How to Baste in Sewing by Hand

How to Baste in Sewing by Hand

Basting! It's not just for turkeys. Basting, also called tacking, means to sew easily removable stitches to temporarily hold fabric together. Why do double the work? Basting can help you save time in the long run and is often worth the extra step. It is possible to baste with a sewing machine set to big loose stitches, but hand-basting is more common. To hand-baste, you'll use a running stitch.

1 Use straight pins to pin together the layers or pieces the way you'd like them sewn.

How to Baste in Sewing by Hand

2 Thread a needle and knot the end.

How to Baste in Sewing by Hand

3 Do not baste exactly where you will sew the permanent stitches. If you sew over the basting stitches, it will be difficult to remove them.

How to Baste in Sewing by Hand

4 Starting on the back side of the fabric, insert the needle through to the other side, through both layers of fabric, allowing the knot to stop the thread. Then push it back through in the opposite direction. Move on to repeat this process everywhere you intend to sew a final seam. This is called a running stitch. You can choose the size of the stitches: long or short. (Long stitches take less time.)

How to Baste in Sewing by Hand

5 Once you have basted the layers of fabric you want to attach, cut the thread at the needle and tie a simple knot to secure the stitching.

How to Baste in Sewing by Hand

In Praise of Basting

• Basting stitches on seams let you test the fitting (side seams) or placement (darts) before final stitches.

• Basting can hold slippery fabric in place while you sew regular stitches.

• Basting allows you to hold together two layers of fabric in order to work them as one layer.

• Basting lets you hold trim or bric-a-brac in place until you firmly sew it on.

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