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Catchstitch Review

A hand stitch for more than hemming
Threads #199, Oct./Nov. 2018
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This versatile stitch has a purpose in nearly any garment.

I have a crush on the catchstitch. It is simple to sew. I get into a groove while sewing it, and it is useful in many applications. It is employed extensively in traditional tailoring and couture construction, but it is handy to have in your repertoire no matter what kind of sewing you do most. There are applications for the catchstitch in wovens and knits, bulky and delicate fabrics, decorative and invisible stitching, along a straight line or a curve—it’s seriously versatile.

The catchstitch is a flexible stitch used primarily to anchor one fabric layer atop another. A common example is to fasten a hem allowance edge to a garment: It can be nearly invisible on the right side of the fabric, and it looks like a series of Xs on the wrong side. For a right-handed stitcher, the catchstitch is worked from left to right, though the needle points toward the left. Lefties can simply reverse the process. The catchstitch is also known as the cross stitch or the herringbone stitch.

Once you’re mastered the stitch, try varying its depth and spacing. You’ll be surprised how many new uses you can find for it.


Erin Weisbart sews and designs patterns, including swimwear
in extended sizes. TuesdayStitches.com

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