What is a straight stitch and how to sew it – good question! A straight stitch is the base stitch of all sewing. All stitches (on a machine) are really a variation of the a straight stitch. A straight stitch is really just the basic up and down stitch that looks like a dashed line. It’s the stitch that you’ll use 90% of the time when you sew. And is based on the way people used to sew their garments by hand. Because it is used so much it’s important that you know what a proper straight stitch looks like.
The length and tension needed for a straight stitch can vary depending a the fabric. But for beginner’s sake let’s say you’re sewing on a standard cotton. Your machine will have a standard tension and stitch length suggestion or setting that you’ll use.
When you sew a straight stitch on a machine – you will need to make sure that you “lock the stitch” meaning that when you begin to sew, you’ll sew a few stitches forward, then hit you backward button sew back ward over those stitches and then forward again over those same stitches and continue on with your seam. Some model now offer a “knot” feature to begin and end a seam with – it’s fast and quick but not every sewing machine has this feature. Plus I confess it’s so automatic for me now, even when sewing on a machine that has that feature I just lock the seam the way I mentioned earlier.
A good straight stitch in lies flat, is tight enough to hold the cloth in place, but no so tight that is pulls or gathers the cloth. When there’s trouble with a straight stitch, you need to double check your tension and how your machine is threaded.