Sewing & Pattern making Terms


The sewing term “basting” refers to a temporary stitching technique used to hold fabric layers together or create a temporary seam before permanent stitching. It involves sewing long, loose stitches that can be easily removed or adjusted later in the sewing process.

Basting serves several purposes in sewing:

  1. Fitting: Basting is often used in the fitting process to temporarily hold garment pieces together. By using basting stitches, you can try on the garment and make adjustments as needed before permanently sewing the seams. This allows you to check the fit, make alterations, and ensure the final result will be well-fitted.
  2. Aligning fabric layers: When working with multiple layers of fabric, such as when joining facing and main fabric, basting is used to temporarily hold the layers in place. This ensures that the layers stay aligned during the permanent stitching, preventing shifting or puckering.
  3. Working with slippery or delicate fabrics: Basting can be particularly helpful when working with delicate or slippery fabrics that are prone to shifting or stretching during sewing. By basting the fabric layers together before sewing, you can stabilize them and maintain control during the stitching process.
  4. Creating temporary seams: Basting is also used to create temporary seams when constructing garments. These temporary seams allow you to test the garment’s overall fit and appearance before committing to permanent stitching. If adjustments are needed, the basting stitches can be easily removed, and alterations can be made.

Basting stitches are typically longer than regular stitches and are sewn with a contrasting thread color to make them easily identifiable for later removal. They are sewn with loose tension and are not meant to be permanent.

Once the basting serves its purpose, the stitches can be removed by simply pulling on the thread or cutting the basting thread with scissors.

Basting is a valuable technique in sewing and pattern making as it allows for temporary adjustments, accurate fitting, and precise construction. It provides flexibility and control throughout the sewing process, ensuring the best possible outcome for your garments.

Got Questions?

Melissa Villegas
Pattern Maker &


Melissa Portrait

Villegas Patterns

Recent Patterns

Need A Tutorial?

For detailed and in-depth instructions, watch my pattern tutorials on YouTube