What is Basting in Sewing? Definition, Tips, and Examples


Baste stitching is basically long stitches usually done without any backstitch.

Basting stitch mainly does the work of temporary stitches that are loose straight hand stitches or machine stitches in order to hold several layers of fabric

Just like a substitute to pinning them together. Hence, they’re easily removed whenever required with the ripper tool.

An example of basting stitch is its usage in garment fitting, such as basting the seams together for accurate fitting of the garment before the final sewing with permanent stitches.

Such as, basting the side seams of a skirt to check the fit before final sewing. The basting stitch is essentially used for holding underlining to the garment fabric.

It’s also used to mark style lines in the garment. 

A common example of basting stitch is its application in coat making by tailors.

As it holds temporary all the main layers of a coat collected (the fabric, the interfacing,

The padding) for faultless fitting on a client. Basting is also used in zipper placement for its accurate position without any pins.

Just baste the zippers at the exact lines of stitch and get the right zipper fit.

Basting does wonders in quilt making such as the layers of the quilting are basted together for stronghold and makes the process easier for quilting.

It’s suggested to use a contrasting color thread. As It’s more visible and also very quick to remove totally.

You are not advisable to use a red color thread Don’t use red as it will shed its’ fibers on and into the weave of your garment fabric leaving marks.

Red thread fibers are shown a lot on light fabrics. Do not tend to be speedy in the removal of the basting stitch process.

For a clean look be slow. Always use the seam ripper gently and slowly to unpick the basting stitch and remove the excess with the lint roller.

It’s advised to use lightweight tacking thread (hand sewing thread) for basting. If you find soluble basting threads in stores then opt for making baste stitches.

basting in sewing 1

What is a basting stitch?

The basting stitch is essentially a long-running stitch with the purpose of temporarily holding two or more layers of fabric together while its construction.

Basting can be removed and replaced with a permanent stitch in a quick manner after the completion of the garment.

In hand basting, long-running stitches are (1/4 inch to 1/2 inch long) then swapped by permanent stitches. Hence, conducted either by hand or machine. 

What is basting in sewing

How do you do a basting stitch in sewing?

Basting Stitch when done by hand: Simply pick for a contrasting color tacking thread and a needle.

Then simply make a running stitch (6mm-12mm apart) by pushing the needle up and down through the fabric from right to left with stitches 1/4” – 1/2” length. Finally, make a knot for a quick remove. 

When do you need to do a basting stitch?

The basting stitch is necessary each time when you need to secure two or more layers of fabric on your garments or sewing projects.

You can remove it anytime and make final modifications, such as basting first when sewing sleeves.

This stitch will provide better finishes in all areas of sewing. It is most needed in slippery or velvety fabrics that shift around easily.

It’s also needed when the fabric is needed to gather.

needed to do Basting

Is basting in sewing necessary?

If you do baste stitches, you can continue with a good flow of sewing along without any interruption.

Whereas doing this process with several pins in your material, need you to stop sewing and remove a pin each time you get to one.

Basting in sewing is necessary because it helps when fitting a garment. Particularly for a beginner

If you don’t have the idea for a certain garment then basting offers the advantage to measure accurately i.e., whether it fits well or needs alteration.

need to do Baste

What are the types of basting?

There are four types of basting:

  • Hand basting: used when the necessity of extra stability that pins alone can’t achieve, used for keeping linings and facings, neckline, armholes.
  • Machine basting: it requires stitching at the highest setting available for the longest stitch, used in gathers, set-in sleeves, quilting, and hemming
  • Pin basting: it’s used to lining up your fabric, and then using pins to secure the fabric in place for later sewing.
  • Basting edges with an iron: simply iron on double-sided tapes such as Wonder Tape work, used for basting sewing knit fabric hem and sewing leather or vinyl. Also, substitute of pin basting to avoid holes in the fabric.

How do you do a baste on the sewing machine?

Select regular straight stitch then set it at the longest possible length (4mm or 5mm length). Simply, opt for the basting option in your machine if you have such as auto function.

Basting on a machine

Final remarks

Basting is sewing is a great technique and is like an extra hand in sewing things.

Basting with hand sewing and machine, both are useful as it creates professional results.

It’s great for beginners as it teaches them to drape and accurately draft pattern-making.

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