Edge Stitch : What is it & How to do it perfectly

Definition of Edge stitch sewing ; How to do it properly with an Edge stitch foot

What is Edge Stitch?

An edge stitch is a straight line of stitch made along the edge of the 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.

edge 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”).

Edgestitch is less noticeable than a top stitch, as mostly the same color thread as the fabric is used. You can also use a contrasting color 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 does not need 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.

edge stitch

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.

edge stitching

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.

Related posts : 8 Hand embroidered Decorative Edge stitches ; Bead Tassels and othe beaded edge stitches.


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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Edge Stitch : What is it & How to do it perfectly”

  1. Thanks for this posting. I am edge stitching a silk dress on a casing that is on the outside of the dress using a straight stitch foot. The top of the casing edge stitch looks bunched up. Is there a recommended width for edge stitching for slippery fabrics? Thanks!!

  2. Hi, I am working on sewing a dress and the first step of the pattern is to stitch edges. Would this be for all pieces if no certain piece is specified? Any advice would be helpful! Thanks 🙂

  3. Thanks for these posts on edge stitching and top stitching, they are most helpful. I thought I was top stitching, but think I am edge stitching around the face masks I am making.

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