Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sewing With Knit Fabrics, How To

Sewing knits can be very frustrating for a beginner seamstress.  Some people are so scared to sew on a knit fabric.  One of the scariest things with a knit fabric is how far they can stretch while sewing.  And sometimes they will stretch in all 4 directions!

Before you want to start your project on knit fabric, make sure you remember is to pre wash your fabric!!  Most knits will shrink, and it would be so sad to have it shrink after you have made your maxi skirt or what ever it is you are sewing.

Then check the needle on your sewing machine.  The needle should only be used for 8-10 hours of sewing.  After that it will not give you the quality that you deserve.  Needle also come in different sizes, so make sure to use a ball point needle.  To get specific, the reason why is a ball point needle slides off the fabric threads instead of piercing through them  If you use a sharper needle you may have snags or a run in your fabric.

The best stitch to use on your knits is a serged edge.  The reason why is because a seger gives a slight stretch in the way it sews.  Don't worry if you don't own a serger, most people don't.  Here are 2 suggestions for stitch choices on your sewing machine.  By using either of these stitches you will keep thread from breaking while stretching when worn.
Every sewing machine comes with a zig zag stitch wich will work great.
Some sewing machines offer a stitch for sewing on knits, that are even more wonderful.

            Zig Zag stitch looks like this 

            Knit stitch looks like this 

There is not much of a difference between the two.  The difference is that the knit stitch takes a stitch backwards to help for the stretching fabric.  Both will work just great.

Keep in mind when sewing with the zig zag stitch, stretch the fabric slightly while sewing.  Just a little pull towards you as you are feeding the fabric through your sewing machine.  If you pull to much, the fabric may start to gather and look awkward.  So remember to just pull slightly.  Below is a picture of me pulling on my machine with a zig zag stitch.

I actually love sewing on knits, and I love even more to wear them.  Once you find the confidence to sew on knit fabrics, you will love them.  There are so many different knits out there and right now I am loving how many cute ones I can find!!  I will post a few simple projects for you to give a try soon.  An infinity scarf if a perfect start and very simple to do, and also a maxi skirt.  If you are ever sewing with a knit and are frustrated send me an email.  Lets figure it out together!!


2justByou said...

I really can't sew...Not even a button on a shirt! I'm that bad.
I'm your newest GFC follower.

Ginger said...

Seeing all your great tips makes me wish I still sewed.. did a lot when my kids were young. You are so right about sewing stretchy fabric that was my least favorite. Love your photo's!

Irene V. said...

Hi Shan!
I'm here from the Meet and Greet and I've been able to follow you only with GFC because your nice social media buttons sadly aren't working!
If you fix it, I'll be pleased to follow you in other ways!
I have a little sewing blog me too, I'll be happy if you will come to visit it!!!
MammaNene @