Basting is a common, temporary stitch used in many types of sewing, including quilting. Although some people do baste by hand, today almost all sewing machines, including Janome sewing machines, have a basting stitch function which can be quicker and more convenient than basting by hand. Ironically, many sewing machine owners are not even aware their machines have this capability. To make the most of sewing machines and supplies, sewers should learn about basting and the other functions that can be done with a sewing machine.
What Is Basting?
Basting is the process of sewing layers of fabric together using a temporary stitch in preparation for final sewing. Basting helps keep layers in proper position and prevents shifting and sliding until the final sewing is done. Basting stitches are straight, long, and loose; they pull out easily once the final, permanent stitches are completed. Hand basting is still done and is sometimes necessary; however, most people baste with their sewing machines when they learn how. Machine basting is much quicker than hand basting; it can be done in seconds, making it more sense than hand basting. Machine basted stitches are also easier to pull out then hand basted ones.
Does Every Machine Have A Basting Stitch?
Basting is really just sewing with a very long stitch. It may require the use of a darning foot, although the main difference between basting and a regular straight stitch is the stitch length. Some sewing machines have pre-programmed, adjustable basting stitches, allowing the machine to use a custom stitch length based on the thickness of the fabric being sewn. Some machines even have automatic or manual basting functions, which are different ways the fabric can be fed for sewing.
Not every sewing machine has a pre-programmed basting stitch like Janome sewing machines; however, it is possible to baste with every sewing machine. On machines that do not have a pre-programmed basting stitch, basting can be accomplished by setting the machine to the longest possible stitch length . A basting function can be more convenient; however, the truth is that anyone can baste with just about any sewing machine by simply elongating the stitch.
When Should A Basting Stitch Be Used?
Basting stitches are used to join multiple layers of fabric together to prevent shifting or bunching when permanently stitching. Recognized as an essential part of quilting, basting is also used in many other types of sewing when joining multiple layers of fabric that tend to move or shift as they are being sewn.
There are other times when a basting stitch can be useful, such as prior to sewing on a zipper, before serging a seam, or as a permanent stitch for thicker fabrics that require more thread to sew through the thickness. Basting stitches are also useful when fabric must be gathered and for certain other, more challenging areas on garments where a looser stitch can be helpful.
Machine basting is a helpful function used by quilters and anyone who makes different types of garments or other sewing projects. Many sewing machines, like Janome models, have pre-programmed basting functions. Even without such functions, anyone can baste using their sewing machine by adjusting the length of the straight stitch. Basting options offered on certain sewing machines are one of the many sewing machine accessories that serious sewers may want when creating garments or other projects to make their projects faster and easier to create!