If you are looking for professional custom alterations, design, sewing, or embroidery; check out
Donna Trumble's Sewing Studio.

Alterations by Donna Trumble

Donna Trumble
has been a sewing professional for over thirty years.  She has operated a custom sewing center out of her home in Georgetown, Texas since 1992.
She is also an owner of the Temple Sewing And Supply Inc chain of Sew And Quilt Stores.

Contact Her
If you need alterations, custom sewing, embroidery, or design.  You can check out her personal website at














Donna Trumble



The blanket stitch takes its name from its classic use as a stitch in finishing the edges of blankets. Like all stitches, the blanket is essentially a straight stitch that occasionally adds stitch width or that adds stitch width plus a reverse stitch. The blanket stitch may be varied by adding or reducing stitch length, and by increasing or decreasing the stitch width.

The blanket stitch may be one of four basic types: Regular with a left jump, Reverse with a right jump, Stretch with a left jump, Stretch with a right jump. Above is an illustration of how blanket stitches are formed.

In the first example, you will notice that the stitch begins as a straight stitch and adds a left (only) zig to the stitch and zags back to the center for another straight stitch. The Reverse Blanket Stitch is exactly that. It starts with a straight stitch and zigs to the right and back. The Stretch Blanket Stitch adds increased strength and versatility to the stitch by reinforcing the straight stitch with a backward stitch and a second straight stitch prior to the zig left and back. The Reverse Stretch Blanket Stitch does the same but in a mirror image of the other.

The blanket stitch has great utility. It is often used as an appliqué stitch to attach appliqués to garments or other items for decorative purposes. It is frequently used as an edge stitch such as edging around blankets from which it derives its name. The blanket stitch may be used as a buttonhole stitch especially when backing or stabilizer is needed. Heirloom sewing uses the blanket stitch for all manner of decorative applications including attaching delicate lace and wing needle sewing.

To sew on an appliqué with the blanket stitch, you have two choices to make before you sew. Do you adhere the appliqué to the garment or article first, or do you simply begin sewing with your blanket stitch.

If you choose to stabilize the appliqué or otherwise attach the appliqué prior to sewing, you will find a host of products useful. Heat n’ Bond Light is an iron on adhesive that you would press on to the back of the appliqué and set it in place. You might also consider using Spray 505 an adhesive you can spray on the back of your appliqué, and set it in place. Other products are also available for similar application.

You may also use pins or basting stitch to initially attach the appliqué prior to sewing with the blanket stitch to hold the appliqué in place.

1. Once you are ready to sew with the blanket stitch, choose the correct stitch. Align the appliqué so that its edge is just left of the needle, but not under it.

2. Begin sewing slowly making sure to sew the straight portion of the stitch just outside the appliqué on the base fabric or garment. Watch the blanket stitch zig over to stitch on the appliqué.

3. Remember, you can adjust how far the stitch goes into the appliqué by adjusting the stitch width control up or down. Also you can adjust how close together the zig portions of stitches are by increasing or decreasing the stitch length control.

4. Sewing is not a precise or perfect science. Use the blanket stitch to make the appliqué look the way you like it. The Finished product is fantastic.

5. The finished project is a beautiful finished appliqué that will inspire its user for a long time. This project is an appliqué for a towel. Ethan, our grandson, called his Dad at work today and asked, “Please digimatize Sparky for me.” Well, Grandma heard about it and immediately set out to fill the need with this precious little appliqué.

The Blanket Stitch makes a great edge stitch. Before sewing machines came along, the blanket stitch was hand sewn on the edge of blankets to make a functional and attractive edge finish. Today the blanket stitch is a popular choice for this application.

To sew an edge stitch is very similar to sewing on an appliqué. Fold the raw edge of the fabric over about an eighth of an inch and finger press it in place. Position the folded edge of the blanket, bib, garment, or other project just left of the needle, but not under it. Begin sewing and adjust the stitch for its most appealing setting.

Once the edge stitching is completed, a second step is required. Turn the fabric over and notice that some of the folded over edge is left a bit sloppy. Using your embroidery scissors or pelican shears, trim off the excess fabric from the blanket stitch leaving a beautifully finished edge. The illustration below illustrates the basic technique, but you will find it easy to trim the excess.

Another popular use of the Blanket Stitch is in the arena of Heirloom Sewing. Here it is used for a variety of decorative applications including attaching lace, sewing with winged needle, and fagoting.

To attach lace using the Blanket Stitch, align the fabric with the left side of the needle. Position the lace in line with the needle. Using a blanket stitch, carefully guide the straight stitching along the edge of the fabric while feeding the lace into the seam. The blanket stitch will zig over to the left picking up the fabric and attaching it to the lace. This technique is ideal for adding lace to infant garments, bibs, tablemats, and hundreds of other similar projects.

Align the fabric with the left side of needle.

Align the lace with the right side of the needle.

Straight stitch along lace.

Zig over to pick up the fabric.

Guide the fabric with your left hand.

Feed the lace along with your right hand.

The Blanket Stitch will join them perfectly.

The finished product is not only functional, it is beautiful.

Using the Blanket Stitch will make you proud of your sewing.

The Finished product is always amazing. Notice, if you use a winged needle you can add a special feature of little holes along the end of the blanket stitch as you see here.

Notice the distinct holes on the left. These are made by the winged needle in the fabric. It makes an interesting addition.

Here are some additional samples of the special effects you can achieve using the blanket stitch with the winged needle for that heirloom impact.

You can sew decorative stitches, add lace in the middle of a garment, or add lace to the edge easy as it can be.

Another neat technique is fagoting, which is simply joining two fabrics into one without overlapping them. Using the Blanket Stitch is easy to create a gorgeous heirloom effect using the fagoting technique.

To fagot two fabrics, fold over their raw edges and press or finger press them down. Line them up with the presser foot of the sewing machine so that the left fabric is slightly under the needle ready for the straight stitch portion of the stitch.

The Blanket Stitch sews straight on one fabric while zigging over to attach the other fabric. The two fabrics are thus joined together using the Fagoting Technique.

The finished product is simple, where there were two, there are now one. The two separate fabric pieces are now connected.

One additional application of the Blanket Stitch is its use on button holes. You may see these on thick fleece or winter coats. They are especially useful for larger buttons requiring larger buttonholes.

Begin by marking the start and stop of the button hole by measuring the button (lay the button down) and marking the ends with pins. It is always a good idea to stabilize buttonholes by placing special stabilizer fabric under the location where you intend to make the buttonhole.

Then proceed to sew completely around the buttonhole carefully pivoting around the ends.

The zig of the stitch should reach into the buttonhole, while the straight stitch portion maintains a solid perimeter.

The finished button hole is strong and dependable. It is also a beautiful buttonhole thanks to the Blanket Stitch.

Donna Trumble is a professional designer, seamstress, author, sewing educator, and sewing business owner.   She leads several Sewing Show And Tell groups in her stores guiding participants to shop sewing machines and learn about sewing and quilting.

David Trumble is a sewing professional, author, semi-retired minister, sewing machine technician, and CFO of Temple Sewing And Supply, Inc.

For more information on sewing show and tell groups, check out "Sewing, The World's Greatest Hobby" by Donna and David Trumble.  And check out the local Sew And Quilt Stores in Killeen, Temple, and Waco, Texas or at


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