How to sew straight: this tiny foot can create remarkable results

I often get a question from my readers – how to sew straight? In this guide I will show you how to easily keep stitching lines straight. I will talk about topstitching mostly because keeping seam allowances equal is a different topic. 

What is a top stitch?

It’s a row of stitches that appear on the right side of an item usually after seams are sewn and can be functional or decorative. 

Have you ever had problems with crooked stitching lines? I bet you had. Even intermediate sewists are struggling sometimes to do it and had to rip and redo stitching. 

If you prefer to watch the tutorial GO TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL TO SEE THE VIDEO

It’s nice to look at the work of a professional seamstress – all the stitching lines are straight, the seams look perfect. And you always have this feeling that it’s so easy to replicate! But as soon as you start sewing you see that it’s harder than you thought before and it’s unlikely that you will sew straight from the beginning.   

To me, it’s often enough to look at the topstitching and immediately determine who made the item – an amateur or a pro. I like to wear clothes I made myself but I will never ever wear something if the stitching lines are not straight and done carelessly. 

When I learned sewing I used to always worry about making topstitching for my project I worked hard to create. Sometimes I even avoided any topstiting because I was afraid I wouldn’t make it right. I was told that I need more experience and practice and then I can always do it properly. But I wanted to have beautiful stitching lines from the beginning. And I think you are the same – you want to sew straight even if you are just a beginner. 

Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means I will receive a commission if you order a product through one of my links. I only recommend products I believe in and use myself. 

Modern technology gives us so many different tools we can use to improve our sewing skills. 

In fact, sewing in a straight line is much simpler than you think. And in this guide I want to help you to sew straight every time. 

First of all, let me show you how to make straight topstitching close to the fabric edges and keep the stitching line parallel to the edge. 

Of course, we can use a sewing machine throat plate but for me it works mostly when I am stitching not so close to the edge and mostly for sewing seams not topstitching

I use special presser feet for straight topstitching with ease. 

First foot is called Edge Guide foot (from Janome). My sewing machine is Janome Memory Craft 6600 P,  so I tend to use presser feet made by Janome. But this foot works with all low-shank modern machines. I have Babylock sewing machine and the foot works perfectly also. 

It has a screw which you can turn to adjust a white plastic guide and align it with the fabric edge. It also has small red lines – the distance between them is exactly 1 mm so you can sew as close to the edge as 1 mm, and as far from the edge as 10 mm. 

This foot is a snap-on foot as practically all modern presser feet are. Remove the other foot from the sewing machine and install this one – it’s really easy. Just clip it on. 

Position the needle at the distance you want the stitch to be from the fabric edge, and lower the needle. I want it to be just 1 mm from the edge. 

Lower the foot and turn the adjusting screw to carefully align the plastic guide with the fabric edge. 

While sewing keep guiding the fabric edge along the guide – this is really easy to do! 

  • Don’t look at the needle, focus on the white guide bar
  • Hold the fabric lightly – dont pull or push
  • Don’t sew very fast also 

See for yourself now – I easily created the perfect topstitching line 1 mm from the fabric edge. It’s nice and even. 

You can topstitch all types of cuffs, collars, belts, hems. The foot can be used with all kinds of fabric – from heavyweight denim to fine lightweight chiffon. In the video clip below you can see how I make straight stitching lines with different fabrics.  

Even if I try to stitch badly the foot will not let me – every time the stitching lines are perfectly straight. 

If you would like to buy this Edge Guide presser foot check out this link.

And now let’s see how we can topstitch along a seam made when we join 2 pieces of fabric together. 

Line up the white guide bar with the seam. Stitch at the close distance – 1 mm for example. And after that you can do the second line very easily. 

There are also other presser feet that can be used for the same purpose. They look a little bit different from the foot I have but it seems they work the same. And sometimes they even called differently (like Blind Stitch foot)

Get more info on Presser Feet here

TFBOY Adjustable Guide Sewing Machine Presser Foot. Fits for Low Shank Domestic Sewing Machine. Snapping On Brother, Babylock, Singer, Janome, Juki, New Home.

$5.79  in stock
1 new from $5.79
Free shipping
Get more info
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as of September 18, 2019 11:18 am

Features

  • High Quality Premium Sewing Feet
  • The Foot guides your topstitching and decorative stitching perfectly.
  • The presser foot has a "ruler" with a guide designed so you can place the guide anywhere you want. Place the guide along an already stitched seam or against any edge to give you beautiful topstitching. Use both straight and decorative stitches.
  • This was great for keeping straight seams with even seam allowances.It is perfect for channel quilting too.
  • Fits for Low Shank domestic sewing machine. Snapping on Brother, Babylock, Singer, Elna, Janome(RE&JA series and so on), Juki, New Home, Euro-Pro, Kenmore and more.

Smart H Adjustable Guide Sewing Machine Presser Foot. Fits for Low Shank Domestic Sewing Machine. Snapping On Brother, Babylock, Singer, Janome , Juki, New Home.

