S-T-R-E-T-C-H your sewing skills- How to sew with knit fabrics with a sewing machine

S-T-R-E-T-C-HKnitted fabrics have transformed the modern wardrobe, removing many tricky fitting problems because it molds around the body. Take a look in your wardrobe and I’m sure you’ll find a couple of your fav clothes are made from knit fabric.  It seems that whilst we love to wear knit fabric clothes, many home sewers are too daunted to sew with it.

Fear not, you just need to be machine confident to have success sewing with stretchy fabrics. Just like woven fabrics, some knits are easier to sew than others. If you’ve never used stretchy fabric before, try using a stable double knit like a Ponte Roma or cotton interlock fabric to get started.

We offer a great class on sewing with knits, which will leave you Stretchtastically skilled on your sewing machine

Can’t make a class in person? Read on for some of our tricks of the trade.

Our Top Tips-

  • Some people find it easier to cut out with a rotary cutter, weights and cutting mat, although I prefer scissors myself.
  • Make sure you’re working with a pattern designed for KNIT fabrics, not woven. Patterns for woven fabrics have more ease than you need with knits, so the fit will be off.
  • Always make sure to follow the direction of stretch when you lay out your pattern pieces. As a rule of thumb, the greatest amount of stretch needs to wrap around the body, not up and down!
  • ball point needleYou don’t need an overlocker to sew knit fabrics, although if you really get into sewing knits and start working with sports fabrics like lycra, then an overlocker will save you so much time! I often use a regular sewing machine, and select a short narrow Zig Zag stitch. Experiment with scraps of the fabric you plan to sew with.
  • Sew with a Stretch needle. This type of needle is designed for fabrics with mixed fibres and some added elastene, and has a medium sized ballpoint tip. Stretch needles will often prevent stitches from skipping. Choose a size appropriate to the weight of your fabric as you would with a woven fabric.
  • Try using a stretch twin needle for hemming, it gives a really professional finish and allows the fabric to stretch. Here’s our video on using twin needles for hemming. I’ve found that the best needle width to prevent tunnelling is the 2.5 mm needles.

Watch the first part of this video to see how to set up the threads before you get started

Happy Stretch Stitching

CL :)

1 Comment

  • Joan Byrne

    19.07.2016 at 08:48

    Excellent demonstration videos, so well explained even the most novice of sewers cannot fail to understand them