Can you stitch in the ditch without a walking foot?

Hearing the term stitch in the ditch (SID) for the first time will get you racking your brain for a while trying to mentally process the possible meaning. Whereas, it is a sewing technique that involves sewing along a seam line. The rationale here is to prevent stitches from being seen from the outside. However, this sewing technique is as difficult as it sounds. In fact, some people called it sewing wizardry!

To ensure that stitching stays within the seam line, designers make use of the walking foot on their sewing machines. This has been the normal practice for a while now that it is becoming almost impossible to think if you can stitch in the ditch without a walking foot. We will be looking into the possibilities of quashing the walking foot in this article. Read on!

What is a stitch in the ditch sewing?

Stitch in the ditch simply means sewing down the line of an existing seam to put together, pieces of garments with concealed stitches from the outside. This technique involves sewing an already existing seam with a thread that matches the color of the fabrics so that it will be difficult for people to see any stitches from the outside. This method is commonly used for securing facings on the inside of the fabric and sometimes, it can also be used for sewing the outer parts of a garment. For example the cuff of a T-shirt.

Can you stitch in the ditch with a walking foot?

Yes, of course you can stitch in the ditch with a walking foot. There are lots of options you can utilize when trying to stitch in the ditch, but it will be much easier for you to sew along the seam line with a walking foot. This is because walking on foot gives room for a better grip on both the upper and lower layers of your clothing fabric. Also, adopting a walking foot while stitching in the ditch will allow you to have cleaner seams.

Do you need a walking foot to stitch in the ditch?

No, walking foot is not a compulsory tool when stitching in the ditch. Stitching in the ditch is sure not an easy task to execute and using as many tricks as you can to make your job easier is pure logic. One of the tricks that are commonly used is sewing along the seam with a walking foot. That does not make a walking foot an irreparable tool though because there are lots of options that can allow you to stitch perfectly into the middle of the quilt seams. One of the options you can exploit is the hopping foot or edge joining foot.

Can you do decorative stitches with a walking foot?

Yes, you can do decorative stitches with a walking foot. When trying to give your stitches a decorative touch, you can make use of a walking foot. Having said that, you need to know that using a walking foot will limit your level of creativity as they are designed to only move garments in either forward or backward direction. Meanwhile, some decorations require moving the fabrics backward or sideways which may be technically impossible for your walking foot to do. Walking foot will make a good option for straight or zigzag decorative stitches.

How to stitch in the ditch with a walking foot

  1. Inspect the quilt

Inspecting your quilt before starting to sew will enable you to plan your stitching. By doing this, you will be able to determine beforehand, how most of the seam allowances are laid.

  1. Drop the needle

Drip the machine needle right at the center of the two garments joined at the seam. Then take the bobbin thread to the upper layer of the quilt.

  1. Place the needle

Figure out the highest side of the seam as this will tell you the direction in which the seam allowance was pressed. Normally, stitches will fall on the lower side, so nudge your needle as necessary to ensure better placement.

  1. 4. Stitch along the seam line

To do this, slightly pull the fabrics apart on both ends of the seam while sewing. Continue to sew in a straight line until you reach the end of the seam.

How to stitch in the ditch without a walking foot

If you do not want to work with a walking foot, an alternative way of stitching in the ditch is using an edge joining foot. Check below for details.

  1. Ensure the foot center blade is well positioned with the stitches of the seam before you start to sew. Make sure that the blade rests directly on the ditch.
  2. Ensure that the blade is properly placed. The blade must be placed directly in the seam in such a way that it will be impossible for it to switch between rows of the patchwork.
  3. Once you are sure that the foot is perfectly aligned, you can start sewing. Just make sure that the blade is run along the stitching line. Also, for you to achieve a uniform and clean stitch in the ditch, make sure the needle is placed in the middle of the blade.

Stitch in the ditch foot vs walking foot

Of course, you can work well with both the stitch in the ditch foot and walking foot. It’s just that most experienced sewers prefer the walking foot to a stitch in the ditch foot because compared to the stitch in the ditch foot, the walking foot provides a firm grip of the fabric. That means you will have uniform feed for both the top and lower later of your fabric.

You may also wanna know;

Can stitch in the ditch be done with an open seam?

Yes, you can stitch in the ditch with an open seam. It is not impossible to stitch in the ditch and still have an open seam only that it could be more laborious.

What is the standard length for stitch in the ditch?

One thing about stitching in the ditch is that the length can neither be too long nor too short. It has to be moderate. The standard length for stitching and ditch is 3 to 3 1/2 mm but some people work with a lesser or more lengths depending on their designs. The key thing here is that, the stitch length must be long enough to ensure the durability of the quilt.

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