The shape of this denim back pocket is basted before the pocket is topstitched to the garment

Basting is temporary sewing to hold things in place.

It is typically done by hand, but you can also machine baste.

Examples of where basting is commonly used are:

  • Basting a seam in place before sewing it
  • Basting an ornament, pocket, or other part in place before attaching it
  • Basting darts or other pattern changes while fitting the garment on a model

Basting is never permanent, but merely a temporary measure to hold things in place.

Basting and pinning are different techniques for similar situations