A couple of weeks back we looked at the basics of sewing in a straight line, which is something that we hope everybody how is just starting out with the sewing machine found useful. This week we are going to make things a little bit more complicated and examine how you can sew a zigzag stitch into your fabric.
A zigzag stitch isn’t all that complicated, especially once you have gotten to grips with your machine a little bit. However, it is a much sturdier stitch than the basic straight line, meaning that anything you sew using it will hold together much more effectively and is less prone to stitches come loose or tears.
You get started in much the same way as you did for the straight stitch. Thread your bobbin and the machine before looking for the way to change to a zigzag stitch. This is usually located on a dial or a button depending on the type of machine you have. If you have a machine that doesn’t indicate the zigzag via an image, you may need to refer to your manual to find out how to set it.
The width and length of the stitch will be set to an average number, which is perfect for this little tutorial. As you get a little bit more comfortable you will find that you can alter them both depending on your needs, but leave it as it is for now.
Now you should be about ready to start sewing the zigzag. Luckily, you’re going to be following many of the same steps that you did with a straight stitch.
Start off by double checking the machine to make sure everything is set correctly and then low your foot onto the presser and lower the needle into the fabric. You will want to sew forward for about an inch before reversing the stitch and going back over that inch. That strengthens the edge of the seam, as we learned with straight stitches.
Start sewing forward again to complete the knot in your thread and simply continue sewing. Remember the tips we spoke about using to make sure you stay in a straight line and use them if you are struggling a little bit. Finish up by reversing over the last inch of your zigzag before going back over it and you have successfully completed the stitch.
Check the stitch to see if you have managed to stay in a straight line throughout. This can be a little more difficult with a zigzag as you are matching up points, rather than the entire stitch, in an effort to stay straight. As always, practice makes perfect.
You will also need to be a little careful with lighter fabrics, as zigzag stitches can cause them to bunch up underneath. If you’re finding that is the case, look or the version of the stitch that is dotted. This created a zigzag that has three stitches instead of two, getting rid of the bunching issue in the process.