Topstitching is one of my favorite ways to highlight a particular area of my project -- its functional and decorative.
One way to achieve great topstitching is to use interfacing with your fabric. Interfacing provides a stable background for the stitches and helps keep the fabric from stretching.
You should also use the correct presser foot, to help make accurate stitching easy. And, always watch the foot, not the needle, when sewing. We recommend four different foot options:
- 1/4" foot -- most have red lines on the foot, these lines can aid when making corners
- Notched foot -- has multiple alignment points to use as a guide
- Clear plastic foot -- typically this foot has a red line in front of the needle position, which is great to use as a guide
- Open toe foot -- when following a marker or chalk line, the length of the foot can help greatly in guiding your project
Select your thread for topstitching based on how much you want it to standout and on your fabric. For example, a heavy weight thread on silk or other fine fabric will cause it to pucker; silk, rayon, polyester or embroidery thread works best for these materials. Your stitch length will vary based on your fabric as well. For example, heavyweight fabrics require a longer stitch length so the stitches don't sink into the nap.
To add a special touch, try using a twin needle while topstitching. This will produce two evenly spaced rows at the same time.
Here are a few more tips when it comes to topstitching:
- It's best to have a few layers to stitch through
- Start your topstitching from the upper edge
- When topstitching along a seamline press your seam allowance in the same direction, so you topstitch through more layers
- Always end topstitching with your needle down
What are you going to topstitch -- garments, handbags, home decor items?