Learn How To End A Stitch In 3 Steps For Your Project

how to end a stitch

In this article, we will teach you how to end a stitch and show you a couple of different ways how to accomplish that. This is one of the most important tasks when finishing any kind of project that involves stitches. Even though working with a sewing machine is superior to hand sewing in pretty much every aspect, not even sewing machines are perfect.

Whether you use one of Singer models, or a Brother sewing machine, or any other brand, every experienced seamstress knows that all of your hard work and creativity will go to waste if you don't properly secure the first and last stitch of every seam.

And while some sewing machines, such as Singer 9960, have the ability to stitch in reverse, more basic models do not, so you have to use some other strategy to make sure that your projects don't fall apart. Besides, reverse stitching is not always the best possible solution. In some cases, alternative techniques are better.

Different Procedures Of Closing A Stitch

closing a stitch

You probably wondered more than once what is the best way to finish a stitch in a way that the piece of clothes you are working on doesn't bunch up and look ugly. Of course, that's something you want to avoid, especially if you spent hours and hours on designing it and creating it, and you want it to look elegant and professionally made. So let's see how to tie off a stitch in an effective manner.


As mentioned before, some sewing machines have the ability to stitch in reverse, which is also called backstitching. This is by far, the most popular and convenient method and most users won't give it a second thought before using it. After all, that's why the sewing machine manufacturers invented this function in the first place.

But there are a couple of issues with this approach. The most obvious one, of course, is the fact that not every sewing machine has this function. And the second one is the fact that this method can cause serious bunching of the fabric, especially if you're working with a thin, delicate fabric.

This is because when you backstitch, you create three lines of stitches that are exactly on top of each other, which makes them stand out and make your final product look amateur.

This can be remedied by changing the spot where you start stitching.

  1. Instead of starting at the seam's edge, try starting 3/4" from the edge

  2. Begin sewing in reverse, towards the edge

  3. When you reach the edge, sew forward all the way to the end of the seam

This results in only 2 layers, which will make a huge difference in the final outcome of your project.

Stitching In Place

This method is only valid for modern sewing machines that have the option to do multiple stitches in the same space, thus effectively sealing the seam and preventing it from falling apart. Even though it creates a bulge in a very small area (the size of a single stitch), it's nowhere near as problematic as with backstitching that creates a bulge that can be several inches long.

However, it's still not a perfect solution for delicate material as it can easily ruin it, but it's very convenient for thick materials that can handle the abuse.

Decreasing The Length Of Stitches

If your sewing machine doesn't have the option to backstitch or to stitch in place, you can try with this technique. It's a common sense that longer stitches are more fragile and can pull out much easier than shorter stitches. Nowadays, every sewing machine has the option to change the width and length of stitches.

  1. Do a test to find out which length will give you at least 16 stitches per inch. Try to aim between 16 and 20 stitches per inch

  2. At the beginning and the end of a seam (1 inch should be fine), decrease the length of stitches to 16-20 stitches per inch

  3. Trim off the seam allowance

Tying The Stitch Manually

Sometimes, despite all the technology, a human touch is needed to successfully finish a project. This method has been used since the very beginnings of sewing, way before anyone could even dream about sewing machines. It takes a lot longer than ending the stitch with a sewing machine, but it's dependable and can be handy when no other option is viable.

  1. When you finish your seam, makes sure that enough excess thread is left to work with

  2. Make a loop with the excess thread and tie it into a knot

  3. Trim the excess thread so the know is as invisible as possible


Those were the three most popular techniques when it comes to securing your stitches. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. Some of the methods, such as backstitching or stitching in place might not be available to you, depending on what sewing machine model you are using.

In that case, you can always rely on securing the seam with tiny stitches or by hand. Granted, when doing it by hand, it might take you longer if you are not used to it, but it also gives you a total control over the stitch which can be crucial when dealing with gentle fabrics.

We hope this article was helpful and made you understand how to end a stitch and the importance of properly secured stitch.


About the author

Hannah Stitch

Hannah is a crafts enthusiast with a passion for sewing and creating cool things. She has a huge interest in fashion and enjoys spending time with her friends and family.


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