In addition to a standard straight stitch, most sewing machines are able to sew a variety of other kinds of stitches. The diagrams printed on your machine give an idea of what the stitch will look like, but to know what it will actually look like when stitched out, Heather from The Sewing Loft suggests making a set of stitch reference cards. The “cards” are actually squares of fabric with the stitch sewn on to them. Go to The Sewing Loft to see how to make them.
[photo from The Sewing Loft]