This is how you get really smooth, lovely satin stitches. Outline in split or chain stitch, fill in the area with chain or long & short stitches, and then do the satin stitch. The underlying stitches support the satin stitch and help it to lay smoothly.
Even if you prefer to sew by machine, there will come times when hand stitching is your best option. Hand stitching is usually preferred for finishing waistbands, linings, and hems, when you want to achieve a flawless finish.