Updated at: 28-04-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

With the help of the overcast foot, we’ll show you how to make an overcast stitch on a sewing machine. Overcast feet come in a wide variety of shapes and colors.

The blanket stitch and the whipstitch are two stitches that are frequently substituted for the overcast stitch. Because of this, we’ve compared the two stitches to show you how they should be used in different situations.

Why not learn how to serge on a sewing machine as well, because the overcast stitch is typically used to finish seams? Overlocking and other techniques for stitching fabric edges are covered as well.


The edges of seams and other elements of a sewing project can be neatened by using this stitch. With quality materials, a hand overcast stitch sewed along the doubled edge can be just as clean and professional looking as a French seam.

How to Overcast Stitch for Pretty Inside Seams Without a Serger - The DIBY Club

Use a matching thread for an invisible finish because this stitch will be visible on the edges. You can clearly see what I’m doing because I used a different thread color.


The first step is to fold the corners.

In order to conceal any raw edges, fold the hem over twice. You may need to roll the hems over with your fingers if they are less than 1/8 inch (3mm) wide. Depending on the cloth you’re working with, you can either use a single or double-threaded needle. (You can learn how to thread a needle by reading this guide)

First Stitch in Step Two

The needle and thread should be brought across the fold from the rear to the front. Make a stitch that ‘casts’ over the fold at a little angle with the needle and thread over the folded hem and into the hem. To avoid puckering the fabric, do not tug too hard on the thread.

Second Stitch – Step 3

As you sew over the hem, bring the needle out to prepare for the next overcast stitch, which should be about 18 to 14 inch (3-6mm) apart.

The broader overcast stitch hem in the top shot is compared to the narrower hand-rolled hem in the bottom photo.


Using the overcast stitch for seams, the term “whip stitch” is often used. Wrap the thread around and over the side of the needle as you go through the two layers at an angle. When sewing together non-fraying fibers like felt, this method yields a robust seam that’s ideal.


A blanket stitch is a good option if you have fraying edges and require a stronger stitch. The blanket stitch has a thread running around the edge, whereas the chain stitch does not. Edges that can’t be turned under can benefit from this method.


Based on the brand and model of the machine, multiple overcast stitch methods may be available. These stitches can be done with the help of special foot attachments on some machines. Take a look at what your machine can do.


In the image below, you can see the overcast stitch (left) and the serger (right). With fewer threads, the overcast stitch has a cleaner appearance.

Sewing using a serger produces an edge with no fraying at all, which is the most noticeable difference between the two machines. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a serger, the overcast stitch is an excellent option.


The edge of the fabric will be guided by a guide on the overcast stitch foot. Using my Janome machine on the left and an Amazon generic kit on the right, I created these feet. Changing the shoes is a snap with these clip-on feet.


Depending on your pattern, you may want to sew the seam first and then use an overcast stitch to reduce fraying on the margins of the seam. Overcasting stitches, which stitch and neaten the seam at the same time, are available on some sewing machines.

Before beginning the overcast stitch, neatly trim the raw edges. Unlike a serger, the overcast stitch will not trim as you sew so it is important to start with a clean, unfrayed edge.

To align, position the fabric beneath the overcast foot with the raw edge aligned to the left of the guide.

Setup – Select the overcast stitch on your machine. I recommend setting a stitch width when you begin sewing. A 5.0-inch width was advised by my machine. Internal stitch settings usually determine the length, but you should check to make sure. See my page on sewing machine manuals if you don’t have a handbook for your sewing machine.

Stitch – Before you start stitching, hold the threads taut and to the side so they do not tangle underneath. You can release them after a couple of stitches.

To prevent the threads from tangling, hold them taut and to the side before beginning stitching. You can release them after a couple of stitches.

To prevent the threads from tangling before you begin stitching, hold them taut and to the side before you begin. After a few sutures, you’ll be able to remove them.

Finish Edges of Fabric: Overcast Stitch (Sewing for Beginners) - YouTube


When you don’t have a serger, you can use the overcast stitch to finish a seam. Sewing machines come with a variety of different ways to finish seams.

