How To Top Stitch


A few readers have asked about this recent exercise in top stitching, so I thought I’d go into more detail.


For a good pop of colour, I used jeans top stitching thread – like this one here – and normal thread in my bobbin. You can see above, the difference in thread width. Which means you definitely need a top stitching needle.



And for top stitching I always lengthen my stitch length by a couple of notches.


I sew with the right side of the make facing up, and carefully use the throat plate guides to ensure that I sew from a consistent distance from my hem.

That’s it. Happy top stitching!


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16 Responses to How To Top Stitch

  1. Irene says:

    Dinky bobbin boxes!

  2. Jan Brown says:

    A little trick I sometimes employ is to use your normal thread double on the top. You will need to wind some onto a spare bobbin to use on the second spool holder [assuming you have two!] and thread both together. This ensures perfect matching and if you only need a small amount of top stitching you haven’t bought a whole lot of thread that you may never use again.
    Your top stitching is superb Karen, so neat and precise.

  3. Helen says:

    I like a bit of contrast top stitching but it has tried my patience many a time. I don’t get on with the topstitching thread, my machine just chews it up. I had more success with the gutermann extra thick thread which is similar but on my last project I ended up trying the doubling up of the normal thread method in the needle and it really worked well for me and it looks just as good. The machine had no problems so going forward this will be my preferred method.

  4. SaSa says:

    This looks so good and neat! Do you wind the bobbin thread through the little bobbin’s eyelet like when making button holes?

  5. Nice topstitching like this always adds such a professional look….. no more homemade clothes. I have pinned this to my Sewing Techniques Board:

  6. lloubb says:

    A great tip I read on close case files is to look slightly ahead to where you’re stitching, not just at where ththe needle is. Really helps me!

  7. Sarah says:

    Loving the little bobbin box!

  8. amcclure2014 says:

    I love the pink bobbin box! Can you say where you got it?
    I’ve had success with top stitching thread and a top stitching needle. I haven’t tried specific jeans thread.

  9. Pam says:

    Beautiful top stitching – and I love the little arrow head reinforcement detail.
    I’m also loving the cute bobbin boxes. Where did you get them?

  10. I have had mixed success with top stitching thread but I have never used the correct needle so there is an improvement to make. Thanks! Jo x

  11. Claire says:

    I’ve used top stitching thread when making jeans recently. I used a jeans needle which was OK. Please…where did you find cerise top stitch thread? I really want some…

  12. Gail says:

    Cordonet needles also are good for top-stitching. But you forgot the number one trick for accurate top-stitiching – SLOW DOWN!

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