In this video I showed you how to topstitch beside a zipper and I got an email asking me the difference between topstitching and edgestitching.
You’ll run into both terms in different patterns so I thought it would be good to talk about the “official” difference between them. In a nutshell – any stitching done on the top of the fabric (that is – not on a seam that will be hidden) is topstitching.
Edgestitching is just topstitching that runs really close to the edge of the project.
In the video I show you some tips and tricks for doing them both, including examples for three different ways you’ll use them.
- How to topstitch double-fold tape in place (like binding the edge of a quilt, or the pocket on this free tote bag pattern)
- How to topstitch a seam allowance (used mostly in sportswear)
- How to topstitch the edge of something – like this free placemat pattern or this free cloth napkin pattern.
One thing that helps me get a nice straight topstitch is my clear presser foot. I made sure to point it out at the beginning of the video, but when I did the editing I realized that it’s hard to see the “clearness” of the foot, so here’s a still photo.
That clear part right around where the needle goes in is invaluable for letting me see exactly how close to the edge I’m stitching. If your machine has a solid metal foot, buying a clear foot is almost always an option. It won’t be very expensive and it will be VERY useful. I’m always a fan of seeing what I’m doing. 🙂
The outline stitching I do around all my applique blocks is also a kind of topstitching. On my current machine I have a foot that’s entirely made of clear plastic called (naturally) a clear applique foot. It’s marvelous!
Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. 🙂