How to Sew a Basting Stitch

Hey, you!

There are times in garment construction when you’ll need to temporarily stitch two somethings together before fully committing to a permanent stitching line.

And the basting stitch will come in mighty handy, for example, when you’re…

  • sewing a muslin to test the fit of a sewing pattern;
  • fabric fitting your side seams (Coming So Soon!);
  • gathering fabric for a flirty ruffle;
  • gathering a skirt’s waistline; and
  • inserting zippers (Coming So Soon!).

You can also use a basting stitching line as pressing guide when turning up hems.

So as you can see, it’s a super versatile stitch to have in one’s sewing skill set.

And it’s easy to sew too.

Because a basting stitch is just an extra long straight stitch that allows for easy removable.

NOTE: If you’re ready to begin this journey and would like to buy my recommended tools and supplies, please click HERE!

How to Sew a Basting Stitch

stitch width set to 4mm for basting stitch

While the average stitch length for garment construction of seams is about 2.5mm, a basting stitch needs to be at least 4.0mm.

On my Janome DC2014, my basting stitch can be as long a 5.0mm.

But honestly, a stitch length of 4.0mm is more than adequate. Because my experience has been that when you go any higher than 5.0mm for certain tasks, your basting stitches might unravel faster than you can say, “Lickety split!” And this is beyond annoying!

So save yourself some frustration and stick to a basting stitch with a stitch length of 4.0 to 5.0mm.

basting stitch compared to average stitch length

You might also want to use a thread colour that contrasts with your fabric for easy removable.

And if you’re having problems removing your basting stitches, you can try decreasing your tension by a half increment too.

Sew easy tip: Finally, if you’re sewing basting stitches to test a fit, do not baste directly on the stitching line. Instead, baste the seam a smidge to the right of the stitching line, in the seam allowance. This will make it so much easier for you to remove them later!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn all about stitch length!

Other Alternatives for Basting

There are many, many ways to temporarily hold two somethings together other than machine basting.

basting alternatives: wonder clips, bull clips, Elmer's glue

You could use…

  • hand basting with a running stitch;
  • straight pins to pin baste;
  • Elmer’s School Glue Gel or Xtreme School Glue (they are both washable.  Cool, right?!);
  • Wonder Clips (#1 in the image above; great for bulky fabrics, leather or suede);
  • mini clothespins (cute and fun!); and
  • bull clips (#2 in the image above; super practical and easy to find anywhere office supplies are sold).

The End

Well, that’s it.

You now know what a basting stitch is, how to sew a basting stitch and its applications.

Plus, you also know several alternatives to machine basting.

You’re welcome. And so glad I could help.

And remember…

Life is the ultimate red carpet event. Dress for it!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn how to change your stitch length!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn how to remove basting stitches!

RELATED: Click HERE if you’re ready to begin this journey and would like to buy my recommended tools and supplies!

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