Sew Along Day 2: Tips for Sewing with Knits

Muscle Tee Pattern

 Welcome to Day 2 of the Sew Along!

Need to catch up?
Day 1: Choosing your Size and Fabric

Today we’re discussing some tips and tricks for sewing with knit fabric. Once you get used to knits you will love how quick and fun they are!
Knit Sewing Tips

To start with make sure you have a knit/ball point needle. The rounded tip is specifically designed for sewing knits. I quite often use a universal needle with good results but if you are having trouble it could be your needle
Schmetz Ball Point Machine Needle 5/Pk-Sizes 10/70,12/80,14/90, , hi-res

The ideal method for sewing knits is with your serger. This provides a strong and stretchy stitch with a professional finish

IMG_8841 If you don’t have a serger though don’t worry! You can still sew knits on your regular machine. Knits don’t fray so you don’t need to worry about finishing the edges. You do want to use a stitch with some stretch to it though or when the fabric stretches your stitches will pop. Here I used a long and narrow zig-zag stitch. It it’s not a high-stress seam (like a side seam) you could use an even narrow zig-zag. Some machines have a stitch that looks like a lightning bolt and that will work too. If your machine is trying to suck the fabric inside I find it helpful to start 1/2″ in, then backstitch and then go forward. You can also slip a piece of tissue paper underneath or start sewing on a scrap and transition to your project. This gives the machine something to “hold onto” and it won’t grab the end of your fabric.IMG_8842

The key to sewing knits is to not stretch the fabric as you sew. With topstitching this can sometimes be tricky. If you get a wavy seam don’t panic! IMG_8843

Give it a quick press and it recovers nicely 🙂IMG_8844

If you are nervous about sewing with knits I recommend raiding the closet for unwanted items or hitting up the thrift store for some large tees. I often pick up tees for $1-2 and they are perfect for practice runs. I quite often find some amazing prints too that are fun to use! Both of these muscle tees are upcycles!
Muscle Tee Pattern

3 Responses

  1. With wovens you can get a straight edge to start your project by pulling a thread. How do you get a starting straight edge with knits?

  2. Hello! Just wondering, your recommendation for changing to ball point needle, is that just if using machine? Or is this something for sergers as well?

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