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What Is The Difference Between Stitching And Sewing?
Jessica QuiltNCo
Posted by
Updated on
August 30, 2023
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

What Is The Difference Between Stitching And Sewing?

Like me, I know many of you own a sewing machine and use it frequently. Have you ever wondered if all the work you do is sewing or stitching? Now that is a tricky question, but don’t worry, I will try to make it an easy concept for you today based on some research.

Stitching is attaching two pieces of fabric by looping thread or yarn together. In contrast, sewing refers to making things by joining two layers of material together with stitches using thread, yarn, and needle.

If you want to learn more about the difference between sew and stitch then keep reading because in this guide we’ll look in detail at the difference between stitching and sewing.

Stitching Vs Sewing: What’s The Difference?

Some of the differences between stitching and sewing are mentioned below:

The main sewing and stitching difference is that a stitch is a single loop of thread used to bind fabrics together. While, sewing is an ancient craft and is the foundation of embroidery, tapestry, and patchwork.

Stitching means repeated stitches and is a technique used in sewing. Stitching is a component of sewing, knitting, quilting, embroidery, and other needlework.

Sewing vs stitching: What is stitching? Stitching is attaching things with the help of a yarn loop or thread, whereas sewing is attaching stuff using a needle and thread. 

Stitch and sew difference: What is sewing? Sewing is making different items from fabric and other materials using techniques like stitching, gluing, fastening, or fusing with heat.

There are seven types of stitches: Cross stitch, knot stitch, back stitch, running stitch, overcast stitch, chain stitch, and buttonhole or blanket stitch. Sewing has three types which are plain fancy and heirloom.

Is Hand Stitching Better Than Sewing Machines?

Stitches from a sewing machine are stronger than hand stitches because they take two strands of thread and then use a knot to join them together. 

But by using proper techniques, you can achieve almost the same results by hand stitching.

Hand stitching was present many years ago when there was no sign of a sewing machine. It is considered one of the oldest textile art. Both techniques have pros and cons, which I will share below.

Similarities and Differences of Hand Sewing and Machine Sewing

Hand sewing and machine sewing are two techniques used to stitch fabric together. Here are some of their similarities and differences:

Both hand sewing and machine sewing involve the use of a needle and thread.
Both techniques require some level of skill and practice to achieve good results.
They can both be used to sew different types of fabric, such as cotton, wool, silk, and synthetic materials.
Hand sewing is done entirely by hand, while machine sewing is done using a sewing machine.
Hand sewing is slower and more time-consuming than machine sewing.
Machine sewing is more efficient and can produce more uniform stitches than hand sewing.
Hand sewing can be done anywhere, while machine sewing requires a power source and a flat surface.
Machine sewing can be used for more complex designs and patterns, while hand sewing is best for small repairs or delicate fabrics.
Hand sewing can be more portable and requires less equipment than machine sewing.
Machine sewing can be more expensive than hand sewing, as sewing machines can be costly and require maintenance.

What Is Stitching in Sewing?

Stitching in sewing refers to the process of joining two or more pieces of fabric together by using a needle and thread to make a series of stitches.

Stitching is a fundamental aspect of garment construction, as it allows for the creation of clothing and other textiles through the manipulation of fabric into desired shapes and forms.

Sew vs Stitch: There are many different types of stitches that can be used in sewing, including hand stitches, machine stitches, and decorative stitches, each of which serves a specific purpose and is used in different applications.

Hand Sewing

Which Projects Are Ideal For Hand Sewing?

With hand sewing, you can repair small rips and reattach buttons. You can also do embroidery, attach patches or appliques and attach buttons or zippers.

You can also do invisible stitching such as hemming with hand stitching because you can make almost seamless stitches by hand.

Hand stitching can also help with basting. Basting is a process in which you temporarily attach fabrics to don’t slip under the presser foot while sewing with a sewing machine. It is often done with silk and rayon.

Hand Stitching:

Some of the advantages and disadvantages of hand stitching are as follows:

Hand stitching is ideal for beginners because you do not need any fancy new technology and techniques. All you need is a thread and a needle, and you are good to go. It is more straightforward and essential for beginners. There are also some complicated stitches, but beginners can do the basic running stitch quickly.
There is a kind of joy one gets by sewing with a hand. It is also true for sewing machines. It gives a feeling similar to meditation.
Hand sewing is also portable, which means you can carry all your sewing accessories with you wherever you go and plan to sew. 
Hand sewing can provide precision which is why it is ideal for small works, repair, and decorations.
No two stitches will be the same as the ones you can get with a sewing machine. Hand stitching can provide precision, but it lags inconsistency.
Hand stitching is exceptionally time-consuming. A small task can also take a lot of time instead of sewing machines.

