Stitch length can be a valuable tool not only in the seam durability but also stitching comfort and accuracy. While stitch length is mainly chosen based on fabric length ( the thicker the fabric, the longer the stitch), a short stitch length is also a tool used in various settings in the dressmaking process.
Here are three instances when using a short stitch length will provide not only increased accuracy during the stitching process, but also a high quality seam application.
A short stitch length (denser stitch) is used for added control when sewing around curved edges. Stitching it a shorter stitch setting will allow for smoother transition as you shift and feed the fabric through during the stitching process. This is an invaluable tool when stitching very narrow corners, curved edges, and difficult to control areas.
Use a shorter stitch setting when sewing with loosely-woven, high fraying fabrics. A shorter stitch will provide a lot ore durability and stability by locking the loosely-positioned threads such that they do no pull apart with the garment's long term wear and wash cycles. High fraying fabrics behave much like loosely-woven ones featuring less weave stability- a shorter stitch length will ensure a strong connection that is resistant to heavy fraying.
Use a shorter stitch setting when sewing stretchy knit fabric seams. In addition to using a short stitch length it is also important to pull the fabric slightly in the stitching process. The combination of these two factors will increase the stretch seam's flexibility while also preventing the stitch thread from breaking during the garment's wear and care cycles.