How To Close A Seam With A Sewing Machine: 2 Ways

Last Updated on 9 months by Susan Mayrich

We just learned how to close a seam with a sewing machine using two stitches. This article also discusses tips on maximizing your sewing machine when sealing seams. 

how to close a seam with a sewing machine

Speaking of which, you can read our tutorial on how to sew a hidden seam with a sewing machine. This technique creates professionally-looking finishes that you can use on garments and various sewing projects. 


How To Close A Seam With A Sewing Machine For Beginners


Method 1. Backstitches

  1. Position the material under the sewing machine foot starting at one end of the seam
  2. Make three stitches as usual, then locate the model’s reverse button
  3. Check your sewing machine’s manual if you need to hold the reverse button as you sew or if you can release it after pressing
  4. Sew three backstitches at the top of the previous stitches 
  5. Disengage the backstitch feature of the machine and continue working the rest of the stitching line
  6. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam stitches
  7. Consider shortening the stitch length if the stitch rows made the seam bulky

Benefits of backstitching:

  • Ensures that the stitches that hold the seam won’t unravel in the long run
  • Adds durability to the seam
  • Relatively quick and easy to do since most sewing machines that have a backstitch button
  • Can be used on the borders of a quilt to secure the seam

Do you own a Brother sewing machine? Read our guide on how to backstitch on a Brother sewing machine for a more in-depth step-by-step guide of this feature. 


Method 2. Straight stitches with tied thread tails

  1. Sew the seams as usual with a straight stitch set to standard setting
  2. Leave the thread tail loose and long on either end of the seam
  3. Pull the threads to the wrong side
  4. Tie off the thread ends and trim them shortly

Benefits of straight stitches with tied ends

  • Fast to do 
  • Ideal for light and delicate materials that can get bulky or damaged when you backstitch them


How Do You Sew A Seam On A Sewing Machine?


Zigzag seam finish

You can finish the seam with zigzag stitches, and this should work for most fabric types. However, you must test your stitch settings on scrap fabric to know how the zigzag stitches will appear and affect the seams. 

Then, sew both sides of the seam or sew the sides together. Finally, press the seam open or one side only if you sew both sides together. 


French seam

If you need to finish the seams of sheer or delicate fabrics, the best option in the sewing machine is the French seam style. 

A French seam means encasing the raw edge within a seam. This will prevent fraying and also leave a more professionally-looking finish on the garment. 


Serged seam

A serged seam is possible on the fabric edge even if you don’t have a separate overlocker. Thanks to an overcast foot, you can learn how to serge with a sewing machine and have overlocked seams. 

From there, you can use your sewing machine’s overlock stitch or zigzag stitch. This technique of sewing a seam on the sewing machine is perhaps the most durable option. 


How do you sew a seam without a sewing machine?

You can hand sew the same with a ladder stitch if you don’t have a sewing machine. This is also especially useful for joining seams or edges, making it versatile for hems.

  1. Secure the thread on one edge, then go to another
  2. Make a small stitch on the fold and return to the first edge
  3. Take another small stitch in its fold 
  4. Continue the back and forth short stitches to finish the whole seam edge 


How Do You Do A Closing Stitch?

You can close a stitch with backstitches using your sewing machine’s reverse button. But if you’re ending a stitch by hand, here are the steps:

  1. Flip the material wrong side up 
  2. Have the threaded needle under the stitch closest to you and pull to form a loop
  3. Guide the needle over this loop and then through the loop to form a knot
  4. Insert the needle through the same stitch and repeat the steps of making a knot 
  5. Cut the excess thread as close as possible to the knot


How Do You Start A Knot When Sewing?

  1. Fold the thread in half and thread the needle with the tails 
  2. Take the needle through the fabric upward and before you take off the entire thread out, insert and have the needle up through the thread fold or loop
  3. Tighten to secure the tread in place


What Is A Lock Stitch On A Sewing Machine?

The lock stitch on the sewing machine refers to the backstitch. These terms are interchangeable to secure your seam ends to prevent them from unraveling. 

When you notice the sewing directions asking you to make a lock stitch, you only need to select the reverse button to sew backward. However, it’s also worth noting that lock stitches can refer to the stitches that cause the top and bottom threads to lock together. 



And that’s it! We just learned how to close a seam with a sewing machine, which can be done with backstitches or straight stitches. 

Backstitching strengthens the seam, but straight stitches and then tying the thread ends are suitable for delicate fabrics. We hope this was informative; leave us a question if you have any. 


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