Home > Beginners > How to End a Stitch on Sewing Machine

How to End a Stitch on Sewing Machine

Sewing is an art of making your apparels look better and keep them functional. When it comes to sewing machines, there are plenty of benefits to using it for different purposes. Different types of sewing are meant for different stitching purposes. When you first bring a stitching machine to your home, it is quite natural that you would need to learn its functionalities in order to stitch better.

There are plenty of stitches that you need to learn in your sewing machines, and an end stitch is one of the important ones without which every other stitch will be incomplete. It is one of the crucial stitches that helps in ending or locking the stitch. It prevents your stitch from opening and provides it a form hold.

It is essential to learn how to end a stitch on your sewing machine. In this article, you will learn about end stitch on a sewing machine and other vital information.

How to End a Stitch on Sewing Machine?

Ending a stitch is simple if you know the right way to do it. Place the entire fabric under the presser foot when you begin a seam. It is essential to keep the fabric aligned with the seam guide on your machine. Start sewing in reverse for a few stitches till the end. Now, sew forward to the length of the seam. Keep the seam guide aligned in consistency Press the seams to get a nice finish.

Steps to End a Stitch on Sewing Machine

End stitching on a sewing machine is quite different from the hand one. You need to understand the functionalities of your sewing machine and learn the right techniques to make an end stitch. Here are the steps you need to follow to make an end stitch and complete your stitch.

Step 1: Machine Stitch The Fabric

Use any stitching such as straight or zigzag stitching until you reach the end of the fabric to start the end stitch. If you are not familiar with a sewing machine and ending stitches, you must practice it with fabric scraps.

Step 2: Put Your Sewing Machine in Reverse

Almost every sewing machine has a reverse button. Depending on your sewing machine, you must find the reverse button. Generally, it’s a dial with arrows indicating the motion. You need to put it in reverse. Double-check the button before starting the stitch.

Step 3: Start Backstitching

Once you have pressed the reverse button, you need to make 3 to 5 backstitches on your fabric. The machine will start backstitching on your stitches. You can also adjust the stitch length to make your end stitch stronger. It is essential to keep the backstitch shorter, so they don’t unravel.

Step 4: Forward Stitch

Switch the reverse button back to normal and start forward stitching for a couple of stitches. Keep stitching till the end of the fabric. Ensure three lines of thread overlap the end stitch at the end of the fabric before you stop.

Step 5: Lift Up The Needle

Now, you can lift up the needle using the hand wheel. Slide the fabric out from the machine and cut the threads from the last stretch. Give off a finishing touch by pressing the seams properly, and you have learned how to end a stitch.

End stitch is the most crucial part of stitching, without which your stitching will be meaningless. There is no rocket science behind end stitch, all you need to learn is backward and forward stitch at the end of the fabric, and you are good to go with a securely stitched fabric.

More Ways to End a Stitch

There are more than one ways to end a stitch; here are few more ways in which you can end the stitch more professionally and elegantly:


It is one of the popular means to end the stitch that has been discussed in the article earlier. It is a backward and forward stitch done at the end and beginning of the fabric.

Stitching in Place

It is an ideal method used in modern sewing machines with multiple stitching options. As the name suggests, this particular stitching method can do multiple stitches at the same place and prevent the seam from falling apart. The only drawback to this type of stitching is that it creates a bulge on the fabric in that particular area.

Decrease The Length

In case your sewing machine does not have backstitch or stitch in place options, you can try decreasing the length of the stitches. Longer stitches are more vulnerable to pulling out compared to the shorter stitch. Aim for 16 to 20 stitches per inch and decrease the length at the beginning and end of the seam.

Try Manual Stitching

Manual stitching is just giving a human touch to the stitch. When you finish the seam, leave the excess thread. Use the excess thread to make a loop and tie a knot. Now trim the excess thread to create an efficient finish.


How do You Stop a Stitch from Unraveling?

There are times when your stitches become visible and start getting out of shape. It is essential to secure such stitches with a backstitch or lock stitch. Backstitching is the ideal way to secure the stitch from breaking and hiding its seam. It is a simple backward and forward stitch done at the beginning and end of the seam.

Which is the Strongest Stitch by Hand?

Undoubtedly, backstitch is the strongest and reliable stitch that you can do with either hands or a sewing machine. It is easy to learn a backstitch as it only involves backward and forward stitches. In hand stitching, the needle goes behind the thread of the previous stitch to provide a firm hold or lock on the stitch.

What is Locking Stitch on a Sewing Machine?

Locking stitch is yet another popular type of stitch done on a sewing machine. It makes single stitches at the beginning and end of the fabric, to keep the stitch secure. It is merely a straight stitch that you do on the sewing machine.

Why Need to Secure the End of the Seam?

When you sew a fabric, there are start and end to the seam. It is essential to ensure that these points are not unraveling and stretching out in different shapes. You need to provide a neat finish to your stitching. The starting and ending point a seam can be secured with the help of a backstitch and lock stitch.

Backstitching is simply backward and forward stitching done at the beginning and end of the seam to make the stitch stay strong. Lock stitching, on the other hand, is a built-in stitch feature in a majority of sewing machines; it makes a single stitch on the fabric both forward and backward without repeating it.

Related Questions

Can a Zigzag Stitch Be Used As A Back Stitch?

Zigzag stretch is making a continuous row of letter “W” on the fabric. There are different types of zigzag stitches according to its stretch. The zigzag is commonly used for enclosing the raw edges. So, in some cases, you can use zigzag stitch as a backstitch to keep the seam from unraveling and proving a firm hold to the stitch. But, in most cases, a zigzag stitch also needs a backstitch for better hold.

Do You Backstitch A Stay Stitch?

Stay stitch is a regular stitch that you do on any fabric. It is done within the seam allowance so that it is not revealed on the fabric. You can backstitch your stay stitch if you need it. But, in most cases, the stitch line will be caught up in the seam. So, you don’t necessarily have to do a backstitch.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SewingMachineBuffs.com is participating in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
The Amazon Services LLC Associates Program is the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members.