Mini Tutorial: How To Sew A Hand-Applied Overcast Stitch
In dressmaking: A regular overcast stitch is the simplest hand-applied technique used to clean finish seam allowance edges. All you need for this application is a hand sewing needle and your choice of thread to complement the fabric edge you are stitching.
1. Start by stitching in place a few times to lock the stitch, then take a stitch over the fabric raw edge. Insert the first stitch at the desired length (measured form the fabric raw edge) of the finished overcast application. In this tutorial, the thread is doubled for a more structured, noticeable finish- it is up to you whether you want to use double thread or stick to the traditional single thread.
2. Apply another stitch over the fabric edges, inserting the needle from front to back at the desired distance form the first stitch- this distance will determine the stitch's density. Apply the stitches closer together if working with fabrics that fray more. Diagonal stitches will begin to form over the fabric edge. It is also important not to pull the stitches too tight as this can cause too much tension in the seam- keep the fabric edge as flat as possible in the application process.
3. Continue applying the overcast stitch at the same length and density throughout until the entire seam allowance is complete. It will take a few tries to apply a perfectly even stitch. As always, practice makes perfect!