Backstitching is crucial in any form of stitching. This stitch is what ensures that your seam does not fall apart with time. In order to ensure the strength of your sewing job, you should compulsorily backstitch at the beginning and at the end. It is also crucial that you only do 3-2 back stitches at every point because too much backstitching can look messy and won’t give you a neat finish.
Can You Backstitch With A Walking Foot
No, you cannot make a backstitch with a walking foot. This foot hasn’t been designed to do a reverse stitch. All it can do is perform a forward movement and you can modify it only in terms of the size of stitches. If you want to backstitch/reverse stitch to lock your stitches, you can do so using the walking foot by choosing a very small, tight stitch. After ½ an inch of doing so, you can switch to normal stitch size. The tight stitches will do a good job in locking your stitches and will ensure the strength of your sewing job.
How to Do a Backstitch on Sewing Machine?
When you have a backstitch button on your sewing machine, all you have to do is hold the fabric and place while pressing down the backstitch button. It looks like a dance on the part of the sewing machine. Let’s see how to execute it with a sewing machine.
- Place the fabric under your presser foot.
- Start stitching and go forward 4-5 stitches.
- While holding the fabric in line, press the reverse stitch button on your sewing machine and go back from where you started.
- Make sure to hold your fabric tightly and in proper position so that the backstitch or reverse stitch happens on the forward stitch.
- Now leave the backstitch button and sew in a straight line or according to the guide you have drawn.
- As you reach the end of the seam, again press and hold the back-stitch button to lock the few stitched at the end.
- Easy? It looks easy and does get easier with time but initial few times may feel a little tricky.
How to Do a Backstitch with a Simple Walking Foot?
Can you do a backstitch with a walking foot? Yes, you can. In order to achieve a backstitch without a backstitch button on your sewing machine you will have to turn around your fabric. Here is how you can achieve that.
- Place your fabric under the presser foot.
- Start sewing on your seam. Start after 6-7 stitches or for about a inch.
- Pick up your presser foot.
- Turn your fabric by 360 degrees, so that now when you stitch your presser foot moves in the opposite direction of your initial stitch.
- Secure your presser foot and reduce your stitch size.
- Start sewing and move back towards the end of the fabric.
- Stop at the end and again turn back your fabric to normal.
- Now set your stitches back to normal and start sewing on the seam till the end.
- At the end, again turn back the fabric and repeat the same method to perform a manual backstitch at the end.
- This is basically how backstitch was done when the sewing machines were simple and did not have too many features.
When Should You Backstitch?
The main purpose of backstitching is to lock the stitches on a seam. You should always remember to do that at the beginning and end of a stitch. If you forget, you will end with a dress that is ready to fall apart at the most inappropriate times with a simple tug. A backstitch gives your sewing the strength it needs to hold a fabric together even under maximum stress.
You can also use a backstitch to lock the stitches when you have to stop abruptly in the middle. For example, if you notice that your stitches have gone wonky at a point on your fabric, you can rip out the stitches till that point and lock the stitches there. This way, you won’t have to rip off all the stitches and redo completely.
Similarly, if you notice that your fabric has puckered while sewing a curve, again you can rip off a few stitches till the point of mistake and lock the old stitches there so that they do not fall apart. Then you can start a new stitch to move ahead. To get a neat finish, start sewing half an inch before where you ripped and go atleast half an inch beyond.
One more time where you can backstitch is to reinforce an area. It comes in handy when you are sewing the handle of a bag. Backstitching on the strap, especially where it joins the bag’s main body will give it extra strength to hold a lot of weight.
What is a Lockstitch?
A lockstitch is what we discussed in the introduction. It is nothing but a very small sized stitch that is difficult to move with use or even when pulled apart. To lockstitch on your fabric, shorted your stitch length to 18-20 stitches in just one inch. Try setting your stitch length to less than 1.5 on your sewing machine A normal sewing stitch is usually a 2.5-inch stitch length.
To choose a stitch length for your project, try a few settings and sew on a waste cloth. Fold the fabric in half, so that you get the two layers of fabric just like your seam. Test the strength of your stitches by tugging at them. The lock stitches can vary for different fabrics. For woven materials, longer stitches will do the job but for light fabrics, you may have to go with very small, tight stitches.
Should you backstitch a zigzag stitch?
Yes, the zigzag stitch should be back stitched like the straight stitch. A zigzag stitch can pull right off the fabric just like a straight stitch and needs the extra support provided by a backstitch. You can back stitch a zigzag stitch like the straight stitch. Again, if you do not have a backstitch option on your machine, go for a lockstitch and ensure that your zigzag stitch holds the fabric in place for a long time. Do not forget to do a backstitch at the end of your zigzag stitch.
Which is the Strongest Stitch?
The strongest stitch on the sewing machine is a straight stitch. A straight stitch is hard to tear. For best results you should sew a straight stitch with a tough and long-lasting nylon or polyester thread.
The Strongest Hand Stitch and Machine Stitch
There are varying opinions about the strongest stitch by hand and by machine. But most people believe that a backstitch is the strongest hand stitch while a straight stitch is strongest when sewing with a machine. Do remember that the strength of the stitches also depends on the fabric being sewed and the quality of the thread used in the process.
Does Ironing the Fabric Lock the Stitches?
Yes, ironing can do wonders when it comes to holding your stitches in place. This is not a standard protocol but many experts believe in its efficacy to hold down the stitches. To try this method, lay down your stitched cloth on a flat surface. Heat your according to the cloth guidelines. Now please and hold your iron on the seams. You have to stay in one place for some time, do not glide around. The heat from the iron sets the stitches in the fabric, especially when you are using threads other than cotton.
A backstitch is an essential part of sewing, if you don’t know how to do it, your end product will not last long. This stitch is very easy to do. Practice doing manual or machine backstitching on a waste cloth before you try it on a good cloth because there’s no point punching too many holes in a cloth.