$5.89  in stock
1 new from $5.89
Free shipping
Get more info
Amazon.com
as of September 18, 2019 11:18 am

Features

  • High Quality Premium Sewing Feet From Smart H.
  • The Foot guides your topstitching and decorative stitching perfectly.
  • The presser foot has a "ruler" with a guide designed so you can place the guide anywhere you want. Place the guide along an already stitched seam or against any edge to give you beautiful topstitching. Use both straight and decorative stitches.
  • It is perfect for channel quilting too.
  • Fits for Low Shank domestic sewing machine. Snapping on Brother, Babylock, Singer, Elna, Janome(RE&JA series and so on), Juki, New Home, Euro-Pro, Kenmore and more.

Singer Sewing Machine Presser Foot

$29.99
$28.87  in stock
2 new from $23.00
1 used from $ 23.29
Free shipping
Get more info
Amazon.com
as of September 18, 2019 11:18 am

Features

  • This sewing machine is warranted for use in the US and Canada at 110 volts only.

Singer Adjustable Blindhem Foot 006904008

$3.95  in stock
5 new from $3.95
Get more info
Amazon.com
as of September 18, 2019 11:18 am

Features

  • Looking for a quick, easy way to make your hems invisible? This foot was designed specifically for easily stitching a blind stitch and includes an adjustable guide for accuracy. You can also use this foot for quick edge stitching along fabric edges.

Kalevel Blind Stitch Hem Foot Sewing Machine Presser Feet Foot Fits for All Low Shank Snap-On Singer, Brother, Babylock, Janome, Elna, Euro-Pro, Simplicity, White, Kenmore, Juki, New Home and More

$6.99  in stock
1 new from $6.99
Get more info
Amazon.com
as of September 18, 2019 11:18 am

Features

  • ⭐ Material -- Blind hem sewing foot is made of hard plastic and metal, sturdy and durable to use.
  • ⭐ Ease of Use -- High quality snap on presser foot provides users with ease of use for tasks they could be extremely tedious if done by hand.
  • ⭐ Adjustable Guide -- The metal guide in the center of the blind hem stitch foot keeps the fabric snugly fit against the foot for accuracy and helps to prevent unnecessary slipping. Besides, the seam width changes with it.
  • Blind Stitch -- Adjustable blind hem foot is designed for blind stitching and works well for edge stitching, lace and fabric edge joining. A quick and easy way to make your hems invisible.
  • ⭐ Compatibility -- Blindhem foot fits most low shank snap-on Singer* (some Singers require low shank adaptor), Brother, Babylock, Euro-Pro, Janome, Kenmore, White, Juki, New Home, Simplicity, Necchi and Elna sewing machines.

I have anoher presser foot that’s called Blind Stitch foot, but I use it for straight even topstitching also.

The fabric guide is metal in this case but there is also a screw and you can move the metal guide with this screw and align it with the fabric edge. How to use this one? It’s exactly the same as with the previous one.

Install it first. Lower the needle at the starting point. I want it to be 1 mm from the edge. Now align the guide with the fabric edge by turning the screw. Lower the foot and sew keeping the fabric edge along the guide. 

Buy Blind Stitch presser foot here

Blind Stitch Vertical Foot SA134 for Brother Sewing Machines

$7.99  in stock
1 new from $7.99
Free shipping
Get more info
Amazon.com
as of September 18, 2019 11:18 am

Features

  • Adjustable sole plate secures fabrics as blind hems are created with machines having 7mm feed dog
  • Designed for blind stitching foot works well for edge stitching, lace and fabric edge joining. Foot opening can accommodate any left to right needle position
  • Seam guide moves easily with the rotation of the channeled washer to create custom seam width sizes
  • Fits the following machines: PE770, LS2125i, XL2230, XL2600i, XL2610, XL3510, XL3750, ES2000, CP6500, CP7500, 1034D, PC210PRW, PC420PRW, SE400, LB6800PRW
  • For all 7mm feed dog machines

MonkeyJack Snap On Off Blind Hem Foot Blind Stitch Presser Foot For Singer Brother Janome Sewing Machine Parts

$5.07  in stock
1 new from $5.07
Get more info
Amazon.com
as of September 18, 2019 11:18 am

Features

  • High Quality Premium Blind Hem Sewing Foot
  • The edge of the fabric can be folded after the dark stitch sewing stitches, fabric surface does not reveal the pin sign
  • Come with a nut to adjust the distance of cloth edge for a variety of cuffs, trousers pry side.
  • The effect of both the stitched foot G and the 1/4 "margin presser can be achieved by using the dowel stitch to sew the bottom edge of the garment .and the bottom of the pants without using the stitch.
  • Fits All Low Shank Snap-On Singer, Brother, Babylock, Euro-Pro, Janome, Kenmore, White, Juki, New Home, Simplicity, Necchi and Elna Sewing Machines

In the images below you can see how I use this foot for my 100% silk fabric, I stitch very very close to the edge. I made a blouse and a skirt in vintage style from this natural silk fabric and straight topstitching had to be perfect because you can’t rip stitches on silk fabric – you will have holes from needles. I used these magic presser foot and all topstitching was good. 

I also have sewing tutorials about other interesting presser feet I use almost daily. Check them out below. 

Did you find this tutorial helpful? If so, save this pin (see below) on your sewing board so you can come to this tutorial later when you are ready to do topstitching and follow me on Pinterest for more tips, tutorials, and inspiration! 

Ready to take the next step in your sewing journey? Check out more step-by-step tutorials from my blog and don’t forget to share ! 

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