Technique Tuesday: Stacking Stitches

Hello everyone, this Technique Tuesday we are focusing on decorative stitches that come with sewing machines. Specifically  sewing two decorative stitches in different colors on top of each other: stacking stitches.

This summer I finally created a stitch chart of all of the stitches that came with my sewing machine. My machine comes with 250 stitches, so I repurposed items I had in my house to create a functional, nothing fancy stitch book.  

I used an old 3-ring binder, an old bed sheet that I cut up, 40wt and 60wt thread and stitched out all of my stitches.
Experts, that is seasoned sewists, recommend that you create a stitch chart or guide because the stitches on your machine or in your machine's guide will stitch out differently on fabric.

My guide isn't fancy like some you will see on blogs, PBS or YouTube channels. My guide is practical. I can flip through it, see the stitches I want to sew and stitch them out. I also included quick reference guides with tips on which stitch to use for particular purposes, like joining quilt blocks or stitching on stretch material.

But my favorite pages in my guide are the ones that show how I used my decorative stitches to stitch out circles.
Don't mind the puckering in the image above, I didn't use enough stabilizer. I was particularly excited about this project because my machine doesn't come with a circular stitching tool; I have the Singer Legacy 340. This machine also doesn't come with an extension table with predrilled holes. Singer does sell an extension table, but for some reason they didn't add the predrilled holes. So, after looking at several tools online, I decided to create my own circular stitching tool. I'll post a video and/or blog post in the future on how you can create your own circular stitching tool too.

I thought I had found all there was to find about decorative stitches and was ready to work on some sewing projects until I came across this video from Singer on stacking stitches. My mind was blown, because suddenly a whole host of new projects popped into my mind. And it is my hope that this video will jump start your creativity too.


This tip on stacking decorative stitches is from Singer. It is short and doesn't have audio, but it nicely demonstrates the technique.

Steps to achieve this:
1. Place stabilizer behind the fabric
2. Sew a row of decorative stitches in one color of thread and then sew a second row of decorative stitches in another color of thread. 
Look for complementary stitches to achieve a cohesive look. Experiment!

Tips & Hints: Sew stitches on top of each other or paired beside each other to create a new look. Vary the stitch lengths, widths and orientation to get the desired look.

Joanne Bonko, demonstrates this technique, using a fancier sewing machine that makes it a bit easier to line up the stitches for stacking. But whether you are using an inexpensive sewing machine or the Cadillac of sewing machines, if your machine comes with decorative stitches you can do this technique to create unique, bespoke, couture creations.

Ready to start sewing your project?
Please leave your comments below on what you plan on making

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