Top – Stitching Trick

comparison of 2 linesAs part of the launch of our new series of  the Sew It ! Make It ! competitions I thought I would start the ball rolling with a top-stitching trick that I thought you may all like to add to your sewing repertoire.

Sometimes you may want to add some nice top-stitching to your garment but you may not have any of the specialised reels of top-stitching thread, and/or sometimes the lighter weight modern sewing machines don't like to use this thicker thread as it can cause many headaches with tensions and stitch formations.

Top-Stitching Trick Method.

Below you will see 2 photo's of some seam edge top-stitching. The  first image  I have just top-stitched using my regular stitch length and regular sewing thread. The following photo shows a much thicker line of stitching and at first glance you would think I have used top-stitching thread- this is my top-stitching trick.

single line

Single row of top-stitching with regular thread

triple stitch

A single row of top-stitching still using regular thread, but machine is using pattern 24 ( triple step straight stitch )

All machines have a number of pattern selections built into the gear mechanism of the machines. The below photo shows the stitch pattern selector for my schools machines - Janome 5024 - but most machines should have something similar. The pattern number I selected to create the thicker line of top-stitching is pattern 24 - Triple Step Straight Stitch ( some machines call it Stretch Triple Straight Stitch ) - it is a stitch that stitches 3 stitches at a time in the one spot and then moves onto the next stitch and so on. Essentially it is making 3 lines of stitching on top of each other.  I used stitch length approx 2.5 to 3.

topstitch 1

Janome 5027 - Pattern No. 24

So you can see below a close up detail of the top-stitched lines - the left one is a regular stitched line, and the one on the right is the triple step straight stitch.

A comparison of  2 lines of top-stitching

A comparison of 2 lines of top-stitching

jacinta h

Jacinta H in class.

One of my Tuesday morning jacinta pattern
students - Jacinta H - is using top-stitching
on her current skirt project.

She is making a stretch denim skirt from Butterick 5566. As this skirt has curved side panels we thought the skirt would look fantastic with top-stitched panel seams.




The following photos show where Jacinta has top-stitched her seam edges using my top-stitching trick.


jacinta topstitch

jacinta topstitch 1

 I hope you have enjoyed learning about my top-stitching trick and my alternate to using top-stitching thread. I would love you all to enter our first every Sew It ! Make It ! competition  - read all about it here.


Cheerio and Good luck to you all.

Ann from Designer Stitch School of Fashion and Design.


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