If you don’t know how to sew, your sewing kit is of no use. Oh, don’t get me wrong, having a complete sewing kit is great but knowing how to sew and use the kit is even greater. As a beginner, there are some basic types of stitches, both hand and machine, that you should know and when to use them. In this article, you will learn how to do basic stitches and when to use them. So, let’s get you sewing already!


  1. Running stitch: Of all the hand stitches, the running stitch is the most basic and most important stitch. It is a go-to stitch and comes in handy when you quickly want to mend a cloth and every beginner must know how to do it. First, thread the needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread, then take the threaded needle to the wrong side of the cloth. Once the knot on the tread gets to the cloth and can’t pass through, set it in the direction you want and make a stitch by putting the needle back into the cloth, about a centimetre away and pull. Continue making the stitch after each pull until it covers the length you want it to.
  2. Basting stitch: Basting stitch is a machine stitch and it is similar to the running stitch, only that its stitches are longer and a bit lose (in some cases). The basting stitch is useful when making gathers or ruffles. Simply make the stitches about 1/4inces apart from each other, instead of close stitches like the running stitch.
  3. Blanket stitch: Ever noticed the sewing on the edges of your blanket? That’s a blanket stitch. It is a strong stitch used to hem down the edges of the blanket and can also be used as a decorative stitch. Start by pulling the threaded needle through from the back of the fabric, and instead of following through a straight line like the other stitches, make a vertical line with the thread over the edge and put the needle at the back again. Continue with the vertical thread and sewing from the back until you have covered the length you want to sew.
  4. Backstitch: Before the era of the sewing machine, the backstitch was used to sew. It is one of the strong types of stitches that can be used for your everyday sewing and every beginner must know. First, make a small stitch as you’d normally do and then insert the needle right back into the stitch where you pulled the thread from and make another stitch. Continue by putting the needle right back in the last stitch where you pulled the thread from until you get to the end.
  5. Standard straight/backward stitch: This is the standard and most often used machine stitch. It is in fact, the first machine stitch a beginner must know when learning machine stitches. Start by making a straight stitch of 1/8 to 3/8  inches stitches away from the edge of the fabric, then make a backstitch on the straight stitch. Turn the fabric to the reverse side and repeat. The sewing machine usually comes with the stitch and inches setting so its easy for you. To learn more on safety tips when using a sewing machine READ HERE.

There you have it, five basic types of stitches a beginner must know.

Read more on other basic stitches you should know here. Remember to tie a knot at the end of the thread before you start sewing.