch is great for adding detailed embellishments to garments. Use a double stitch to create neat top-stitching along the edges of pockets, cuffs and collars, or to add decorative edge-stitching to denim garments. Finish with a few leather patches and you’ve got a finished garment with some serious style points.

Using Double Stitch for Quilting

Double stitching can also be used for creating quilts with flat, even stitching. To create a quilt, sandwich the quilt top and batting together with quilt backings, pin in place and begin stitching, using the markings on the quilt backings to create a guide line. Sewing a line of double stitching will allow you to create neat parallel stitching that runs straight from one edge of the quilt to the other.

Maintenance and Care

Taking good care of your sewing machine is essential for creating even, neat stitching. Regularly oil the machine and clean away any lint or dust to ensure your machine runs smoothly. You should also invest in a good quality machine needle, as this is an essential tool for producing neat, even stitches.

Achieving Neat Results

Once you’ve mastered the basics of double stitching, the rest is down to practice. Keep your stitching lines as straight as possible to achieve neat results, and always pay attention to the fabric you’re working with – heavy fabrics will require a coarser thread, and always check the tension setting before you start to sew.

Following a Pattern for Success

When tackling more complex projects, it pays to follow a pattern. A good sewing pattern should provide detailed step-by-step instructions on stitching the project, as well as helpful tips and techniques for achieving great results. It’s also a great way to experiment with different techniques and materials, as many patterns are designed with experienced sewers in mind.

Matching the Thread with the Fabric

Choosing the right thread for the fabric is essential when double stitching. Regular all-purpose thread is suitable for lightweight fabrics, while heavier-weight fabrics require a thicker thread such as cotton-wrapped polyester. Using the incorrect thread can lead to puckering and uneven stitching, so it’s important to carefully select the right kind of thread for each fabric.

Selecting the Appropriate Needle

When working with heavier fabrics, you may need to switch to a needle with a larger eye. Larger needles can accommodate thicker threads, and will help to produce a neat and even stitch. When switching to a larger needle, try experimenting with different fabrics and threads to find the best combination for producing a neat stitch.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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