  • There are a few ways to finish the seams of thicker textiles, and one of them is using bias tape. The bias can be in the same color as the jacket to blend in, or it can be in a different color to give the jacket some personality.
  • To reduce the risk of fabric fraying, use pinking shears to cut cloth in a zigzag pattern. Using pinking shears will ensure that the seams are perfectly flat. To avoid burred edges, always use sharp scissors.
  • Seam edges should be turned under and straight stitches should be sewn along the seam’s perimeter. The approach my mother used to make clothing for myself and my siblings was always the same. The seams held up nicely in the wash, despite a minor degree of fraying.
  • Most current sewing machines have a zig zag stitch. Before stitching, make sure the fabric is not puckered up by the stitches by checking the tension. It helps to sew the fabric twice if it is too thin to do so. A clean finish is achieved by removing superfluous fabric.
  • All raw edges can be tucked away with the help of French seams, usually employed on straight seams like pillows.

How To Do An Overcast Stitch On A Sewing Machine With An Overcast Foot

  1. Refer to your sewing machine’s instruction manual to learn how to replace the foot.
  2. The overcast foot should be securely installed once the existing presser foot has been removed
  3. This foot is also referred to as an overlocker foot or overedge foot; it is compatible with your model.
  4. The attachment with a center bar on the overcast foot is what keeps the thread from curling over the fabric’s edge.
  5. Because it can bind the fabric’s edges, use a broad zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.
  6. With the overcast foot, some sewing machines also include an overedge stitch.
  7. On a scrap of cloth, test your stitch length and thread tension to see if any adjustments are needed.
  8. Place the fabric near the guide of the sewing machine needle
  9. The needle can break if it hits the center bar when sewing, so check to see if the needle won’t strike it.
  10. Sew carefully and slowly.

Types Of Overcast Presser Feet

Overcast foot C

This foot includes two wires that support the cloth edges during sewing, making it ideal for overcasting without the risk of a machine skipping stitches.

Overcast foot G

Additionally, the overcast foot G features a metal bar and a guide that helps keep the cloth edge from curling.

Overcast foot M

For a professional-looking overlocking finish, use the overcast foot M, which has three wires instead of only two.

Sewing machine attachments and presser foot types are good places to start if you’re new to sewing.

What Is A Machine Overcast Stitch?

The overcast foot of a sewing machine is used to sew over the edge of the cloth to create a machine overcast stitch. This stitch is a great alternative to using a serger to finish seams properly.

To sew with an overcast stitch, you’ll need the overcast foot and the overcast stitch setting on your sewing machine. To complete the procedure, follow the instructions in the instruction booklet for stitch width, length, and tension.

Alternatives to machine overcast stitch

  • To avoid fraying or curling of the cloth, use pinking shears to cut the seams.
  • The seams will be stronger if you turn the fabric edges under and sew them with a straight stitch.
  • Finish the seams with the zigzag stitch to stabilize the fabric edge
  • Finish the seams with a zigzag stitch to keep the fabric from fraying.

Do You Backstitch When Overcasting?

Using a zigzag stitch, finish the seams to keep the cloth from fraying.

Using a zigzag stitch, finish the seams to keep the cloth from fraying.

Do you backstitch when sewing a zigzag stitch?

In order to keep zigzag stitches from unraveling, it is vital to backstitch them. When beginning and stopping zigzag stitches, use a conventional presser foot and the swing machine’s reverse function.

Is An Overcast Stitch The Same As A Blanket Stitch?

There is a difference between a blanket stitch and an overcast stitch. However, it is frequently used as a substitute, especially when you are unable to overcast stitch by hand.

Overcast stitches, on the other hand, do not have a thread running along the edge. For example, if you can’t turn the fabric edge when finishing the seam, this would be ideal.

To learn more, check out our guide on how to sew a blanket stitch.

What Does Whip Stitch Look Like?

The overcast stitch and the whipstitch are synonyms that can be used interchangeably. These stitches have the thread around the fabric edge to strengthen the seam and prevent fraying.

Overcast stitching on the Brilliant - Baby Lock

When Would You Use An Overcast Stitch?

  • Both the whipstitch and the overcast stitch can be used in the same sentence. These stitches have the thread around the cloth edge to strengthen the seam and prevent fraying.
  • The overcast stitch and the whipstitch are synonyms that can be used to describe the same thing. The thread is wrapped around the edge of the fabric in these stitches, strengthening the seam and preventing fraying.
  • For securing the doorway.
  • To keep things in place.
  • Appliques are used for this.


Depending on the cloth and the finished product, you can experiment with a variety of overcast stitch possibilities. If you’re looking for an overlocker or serger machine substitute, there’s no need to wait for a cloudy day. Using an overcast stitch to neaten and finish frayed edges and seams is an excellent way to prevent them from unraveling in the future.