from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A stitch made by inserting the needle at the midpoint of a preceding stitch so that the stitches overlap by half lengths.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of sewing stitch where the stitch goes backwards on the top side of the fabric and doubles forward on the bottom, coming out farther in front, then repeats. The backstitch is a very tight and secure stitch, and also looks very neat.
  • v. To sew with a backstitch.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A stitch made by setting the needle back of the end of the last stitch, and bringing it out in front of the end.
  • transitive v. To sew with backstitches.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sew with stitches which overlap each other. See backstitch, n.
  • n. A method of sewing in which each stitch overlaps or doubles back on the preceding one, the needle entering behind the thread at the end of the stitch already made and coming out in front of it.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an overlapping stitch made by starting the next stitch at the middle of the preceding one
  • v. do backstitches


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • a seam in a pair of men's breeches on that occasion and I thought it was fine when I could sit in my low chair and "backstitch" seams in a pair of breeches for Uncle Dave who was our faithful colored family fire-maker.

    Country life in Georgia in the days of my youth,

  • Hell, I could join the ends with a backstitch and no one would notice much.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • Using a wide zigzag, fairly long stitch length, zigzag along where the two pieces abut (be sure to backstitch at both ends to keep it from unraveling).

    Arch revisted, box in detail - and a great postcard

  • Backstitch a few stitches at the start of your line, and sew up to just beyond where the top of the folded pocket is - and backstitch a few more times for security at that point.

    Pencil roll tutorial

  • Sew a 1/4″ seam along both sides from the bottom to the top of the short side, making sure to backstitch five or six times at the top and bottom.

    Handmade Holidays: Recycled Felt Journal Cozy

  • I actually still have one side of the zipper to backstitch I do an overcast on the edges and then back stitch the middle but since I have time now, I figured some FO pictures were in order.

    Sick Day - And She Knits Too!

  • Nowadays folks don't have to sew unless they want to, but when I was a child there warn't any sewin'-machines, and it was about as needful for folks to know how to sew as it was for 'em to know how to eat; and every child that was well raised could hem and run and backstitch and gether and overhand by the time she was nine years old.

    Aunt Jane of Kentucky

  • Lap ends one-fourth inch and backstitch closely at each edge of flap.

    Make Your Own Hats

  • Insert one thickness between the other two ends, and backstitch closely.

    Make Your Own Hats

  • Her daughters were instructed in the intricacies of backstitch, fell-seams, overcasting, hemstitching, herringbone, button-holes, rolled and flat hems, by the time they let down their frocks and put up their hair.

    Marion Harland's autobiography : the story of a long life,


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