How to sew fagoting, a decorative stitch for clothing
Hey y’all, today we’re talking about how to sew decorative stitches. The openwork stitch I show above on this Leschi Blouse (from the pattern Kimberley was kind enough to send me) I sewed. I paired it with my Tillery Skirt pattern and my vintage cowboy boots and
I made a video showing how to sew this kind of decorative stitch on both the sewing machine and how to hand sew it. You can watch that below or on YouTube here if it won’t load for some reason.
To sew a fagoted seam, you’ll need embroidery thread or heavy duty thread. Use the heavy duty thread if you’re machine sewing this seam. You’ll also need a stabilizer of some sort. Tissue paper works, especially if you’re hand sewing. But water soluble stabilizer (affiliate link) is easier, especially if you’re machine sewing. There are a lot of stitches in this kind of seam, and picking tissue paper out of all those stitches isn’t the easiest.
I used a viscose linen silky noil to make this top, and hand sewed the fagoting. The sleeves are a hack from the original Leschi pattern. I cut the sleeves off at the lengthen/shorten line, which fell right above my elbow. Then I did a blind hem on lower edge. I cut rectangles of fabric 1.3 times the width of the sleeve hems and long enough to reach from elbows to my wrists plus a hem.
I did a blind hem on the tops of those rectangles as well, then gathered them to the same width as the bottoms of the sleeves. Then I basted both sides to stabilizer. When you’re done with a machine sewed seam, you just rinse it in water to remove the stabilizer.
With the hand sewn seams the stabilizer comes off when you remove the basting stitches. As you can see above, I had two rows of basting for the gathering, then a row of basting on each side to hold the fabric to the stabilizer. I removed all that basting when I was done sewing the seam, and the gathers fell gently from the fagoting stitches.Get access to my free pattern gallery - sign up for my newsletter!