An amazing thing about working with sewing machines is the endless variety of stitches that some more equipped models can make. Fortunately, there are still some pretty versatile stitches included on basic models like the Janome 2206 as well, one of which is the zigzag stitch.

The zigzag stitch is a standard stitch that all Janome sewing machines can make. It’s a basic back-and-forth stitch that on most machines can be adjusted in width and height. It makes a great alternative to the straight stitch you probably use for nearly everything.

How can you use a zigzag stitch? Let me count the many ways! Just skip the straight stitch and instead use zigzagging in these five applications:

1. Sewing Knits and Stretch Fabric - Since knit fabric is stretchy due how it’s made, you have to be careful sewing on knits. Straight stitching can break if the fabric has more give than the thread. One way around this problem is to sew knits with a serger; however not everyone has this specialty sewing machine.

Another option on a basic machine like the Janome 2206 is using a zigzag stitch instead. The zigzag stitch has some stretch and can better accommodate stretchy fabrics without thread breakage. You can also use it to secure elastic tape or cord in place without restricting the stretch.

2. Finish Raw Fabric Edges - Zigzagging makes a nice alternative to leaving fabric edges unfinished or when your machine does not have a fancier stitch suitable for finishing edges. You can use it to make hems, finish the raw edges of a seam allowance, or even to create a tasteful decoration at the very edge of a flowing fabric to prevent it from unraveling.

3. Make Buttonholes - There are many ways you can sew buttonholes using Janome sewing machines. Some machines have an automatic buttonhole stitch that looks similar to a satin stitch done at the edges of the fabric. When you have to do it manually, a tight zigzag stitch is the best option.

Stitched tightly together, zigzag stitches are the same as the automatic stitches made by a buttonhole function on more expensive machines. With a little bit of practice, no one will ever know you made the buttonholes yourself.

4. Decorative Applique or Topstitch - Zigzag stitching looks great as a simple topstitch decoration for hems, along the top sides of seams, and anywhere else to add a little bit of thread texture or color. Additionally, it’s a common choice for applying simple appliques to your projects as a zigzag stitch around the edge can look fun.

5. Make Simple Fabric Repairs - If you find a hole in a garment or other fabric item, you can easily repair it using a tiny piece of scrap fabric and the zigzag stitch on any sewing machine. Just cut the scrap slightly larger than the hole and stitch it on from the wrong side, allowing the zigzag to close the hole and hold the scrap on as backing. From the front, all you’ll see is a little bit of zigzag stitching. Done in a color that blends in, it can be nearly invisible.

The zigzag stitch is one of the more useful stitches that comes standard on all sewing machines. As an alternative to straight stitching, it makes a great option for decoration, edge finishing, and any other jobs that might normally be done with more expensive Janome sewing machines capable of fancier stitches. Master the zigzag stitch on your Janome 2206 and you’ll be surprised at just how much can be done with a simpler sewing machine!

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