What is stitching in the ditch? and Why do you stitch like that?
Stitch in the Ditch is the term used to denote the stitching done (with the sewing machine) on the ‘ditch’ or ‘well’ formed in a seam, from the top, to catch the fabric on the back. It is done to make the stitching line less noticeable on the face of a garment.
It is usually done with a matching exact color thread and a regular stitch length so that the stitching magically disappears into the “ditch” of the seam.
This is an alternative way to invisibly stitch instead of hand sewing with invisible stitches.
3 instances where you need to stitch in the ditch & How to stitch them
You can sew bound edges on necklines, sleeves, armholes, sleeve plackets, welt pockets and even hemlines this way.
Keep the bias binding tape right sides together with the fabric. Stitch the edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
When the sewing is finished, fold the bias tape over the edge to the back. It should extent a little over the seam you have just sewn.
You may want to pin in place or baste stitch so that it does not come open.
Now stitch from the top over the seam stitch you have already stitched. When you sew, use your fingers to keep the fabric taunt, or You can pull the binding to the other side so that the seam is visible clearly and the stitching is done exactly on the previous seam line. Later press the binding back over the ditch so that the stitching is not visible.
This is similar to bias binding – you can sew like this for sewing waistbands on skirts and pants – no visible sewing line on the waistband at all.You will be sewing along the waistband seam line from the top and thus attaching the inner portion of the waistband.
When sewing a waistband, you fold the waistband over the top edge and then fold the waistband to the back and turn the edge to the inside and stitch in the ditch from the top.This way the waistband folded edge is caught in the stitching from the top, and it is not at all noticeable from the top, that you have sewn like that.
This may sounds confusing but believe me, when you do it, it is a very nice finish to get – very neat and professional. There is no stitching line on the face of the waistband at all.
To attach fabric pieces to another with a seam, almost invisibly
This is stitching on the right side, in a pressed-open seam, to fasten another piece of fabric underneath. Press open the seam allowance, keep the fabric underneath and stitch along the seam – thus joining the fabric pieces unobtrusively.