How To End A Stitch On A Sewing Machine

Ending a stitch properly is crucial for any sewing project. An improper end can lead to weak seams, fraying fabric, and frustration. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Tie off the threads by looping them under the presser foot several times before cutting them.

But there are a few techniques for getting a clean finish, depending on your sewing machine. Read on to learn several methods for ending a stitch perfectly every time.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn multiple techniques for ending stitches on both mechanical and computerized sewing machines. We’ll cover tying off threads, backstitching, and using auto-tie functions.

With some practice, you’ll be able to confidently end your stitches for flawless seams and professional results.


Backstitching is an essential technique in sewing that helps secure the end of a stitch, preventing it from unraveling. It involves sewing a few reverse stitches at the beginning and end of a seam. This technique is commonly used in garment construction, quilting, and other sewing projects to reinforce seams and ensure their durability.

What Is Backstitching?

Backstitching is a simple sewing technique that involves sewing backward and forward over a few stitches to create a secure anchor at the beginning and end of a seam. This creates a strong and reliable seam that won’t easily come undone.

Backstitching is especially important when sewing fabrics that may experience stress, such as those used in clothing or items that will be frequently washed or used.

How to Backstitch on a Mechanical Sewing Machine

On a mechanical sewing machine, backstitching is done by reversing the sewing direction manually. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start sewing your seam as usual.
  2. Once you reach the end of the seam, stop sewing and leave the needle in the fabric.
  3. Turn the handwheel towards you to manually sew a few stitches in reverse.
  4. Release the handwheel and continue sewing forward to complete the seam.

By manually backstitching on a mechanical sewing machine, you can ensure that the stitches at the beginning and end of your seam are securely locked in place.

Backstitching on a Computerized Sewing Machine

If you have a computerized sewing machine, backstitching is typically done with the press of a button or by selecting a backstitching function on the machine’s display. The specific steps may vary depending on the model of your sewing machine, so it’s important to refer to your machine’s user manual for detailed instructions.

Generally, to backstitch on a computerized sewing machine:

  1. Select the backstitching function on the machine’s display or press the designated button.
  2. Begin sewing your seam.
  3. When you reach the end of the seam, engage the backstitching function to sew a few reverse stitches.
  4. Disengage the backstitching function and continue sewing forward to complete the seam.

Computerized sewing machines often have built-in features that make backstitching easier and more precise, allowing for consistent and secure stitches.

Remember, whether you’re using a mechanical or computerized sewing machine, backstitching is an important technique to master for creating strong and durable seams in your sewing projects.

Tying Off Threads

Tying Off by Hand

One way to end a stitch on a sewing machine is by tying off the threads manually. To do this, stop sewing a few inches before the end of your fabric. Lift the presser foot and pull the fabric towards the back of the machine, creating a loop of thread.

Take the needle out of the fabric and use your fingers to pull the thread through the loop, creating a knot. Trim the excess thread, leaving a short tail. This method is simple and effective in securing the threads.

Using the Machine to Tie Off

Another method to end a stitch on a sewing machine is by using the machine’s built-in tie-off function. This feature is available on many modern sewing machines and can save you time and effort. To use this function, simply locate the tie-off button or option on your machine.

When you are ready to end your stitch, press the tie-off button, and the machine will automatically sew a few extra stitches in reverse. This creates a secure knot at the end of your stitching line. Once the machine has completed the tie-off, you can trim the threads and move on to your next sewing task.

This method is convenient and ensures a professional finish to your sewing projects.

When it comes to tying off threads on a sewing machine, both the manual method and the machine’s tie-off function are effective options. Choose the method that works best for you based on your personal preference and the specific sewing project you are working on.

Remember to always test the tie-off function on a scrap piece of fabric before using it on your actual project to ensure the desired result. Happy sewing!

Using the Auto-Tie Function

What Is an Auto-Tie Function?

The auto-tie function is a feature found on many computerized sewing machines that allows for efficient and convenient stitching. It is designed to automatically secure and end a stitch without the need for manual intervention.

