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How to Baste

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How to Hand Baste
Hand Basting/Running Stitch

Hand Basting/Running Stitch

Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
Hand basting is easier to remove than machine basting and it is easier to maintain control of an area when you hand baste.

Hand basting is sewn with a running stitch. A running stitch is easily removed.

  • Pin the area together as you would to sew the area.
  • Thread a hand sewing needle and knot the thread.
  • Place the knot in the edge of the fabric where it will not be sewn over by machine stitching.
  • Do not baste exactly where you will be machine sewing. If you do sew over the basting stitches it will be difficult to remove and could weaken your final stitching. For example; if you are basting a 5/8" seam, baste just inside the 5/8" marking on the seam allowance.
  • Place the sewing needle into the fabric, through to the other side of the fabric and back up to the side you started sewing.
  • Repeat until you have basted the entire area you want basted. The size of the stitches can be long or short but you do want to make sure they are removable. This can be tested by tugging the thread to see if it moves easily through the fabric, just be sure to straighten out the stitching and fabric after you test the remove-ability of the thread.
  • Sew one or two stitches in place at the end of the area you want basted.
Note: Using a contrasting thread makes the basting thread more visible for easier removal.
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