4 Important Tips for Sewing Knits
We love knits at ThreadCrate — they are perfect for garment sewing projects because of their stretch. Our monthly crates have featured sweater knits, double-brushed poly, Ponte de Roma, rayon/spandex blends, and more!
For many, knit fabric is intimidating to sew. It’s true that knits require a different approach than wovens, but we want to help you sew them with confidence! Let’s discuss four important things to know when you’re sewing knits.
1. Your Needle Makes a Huge Difference
Universal needles are too sharp for knits. They can leave holes in your fabric and even snag and cause runs. When sewing knits, you need to use a ballpoint or stretch needle. It really does make a difference!
Note: A twin stretch needle is a great option for sewing hems!
When you subscribe to ThreadCrate, you get all the notions you need to complete a garment sewing project, including the right needle. We try to eliminate the guesswork for you…
We also recommend that you use ballpoint pins or sewing clips when working with knits to avoid damaging your fabric.
2. You Need to Use a Zigzag or Stretch Stitch
Knit fabric is stretchy and requires a zigzag or stretch stitch so that your seams can stretch with your fabric. If you use a straight stitch on knit fabric, any tension on your seams can cause your thread to break.
A serger is the ideal way to sew knits because it creates a stretch stitch, but all modern sewing machines have a zigzag stitch, and most have lots of stretch stitch options. Check your sewing machine manual to see what is available on your machine.
Whenever you start a new sewing project, test your stitches on some scraps of fabric until you find a length and width setting that looks good. Every fabric is a little different.
3. Sew Slowly and Don’t Pull Your Fabric
When sewing knits, it’s important to let your sewing machine do the work for you. Never pull or push your fabric through your machine because it can cause wavy seams and uneven stitches. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when sewing knits!
A walking foot is a useful tool that comes as an optional accessory for most sewing machines. It helps you feed fabric through your machine more evenly because it adds a set of feed dogs on top of your fabric. It also helps prevent lightweight and very stretchy knits from getting sucked into your sewing machine at the start of a seam.
4. Stabilizer Is Your Friend
Have you ever noticed the shoulder seams or the neckline of your knit garments getting stretched out over time? This can happen when you don’t stabilize your seams.
Knit stay tape is an amazing invention that prevents your seams from getting stretched out. You simply fuse a strip to collars, hems, pocket openings, and shoulder seams before you sew. Some people use elastic tape instead.
When you need to stabilize a larger area on your knit garments, fusible tricot interfacing works well. This stretchy interfacing is smooth on one side and fusible on the other. It’s a great option when your interfacing will be touching your skin. You can read more about it here: How to Use Fusible Tricot Interfacing.
We hope this post gets you excited to sew some knits. They aren’t as difficult as you think! And, if you haven’t subscribed to ThreadCrate yet, do it today! We have some awesome knit sewing projects lined up in the coming months.
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