Learning the basics of stitching blouses will take you a long way toward sewing an entire wardrobe of clothing you can be proud to wear. From basting to top stitching, each stitch serves a purpose in the completion of the final garment. Use care in choosing the appropriate stitch and practice to perfect the execution.
A basting stitch is also known as tacking. It is a loose straight stitch used to hold pieces of the blouse together for fitting. A basting stitch is also used to gather one piece of the garment until it fits with other pieces. For example, a cap sleeve would need to be gathered along the top to fit into the armhole. A basting stitch is usually a temporary stitch used only during the construction. Basting takes little precision but it does require a cognizance that the stitch is meant to be lose and easily removed while serving its purpose of holding the pieces together.
A straight stitch is used to sew the garment together. The stitch is typically small and tight. It is your seam stitch. A form of the straight stitch is the top stitch. This is the stitching you see on top of blouse. The seamstress needs to have a steady hand and create a straight line of stitching close to the seam.
Depending on the type of fabric you make the blouse from, you will want to finish the fabric edges even though they do not show on the front side of the garment. Some woven fabrics fray with wear and wash and the only way to keep the fabric from fraying all the way through the seam is to finish the edge. On a sewing machine, the easiest way to alleviate this problem is to run a zigzag stitch along the seam so it does not show on the top side. By hand, an overstitch or a whip stitch will do the same thing.
Decorative stitches are typically forms of embroidery. You will find dozens of embroidery stitches and patterns you can use to embellish your finished blouse. The stitching can be done by hand or with a sewing machine. Some sewing machines are even designed to interact with your computer. This means you can design your own patterns for the machine to embroider on your garment. This opens up your creative endeavors to endless possibilities.
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