How to do satin stitches on a regular sewing machine

Updated April 17, 2017

Expensive sewing machines will create a fancy stitch at the press of a button, but if your needs are more basic, a less expensive machine with straight and zigzag stitches is all you need. Zigzag stitches make a spiked stitch for finishing a raw edge or sewing a seam on stretchy or knit fabric. You can also make satin stitches on a regular sewing machine using a zigzag stitch. A satin stitch is a line of stitches that are formed horizontally with the threads very close together. The close stitches create a smooth line with a satin appearance.

Place the chosen shape for your appliqué on the paper side of lightweight fusible web and trace around it. The other side of the fusible web is the glue side. The paper side is smooth and the glue side has a rough texture. Cut around the shape at least 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) from the traced line.

Lay a scrap of fabric on your ironing surface with the wrong side facing up. Iron the fabric to remove wrinkles and creases.

Place the fusible web shape on the fabric with the paper side facing up. Iron the fusible web to adhere it to the fabric.

Cut out the shape along the lines. Peel the paper from the back of the fused fabric. The glue will remain on the fabric. Arrange the fabric appliqué shape on your fabric project with the glue side facing down. Iron the appliqué to adhere.

Set your sewing machine to a standard zigzag stitch.

Adjust the stitch width to the widest setting. This is how wide your satin stitch will be.

Adjust the stitch length to the shortest stitch setting. This will lay the thread for each stitch side by side and very close together, creating the satin stitch.

Place the fabric with the ironed appliqué under your sewing machine's presser foot. Position the edge of the appliqué in the centre of the presser foot's middle gap. The appliqué will be on the left of the presser foot's centre, and the fabric base of your project will be on the right. Lower the presser foot.

Sew a satin stitch around the edge of the appliqué. Keep the edge of the appliqué centred under the presser foot. Sew slowly. Tugging or forcing the fabric will cause gaps between the stitches.


Cookie cutters and ordinary household shapes are ideal patterns for appliqués.

Things You'll Need

  • Lightweight fusible web
  • Pattern shape
  • Fabric scrap
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About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Cyndee Kromminga has been writing craft and interior design articles for 15 years. Her articles and craft designs have appeared in Crafting Traditions Magazine, Easy Holiday Crafting Series-House of White Birches Newsletter and Country Woman Christmas Books. Kromminga's education is in interior design and she has experience operating a craft and design business for more than 20 years.