How To Finish A Sewing Stitch On A Sewing Machine


Finishing a sewing stitch properly is an important step in the sewing process. It ensures that your project looks neat and professional. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced seamstress, mastering this skill will improve the quality of your work. In this article, we’ll discuss how to finish a sewing stitch on a machine in a few simple steps.

Step 1: Choose the Right Stitch

Before you start sewing, it’s essential to choose the right stitch for your project. Different stitches serve different purposes. For example, straight stitches are for seams, zigzag stitches are for finishing edges, and decorative stitches are used for adding decorations and embellishments. Check your sewing machine’s manual to select the appropriate stitch for your project.

Step 2: Sew the Desired Length

Start sewing your fabric, leaving a thread tail at the beginning and end of each stitch. The length of the stitch will depend on your project and the type of stitch you’re using. Sew along the fabric, keeping the stitch straight and even.

Step 3: Backstitch at the Beginning and End

To secure your stitch, backstitch at the beginning and end of your seam. Backstitching reinforces the stitch, preventing it from unraveling over time. To backstitch, reverse the direction of your sewing machine for a few stitches before continuing again. I usually backstitch from 2 to 3 stitches to secure the seam.

Step 4: Trim Excess Thread

Once you’ve finished your stitch, trim any excess thread using scissors. Be careful not to cut the stitches themselves, as this can cause your seam to come undone. Leave a small tail of thread to prevent unraveling.

Step 5: Finish the Edges

If you’re working with fabric that frays easily, you must finish the edges to prevent them from unraveling. You can do this by trimming with a pinking shear, sewing a zigzag stitch along the edge of the fabric, or using a serger if you have one. Either method will create a clean and professional finish.

Step 6: Press the Seam

After finishing your stitch, press the seam with a hot iron to set the stitches and create a crisp finish. Pressing helps to flatten the seam and makes your sewing project look more professional.

Step 7: Practice Makes Perfect

Like any skill, finishing a sewing stitch takes practice. Keep going even if your first few attempts aren’t perfect. With time and practice, you can finish your stitches neatly and efficiently.

Alternate Method

If you are using an older sewing machine that does not have a backstitch setting, there is an easy method that allows you to finish your stitches. Lift the presser foot manually during the first stitch or two. This will cause a knot in the stitch that will prevent the stitch from pulling out. Repeat this process at the end of your stitch, which will again cause a knot in the thread that will lock the stitch and prevent it from pulling out.

Final Thoughts

Finishing a sewing stitch on a sewing machine is a simple yet essential skill for anyone interested in sewing. You’ll easily create professional-looking sewing projects by following these steps and practicing regularly.

Anne James

Anne James has a wealth of experience in a wide array of interests and is an expert in quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, mixing drinks (bartending), and making jelly. Anne has a professional canning business, has been featured in the local newspaper as well as on the Hershey website, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is. With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass. Amazingly, she doesn’t need to reference many resources due to her vast wealth of experience. She IS the source. Anne wants nothing more than to pass on her extensive knowledge to the next generations, whether that be family or anyone visiting her website, her YouTube channel, or

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