wikiHow to Baste Fabric

Two Methods:By HandBy Machine

Professional seamstresses and tailors may be able to boldly sew free handedly, but for the rest of us there is the technique of basting - sewing larger "temporary" stitches by hand to hold all of your fabric layers/pieces together properly before you send it through your machine for the "permanent" seam.

Method 1
By Hand

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    Thread a needle and tie a knot in the thread.
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    Hold your fabric together and start sewing with a "running" stitch. Nothing fancy here, just up, down, up down. You can reposition your fabric between stitches if necessary and do any small tweaking as you go.
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    Remove any basting stitches when you are satisfied with the permanent seam.

Method 2
By Machine

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    Set your stitch length to its longest setting.
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    Pin carefully.
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    Sew slowly, making any adjustments as you go.
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    Check for fit or shape.
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    Adjust the stitch length to normal (usually 1.5 - 2.5 mm) and sew the "permanent" seam.
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    Remove any basting which shows on the exterior of the garment.

Tips

  • The purpose in basting is to make a temporary seam that is easily removed and re-done if the garment or sewing project does not look the way you want. This saves you a lot of fiddly work in undoing a more tightly sewn seam if things go wrong.
  • You can baste by hand or by machine, depending on circumstances and the needs which arise in your sewing project.

Article Info

Categories: Basic Sewing Stitches