This function is particularly useful when working on projects that require multiple stitches or when using delicate fabrics that may be prone to unraveling.

The auto-tie function works by automatically creating a secure knot at the end of the stitching line, ensuring that the thread remains in place. This eliminates the need for manual backstitching or tying knots, saving time and effort.

Activating the Auto-Tie on Computerized Machines

Activating the auto-tie function on computerized sewing machines is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. First, ensure that your sewing machine is equipped with the auto-tie function. Check the user manual or consult the manufacturer’s website to confirm.
  2. Next, select the stitch pattern you want to use for your project. The auto-tie function is typically available for most stitch patterns, but it’s always good to double-check.
  3. Thread your machine as usual, making sure to pass the thread through the designated threading guides and tension discs.
  4. Once everything is set up, position your fabric under the presser foot and lower the foot to secure it in place.
  5. Before starting the stitch, locate the auto-tie function button on your sewing machine. It is usually labeled or indicated by a symbol that represents a knot or tie.
  6. Press the auto-tie function button to activate it. The machine will now automatically create a secure knot at the end of each stitch.
  7. Continue stitching your project as usual, and the machine will tie off each stitch automatically.

Remember, the specific steps may vary depending on the brand and model of your sewing machine. Always refer to the user manual for detailed instructions on activating and using the auto-tie function.

Using the auto-tie function can be a game-changer for sewers of all levels. Not only does it save time and effort, but it also ensures that your stitches are securely ended, providing a professional finish to your sewing projects.

Choosing the Right Ending Method

When it comes to ending a stitch on a sewing machine, there are several methods you can choose from. Each method has its own advantages and it’s important to consider which one is best suited for your project. Here are three popular ending methods to help you make an informed decision.

Backstitch for Durability

One common method for ending a stitch is to use a backstitch. This technique involves sewing a few stitches in reverse at the end of your seam to secure the thread. The backstitch is particularly useful when you want a durable and secure ending that won’t easily come undone.

It’s great for projects that will undergo a lot of stress or tension, such as garments or heavy-duty fabrics. By backstitching, you can ensure that your stitches stay in place for a long time.

Tying Off for Speed and Convenience

If speed and convenience are your priorities, tying off the thread may be the best ending method for you. To tie off, simply sew to the end of your seam, leave a long tail of thread, and then tie a knot at the end.

This method is quick and easy, making it ideal for projects where durability is not a major concern. However, keep in mind that tied-off stitches may not hold up as well under heavy use or tension, so it’s best to use this method for lighter-weight fabrics or decorative stitching.

Auto-Tie for Consistency

Some modern sewing machines come equipped with an automatic tying-off feature. This feature allows the machine to automatically sew a few backstitches at the end of the seam and then cut the thread. It provides a consistent and secure ending without the need for manual intervention.

The auto-tie method is perfect for those who want a professional-looking finish without putting in extra effort. However, it’s important to note that not all sewing machines have this feature, so be sure to check your machine’s manual or contact the manufacturer to see if it’s available.

Ultimately, the best ending method for your sewing machine stitches will depend on the specific requirements of your project. Consider factors such as durability, speed, convenience, and the capabilities of your sewing machine.

By choosing the right ending method, you can ensure that your stitches are secure and your projects turn out great.


Ending stitches properly ensures your sewing projects have clean, sturdy seams that stand the test of time. While backstitching is the most secure option, tying off threads or using an auto-tie function can also produce professional results.

The method you choose depends on your project type, sewing machine capabilities, and personal preference. With some thoughtful practice, you’ll be able to confidently finish seams for perfectly executed sewing projects.

Now that you know multiple techniques for ending a stitch on both mechanical and computerized sewing machines, you can choose the right method for your projects. Remember to backstitch for durability, tie off threads for speed and convenience, or use the auto-tie function for consistency.

With the proper ending, your sewing results will impress even the most discerning eye. Happy stitching!

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