Join Katrina Walker on Wednesday, June 14th at 10:00 a.m. CT for a FREE LIVE event! No serger? No problem! You can sew knits with a regular sewing machine. Learn valuable tips and techniques for taming tricky unstable knit fabrics, learn which knits are easiest to sew, and what stitches to use for which types of garments. Want to put these new tips to use? Click here to download our FREE Fast and Fabulous Knit Pencil Skirt pattern.
Tips for Sewing with Knits from Katrina Walker
• If you are sewing with an unstable or very stretchy knit, tame it before cutting and sewing by stabilizing it with a liquid stabilizer such as Terial Magic or PerfectSew, or spray starch.
• Use a walking foot or dual feed function (if your machine has it) when stitching on knits for easiest sewing without stretching the fabric.
• Use a Jersey/Ballpoint needle for soft knits to avoid damaging the yarns and causing snags.
• Use a Stretch needle for knits with a high spandex/Lycra/polyurethane content, as this will help prevent skipped stitches.
• A Universal needle can also be used for basic knits, as it has a slight ballpoint tip.
• If you have difficulty working with a knit neckline or hemline (or seams!) without stretching them, cut strips of self-adhesive washaway stabilizer and stick them to the stitching line to stabilize the fabric. No more stretching and it will wash out.
• If you don’t have sticky washaway stabilizer, use glue stick and washaway stabilizer or washaway film instead.
• Washaway glue stick works wonders for basting seams before sewing and securing neckline trims in place. It does not gum up the needle like some basting tapes do, and washes out easily.
• If your machine sounds noisy or stitches poorly when sewing trims onto your fabric, use a topstitching needle. Stretch or Jersey needles may be too dull (they are ballpoint needles) to stitch through your trim cleanly.
• Always test your trims and bands before sewing to make sure they will conform to your neckline smoothly. Use your shirt pattern to create a custom practice template for testing.
• If using a twin needle for topstitching necklines, adjust the stitch tension looser to avoid “tunneling” caused by pintucking. Using washaway stabilizer underneath to support the stitching can also help.
• Keep scraps of your knit near your machine for testing stitch stretch compatibility.