One of the best things about sewing with sewing machines is how easy it is to make beautiful items using different and creative stitches. Among the many stitching techniques used to decorate fabric, topstitching and edgestitching are two common ones, even though their terms are frequently confused. To get the most from any sewing machine, including Janome sewing machines like the Janome HD3000, machine owners should understand the difference between these two techniques and how to do both with sewing machines.

What Is Edgestitching?

Edgestitching is the simplest form of stitch decoration that can be done with most sewing machines. As the name implies, edgestitching is simply stitching along the edge of the fabric, usually only about â…›” from the edge, to create a neat line of stitches. Edgestitching is usually done in a color that matches the fabric and makes a crisp, finished edge on the fabric. It can also be done in a contrasting color for an enhanced decorative appearance.

Edgestitching is used on garments and many other items to give a professional, completed look. Edgestitching can be used to sew on decorative trims and borders so that the seam rolls under the fabric, hiding it from view. When used in this manner, it is called understitching. Edgestitching is performed using any standard presser foot, as it involves sewing only plain, straight stitches.

What Is Topstitching?

Topstitching is another technique for decorating fabric done with sewing machines that is done by actually sewing on stitch designs. Topstitching adds embellishment to seams and edges and is done further in from the edge of the fabric than edgestitching. It is frequently done with contrasting thread in one or more colors, although topstitching can be done with thread in a matching color as well.

Like edgestitching, topstitching can also be accomplished using standard presser feet and plain, straight stitches. Some machines like the Janome HD3000 and other Janome sewing machines are pre-programmed with other decorative stitches that are perfect for topstitching. Some topstitching may also involve double and triple needle stitching to create decorative stitch types that add visual and textural design to the fabric. The options depend on what each specific sewing machine is capable of doing. Topstitched embellishment also looks best when done with thread designed for this purpose, such as silk thread or other topstitching thread.

Confusion Between Edgestitching and Topstitching

Although in the past topstitching was commonly known as any type of a stitch that sewed two pieces of fabric together, this definition has slowly expanded to mean a more decorative type of stitch. Whether it is used as a decorative option in joining fabric together or solely as embellishment, topstitching should be associated with a decorative way of stitching on the top side of fabric. Edgestitching has also been confused with topstitching, since some topstitching may be sewn at the edge of the fabric, although the two purposes differ. Edgestitching is first and foremost about creating a clean edge; while topstitching relates to decoration.

Topstitching and edgestitching are two stitch techniques that can be used to improve the appearance of a sewn garment or other sewn item. While edgestitching with sewing machines is more common and serves a more practical purpose of making clean edges, topstitching offers different options in the embellishment of these items. Some machines, like the Janome HD3000 or other Janome sewing machines, can be used to create fancy stitches that work great for topstitching. Used in conjunction, edgestitching and topstitching can be combined to create beautiful and unique sewn items!

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