Sewing 101 : How to Sew a Straight Stitch

Straight stitches are one of the easiest and most basic sewing techniques every sewer has to learn. Start mastering this skill in five clever steps!

Learn How to Straight Stitch in 5 Easy Steps

Before you go on to assemble fluffy ball gowns or even create your own pants from scratch, you have to learn the foundation of all stitches: the straight stitch. Once you’ve mastered this stitch, a whole new world of endless possibilities is within your reach. With this stitch in your arsenal of skills, you’ll be sewing skirts and dresses of different fabrics in no time! Read on to learn the five easy-peasy steps to mastering the straight stitch.


Materials You’ll Need to Sew a Straight Stitch

  • Sewing Machine and Thread
  • Fabric
  • Scissors

Step 1. Set Up Your Machine

After threading your sewing machine, pull on the two threads so they’re pointing towards the back. If your machine comes with various stitch options, set it in the straight stitch option.

You might also want to adjust the length of your machine depending on how you long or dense your stitches should come out. For this tutorial, we set the stitch length to medium length of 2.5-3.5. The smaller the number your stitch length, the shorter the stitches. If you need a denser amount of stitches, you might want to set your machine to one. If you need longer stitches, set it to five.

Step 2. Place the Fabric Underneath the Pressure Foot

Use the lever on the right-hand side to lower the pressure foot down. The pressure foot keeps your fabric in place while your machine runs through your fabric.

Step 3. Push on the Foot Pedal

Lightly press on the foot pedal, propelling your fabric forward underneath the needle. While the needle runs, keep the edge of your fabric in line with the edge of the presser pedal.

Step 4. Go Forward-Backward

Press the reverse button on the side of your machine to bring your fabric backward. Keep this forward and backward stitching until you reach the end of your fabric that needs stitching. With this forward-backward stitching, your stitches are sealed better and less likely unravel.

Step 5. Finish Sewing

Once you’ve reached the end of your fabric that needed straight stitching, you may keep your foot off the pedal and stop your machine. Snip off the loose thread and voila! You’ve now successfully made a straight stitch!


For a more detailed tutorial, watch this video from withwendy:

Isn’t that easy? Learning how to straight stitch is definitely one the easiest things to learn in sewing. When you’ve mastered this stitch after this tutorial, you can do various sewing projects or even other basic DIY projects.


Do you have tips and tricks in learning how to sew straight stitches? Let us know in the comments below!

Learn other basic sewing techniques! Check out the 25 Basic Sewing Skills Every Beginner Must Learn!

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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on July 2016 and has since been updated for quality and relevancy.

3 thoughts on “Sewing 101 : How to Sew a Straight Stitch

  1. KAREN SCHMIDT says:

    At first I thought this was totally insane since I only read the instructions which said, “Keep this forward and backward stitching until you reach the end of your fabric that needs stitching.” It actually says why should do this for the entire seam. That is insane. You are never going to get anywhere if you are making a beginner sew forward backward for the whole seam. Then I watched the video and that is not what the instructions said but it is correct. You just do the forward-backward (called tacking) at the beginning and end of the seam. If the fabric shreds there are other methods to sew the seam and not for a beginner.

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