What is Edge Stitch?
An edge stitch is a straight line of stitch made along the edge of a fabric ( usually a folded edge) or the ditch of a seam ( on the face of the fabric), at a distance of about 1/8 inch from the seamline or the edge. It is basically topstitching and is done as a reinforcing stitch as well as a decorative stitch.
It is usually used when you have made a facing for an edge and after understitching, you have turned the facing to the back – now you want to reinforce the edge and make sure that the facing rolls to the back and is firmly held in place. So you sew a stitching line very close ( 1/8 inch or less) to the edge . This is edge stitching.
Difference between Edge stitching and Topstitching
The difference between topstitching and edge stitching is that with topstitching, you leave a little bit more distance ( about 1/4 “) from the edge or seam line than for edge stitching ( 1/8”).
Edge stitch is less noticeable than a top stitch, as mostly the same colour thread as the fabric is used. You can also use a contrasting colour thread for a decorative finish. Topstitching, as you know, is professionally done with a thicker topstitching thread and it is meant to stand out.
The criteria for a perfect edge stitch is that it is an even distance constantly from the seam line or the fabric edge. Edge stitching on the edges donot need an instruction. It is as straightforward as sewing a straight line – stitch just a little to the inside of the edge and you have edge stitching
Edge stitch is also the stitch which is used to stitch ribbons and such trims to fabric surfaces.
How to do edge stitching along a seam
To make the edge stitching along a seam you will first have to make the seam. Press the seam allowance open first and then to one side ( to the side where you will be stitching the edge stitching).
- Sew edge stitching With an Edgestitch foot
An Edge Joining foot ( also known as a stitch in the ditch foot ) is used here. This foot has a small projection in the middle of the foot which acts as a guide as you sew the edge stitching on the seam line.
Keep the guide in the edge stitch foot right over the seam line ( face up). Now move your needle slightly to the side ( less than1/8 inch) where you pressed the seam allowance to. In my case I pressed the seam allowance to the left, so I moved my needle to the left. Start stitching. With the edge stitch foot you will find that your machine will be stitching a uniform distance along the seam line.
You have to go very slow and stitch keeping an eye on the guide for a perfect stitching line. You have to be very careful as the small guide in the middle can bend easily if it is caught in fabric or perpendicular seams, though chances are rare.
- Sew Edge stitching With your regular foot
Edge stitching is easy with the regular straight stitch or all purpose machine foot, as well. Simply align the needle 1/8 inch away from the seam ditch. You will have to keep an eye on the stitching to ensure that the distance is kept even at all times
Edge stitch in knitting.
In knitting there is a term – edge stitch – which refers to stitches that prevent the knitted fabric from unraveling at the edges. The edge stitch gives a neat edge to the knitted fabric. Slip stitch, garter stitch etc are edge stitches in knitting.