I’ve always wanted to learn how to properly sew knit fabrics, like jersey. Should I use my regular sewing machine or a serger? I don’t know where to begin!
So here’s the deal with knits: They’re stretchy and so comfy to wear, but they can seem scary to work with. Let me preface this by saying that I am by no means super experienced with sewing with knits. I’ve sewn a couple of projects in the past and used these tips to get by. You don’t need a serger. They are helpful though and give you a very nice finished look.
Start by using the right needle. This is a good tip for any type of fabric, but something that people usually skip because they think it’s not important. Well it is – so get a ballpoint needle! Get one in the right size for your weight of fabric and you’re all set. The ballpoint is rounded (just like the name suggests) and won’t snag your fabric.
A second very important thing is choosing the right fabric for your pattern. Using a pattern made for knits will probably fit better and if you use the right type of knit for your pattern you’ll probably enjoy wearing what you make a lot more. Pay attention to terms like double or single knit, which mostly refers to the weight of the fabric. Knit fabrics can be cotton, polyester, wool or anything in between, so check your pattern and ask at the fabric store when in doubt.
Your thread can help too. Sewing with knits is all about the stretch, so you want your seams to stretch too. So get something with at least a bit of polyester to it. Natural fibres don’t stretch.
We hope this gives you a good basic understanding of sewing with knits! Check out the Required Reading below… consider it homework!
Got any questions? Ask Sewing School! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave your question in the comments.