Sewing with knit fabric can be quite tricky! But don't be daunted – here are 9 sewing tips to help you start (and finish!) your first knit fabric project!
Must-Know Sewing Tips on How to Sew Knit Fabric Easily
Most beginners tend to stick to woven fabric. After all, it's easier to use. However, take a look at your closet and you'll see just how few of your clothes are made of woven fabric. Sweaters, jerseys, jackets and leggings are usually made of knit fabric because it's stretchy and perfectly comfortable! These qualities are also what makes sewing with knit fabric tricky. Continue reading this article and pick up several sewing tips to send you off to a good start!
1. Understand the direction the of stretch
Different types of knit fabric have different stretch directions. Some can be stretched only two ways – horizontally or vertically- while some can be stretched four ways – horizontally and vertically. Knowing the direction of the stretch will help you determine the right direction to sew!
2. Choose the right needle
Instead of using a universal needle, swap it for a ball point needle. Universal needles tend to be pointy and therefore damage to the knit fabric. Of course, we wouldn't want that!
3. Choose the right thread
Polyester thread is more compatible with knit fabric. Regular cotton thread tends to snap when the fabric is stretched! And that could undo all your progress!
4. Choose the right stitch
Like choosing the right thread and needle, it's also important to choose the right stitch! A straight stitch is often too rigid for a fabric made to stretch. A zigzag stitch is the perfect stitch for knit projects because it allows the fabric to stretch!
5. Use a walking foot
Stitches on knits tend to be wavy after stitching. In order to avoid this, use a walking foot while stitching the fabric. It allows bulky fabric to pass smoothly under the sewing machine needle.
6. Avoid stretching the fabric
Being a stretchable type of fabric, sewers often make the mistake of accidentally pulling it while running it under the sewing machine needle. Avoid doing this because it doesn't only destroy the fabric, but it also causes the stitches to become crooked!
7. Use pinking shears for cutting curves
To create smoother edges, use pinking shears instead of regular sewing scissors! Not only it will create even cuts, but it would also do the work faster.
8. Use ball point pins
Following the same logic with using ball point needles rather than straight needles, using ball point pins will keep the folds in place without tearing it. Ball point pins also don't leave large holes, which is important for knit fabric.
9. Make use of your iron
Brush up your ironing skills because they'll come in handy when it comes to sewing knits. Ironing straightens out any loose and wavy stitches. It'll give your project a finished and polished look!
Ready to start your own knit fabric project? Check out this video from Pretty Craft Girl!
Now that you're armed with some tips and tricks on how to sew with knit fabrics, you're definitely on your way to mastering the art of sewing knits. I hope this will also help you avoid any mistakes and mishaps!
Which tip have you been using? Anything new you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!
Ready to test out your newly acquired skills? Check out How To Sew a Simple Turtleneck Sweater Dress!
Barbara Quinn says
It is nice to know about ball point needles, for knit fabric.
Cynthia Shanley says
light weight knits may get pulled in to the feed dogs at the beginning of the seam. Try placing a plastic bag, paper towel, or toilet paper under the fabric for the first inch or so. Your knit will sew smoothly and the stabilizer will rip away.
Jane Murriner says
Where can you find ball pt pins
Tami Polson says
I am wondering where you found the little ironing board that is next to the sewing machine? It looks like a tv table.
Thomas Clarence says
My wife is wanting to sew her own leggings that she can wear when she goes jogging, and she is thinking of making them out of spandex fabric. I thought you made a good point when you talked about it is a good idea to use pinking shears when trying to create smooth edges. It would probably be a good idea for my wife to make the leggings a little big so that they can shrink a little when she is finished making them.
Patricia O'malley says
Thanks. The pinking shears I will try it. The plastic bag under is a clever idea, Again, thanks.