Which Projects Are Ideal For Sewing Machines?

You can easily sew garments with sewing machines. You can also sew them with your hands, but that will take a lot of time, and the final seams will not be as neat as by machine.

Quilting is also very easy with sewing machines. Buttonholes are sewn best with a sewing machine. It becomes a very tedious task to sew buttonholes by hand.

Sewing Machines:

The advantages and disadvantages of using a sewing machine are as follows:

The sewing machines are no doubt faster. It might take you half time to sew the same fabric with a machine instead of by hand.
The stitch quality of the sewing machine is higher and more refined than hand stitching. The look of the sewing machine work is professional because of the stitch length and width that it provides with great precision, which is almost impossible to achieve with hand stitching.
Today modern-day sewing machines are expensive. There are some cheaper ones available in the market, but using a quality sewing machine can add to the cost.
You will have to learn and experiment with the machine before starting to work with it.
Machine stitching can make something look more professional, but the user has less control over where the stitches go. Experienced sewers might have more control than beginners, but it is still less than what you can achieve with hand stitching.

Different Stitches of Sewing Machine

There are many different stitches that can be created using a sewing machine, each with its own specific purpose and appearance.

Here are some of the most common types of stitches:

Straight Stitch: This is the basic stitch created by most sewing machines. It is a simple stitch that goes straight through the fabric, creating a straight line of stitching.
Zigzag Stitch: This stitch is created by the machine moving the needle back and forth in a zigzag pattern. It is often used to finish raw edges or create decorative patterns.
Overlock Stitch: This stitch is used to finish the raw edges of the fabric, preventing fraying. It is created by the machine using multiple threads to wrap around the edge of the fabric.
Blind Hem Stitch: This stitch is used to create an almost invisible hem on clothing or other fabric items. It is created by the machine alternating between a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch.
Buttonhole Stitch: This stitch is used to create a buttonhole in fabric. It is created by the machine making a series of closely spaced zigzag stitches.
Stretch Stitch: This stitch is designed for use on stretchy fabrics, such as knitwear. It is created by the machine using a zigzag stitch that stretches with the fabric.
Topstitch: This stitch is used to create a visible stitch on the top of the fabric. It is often used to create a decorative effect or to secure layers of fabric together.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Sewing Machine And Hand Sewing?

One main difference between a sewing machine and hand sewing is that a sewing machine can create stitches much faster than hand sewing, while hand sewing allows for more control and precision, especially when working with delicate fabrics or intricate designs.

What Is Better Stitching Or Sewing?

The answer to this question depends on the specific project and personal preference. Some projects may require more stitching, while others may require more complex sewing techniques.

When Should I Use Stitch Or Sew?

You should use stitch when you want to create a series of loops or interlocking stitches and use sew when you want to encompass a broader range of sewing techniques beyond just stitching.

What Are Three Sew And Stitch Differences?

Three differences between sewing and stitching are that stitching is a type of sewing, sewing encompasses many other techniques beyond just stitching, and stitching is often used to join two pieces of fabric together.

Can I Do Both Stitching And Sewing?

Yes, you can do both stitching and sewing. Depending on the project, you may need to use both techniques to achieve the desired result.

What Are Two Benefits Of Hand Sewing?

Two benefits of hand sewing are that it allows you to work on projects anywhere without the need for a sewing machine, and it can be a relaxing and rewarding activity.

What Is Sewing Stitching?

Sewing stitching refers to the process of creating a series of loops or interlocking stitches to join two pieces of fabric together, which is a type of sewing.

What Is Sewing And Tailoring Difference?

The difference between sewing and tailoring is that sewing encompasses a broader range of techniques beyond just tailoring, while tailoring is a specific type of sewing that involves creating custom-fitted garments.

Can I Sew Between The Stitches?

Yes, you can sew between the stitches. In fact, some projects may require you to sew between the stitches to achieve the desired result.


In the end, I hope you are now well aware of the difference between sewing and stitching.

Stitch vs sew are used interchangeably, but they are different in meaning and context. All stitching projects will also be sewing projects, but all sewing projects are not stitching projects.

While you may try sewing by hand or machine, be sure to choose the one which is best for your project.

I’m Jessica, mother of two and passionate seamstress. From a very young age, I’ve cultivated a passion for the creative arts, from drawing, sewing and now quilting. I saw it as a way to escape, to create, and above all, to please by offering my creations around me. The desire to pass on this passion has become more and more important, this is why I’m sharing my experience and my knowledge online.
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Jessica QuiltNCo


I am a passionate Quilter.
This means that I actually enjoy chopping up perfectly good fabric into little teeny tiny pieces and then sewing them all right back together again…
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

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