Zigzag stitches are used to protect the raw edges of material. The zigzagging thread prevents the edges of the fabric from unraveling. There are also decorative types of zigzag thread, but here we will be creating an overcast stitch type of zigzag stitch.
Nearly all sewing projects could benefit from a zigzag stitch. This secures the edges of each seam to keep the fabric threads from unraveling. Sewing machines can quickly take care of a zigzag stitch, but if you are hand sewing a small repair, it may be quicker and more convenient to complete the zigzag stitch with a needle and thread.
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Begin the Zigzag with an Overcast Stitch
Go around the edge of the fabric, and insert the needle in the 'wrong' side of the fabric, pulling back up through the right side.
Continue, with stitches that wrap the edge as you work. This is creating an 'overcast stitch up the length of the edge. Go all the way to the top of the edge. If you run out of thread, anchor the end of your overcast stitch with a small straight stitch before knotting off and clipping the thread on the wrong side of the fabric.
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Create the Zigzag Stitches
Go over the edge, and through the next hole that was previously made in our stitching, as shown. This will create another line of overcast stitches that tilt in the other direction.
Continue down the edge of the fabric, making the zigzag pattern shown. For fabrics that are particularly susceptible to unraveling, make sure your zigzag stitches are more narrow than those in our example.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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