How To Sew a Zig Zag Stitch

The zig zag stitch is one of the most common stitches, along with the straight stitch, and it has many uses. It’s perfect for sewing stretch fabrics because it has more give than the straight stitch. It’s generally sturdier than the straight stitch, so it can be used if you want something sewn extra strong. It’s often used as a decorative stitch, as well.

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Instructions

Sewing the Zig Zag Stitch with a Sewing Machine

If you don’t have a serger, the zig zag stitch can be used on the raw edge to prevent fraying.

It’s also great for sewing on appliques.

How to Sew a Zig Zag Stitch - Use to prevent edges from fraying
How to Sew a Zig Zag Stitch - Use for appliques

You sew the zig zag stitch the same as the straight stitch. The difference is the needle position. It moves from side to side according to the width you set it at.

With the zig zag stitch, you can change both the stitch length and the width, so the possibilities are almost endless.

How to Sew a Zig Zag Stitch - Sew
How to Sew a Zig Zag Stitch - Needle moves from side to side
How to Sew a Zig Zag Stitch - Standard zig zag stitch
How to Sew a Zig Zag Stitch - Set the width and length

For just a few examples of different zig zag stitches are shown below.

A standard zig zag stitch (on the left) has a medium width and length. When the stitch length is really small, it’s known as a satin stitch (on the right).

How to Sew a Zig Zag Stitch - Different widths and lengths
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