August 14, 2023

How To Sew Knit Fabric With Ease: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Are you ready to dive into the world of sewing with knit fabric? Get ready, because here's a mind-blowing statistic: did you know that 65% of fashion designers have incorporated knit fabrics into their collections? That's right, this versatile fabric is taking the fashion industry by storm.

And if you are delving into the world of sewing dancewear, then learning how to sew knit fabric is important to establish a foundation for techniques you will need to know later.

In this article, we'll guide you through the ins and outs of sewing with knits, from understanding the different types to mastering construction techniques.

So grab your sewing machine and let's get started on creating innovative and stylish garments!

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways for How To Sew Knit Fabric

  • Knit fabric offers comfort, style, stretchiness, and flexibility, making it a versatile choice for sewing.
  • There are different types of knit fabrics, such as jersey, interlock, rib knit, and French terry, each with unique characteristics and uses.
  • It is important to use the appropriate needle, thread, and sewing techniques when working with knit fabric for better results.
  • Common issues when learning how to sew knit fabric, such as puckering, skipped stitches, fabric stretching, and uneven stitches, can be prevented or fixed with the right tools and techniques.

Introduction to Sewing with Knit Fabric

how to sew knit fabric

Now that you understand the basics of sewing, let's dive into how you can start sewing with knit fabric. Sewing with knits opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for your wardrobe. Knit fabric is known for its stretchiness and flexibility, making it a favorite among those who desire comfort without compromising style.

When working with knit fabric, it's important to keep in mind that this type of fabric stretches. So, before you begin, make sure to use the appropriate needles and stitches that will prevent your seams from popping or stretching out. A ballpoint needle is ideal for knits as it slides through the fibers without damaging them.

To achieve professional-looking results when sewing with knits, consider using a stretch stitch or a zigzag stitch on your machine. These stitches allow the fabric to retain its elasticity while providing durability to your garment.

Transition: Now that you have an understanding of how to sew knit fabric, let's explore the differences between knit fabrics and woven fabrics without further delay.

Knit Fabrics Vs. Woven Fabrics

When working with knit fabrics, you'll find that they have more stretch and flexibility compared to woven fabrics. This makes them perfect for creating comfortable and form-fitting garments. Here are three key differences between knit fabrics and woven fabrics:

  1. Stretch: Knit fabrics are known for their stretchability, thanks to the way they are constructed. The loops in the fabric allow it to stretch in all directions, making it ideal for garments that need to move with your body.
  2. Drape: Knit fabrics have a beautiful drape, meaning they flow gracefully when worn or manipulated. This is because of their inherent elasticity and ability to conform to different shapes without losing their structure.
  3. Comfort: One of the greatest advantages of sewing with knit fabrics is the comfort they offer. Their stretch allows for ease of movement, making them perfect for activewear, loungewear, or any clothing item where comfort is a priority.

Understanding these differences between knit and woven fabrics will help you make informed decisions when selecting patterns and techniques for sewing projects using knit fabric.

Now let's dive deeper into understanding the unique properties and characteristics of knit fabric...

Understanding Knit Fabric

When it comes to understanding knit fabric, there are a few key points to keep in mind.

First, there are different types of knit fabrics, each with its own unique characteristics.

Second, the fiber content of a knit fabric can greatly impact its overall feel and performance.

And finally, different fibers can have varying effects on the finished piece – for example, rayon-jersey is perfect for creating soft and comfy tops, while cotton interlock knits are ideal for T-shirts and children's wear.

So whether you're sewing a cozy sweater or a playful dress, knowing the ins and outs of knit fabrics will help you choose the right material for your project.

Types of Knit Fabric

When it comes to sewing knit fabric, there are several types you should be familiar with.

Jersey is a lightweight fabric that hangs well and often curls at the edges.

Double knit, on the other hand, consists of two layers and is sturdier, allowing it to hug your body tighter.

If you're looking for more stitch definition and thickness, sweater knits are the way to go – perfect for cozy sweaters.

Lastly, novelty knits offer a unique texture, pattern, or material that can add a touch of creativity to your projects.


Jersey fabric is a game-changer for your sewing projects. These lightweight knits have a lovely drape that will make your garments flow effortlessly.

However, be prepared for a small challenge - jersey fabric tends to curl at the edges. But don't worry! With some clever techniques, you can easily tame those unruly curls and create stunning pieces that hang well on your body.

Now, let's move on to another fantastic knit fabric: double knit, which offers two layers of sturdiness and hugs your body tighter than ever before

Double Knit

Now let's dive into the world of double knit fabric.

Picture this: two layers intertwined into one, creating a sturdier and more durable textile.

This unique construction not only adds strength but also allows the fabric to hug your body tighter, accentuating your curves with every move you make.

But wait, there's more!

Sweater knits offer even more stitch definition and thickness, making them perfect for cozy sweaters that will keep you warm on chilly days.

Sweater Knits

Imagine cozy sweaters with more stitch definition and a thicker feel - that's what sweater knits bring to the table. When it comes to sewing knit garments, sweater knits are a must-have in your fabric stash. Here's why:

  1. Enhanced stitch definition: Sweater knits have a tighter weave, allowing for intricate stitches to shine through.
  2. Plush thickness: These fabrics provide an extra layer of warmth and comfort, perfect for colder seasons.
  3. Versatile stretch: Sewing with sweater knits is a breeze as they offer just the right amount of stretch for comfortable wear.
  4. Endless possibilities: From sweaters and cardigans to dresses and skirts, sweater knits can be transformed into any stylish knit garment.

Now let's dive into the world of novelty knits, where unique textures, patterns, and materials await your creativity!

Novelty Knits

Novelty knits offer a wide range of options with their unique textures, patterns, and materials. Imagine sewing knit fabric that has whimsical polka dots or intricate lace-like designs. With these innovative fabrics, your projects will stand out from the crowd.

The stretch fabric allows for comfortable wear and easy movement. Just imagine the possibilities as you feed these knitted stretch fabrics through your sewing machine.

But before we delve into the fiber content and its impact on knit fabrics...

Fiber content and its impact on knit fabrics

To understand how different fiber content affects different knit fabrics, you should consider factors such as stretch, drape, and durability. Fiber content plays a crucial role in determining the characteristics of knit fabrics. Different types of knit or stretchy fabric have different fiber compositions, which directly impact their performance and appearance.

There are various types of knit fabric available, each with its own unique properties. For instance, rib knits are known for their vertical ridges and excellent stretchability. The fiber content used in these stretch knits greatly influences their stretchiness and recovery.

The type of fiber used in a knit fabric can affect its overall feel and performance. Natural fibers like cotton provide breathability and comfort, while synthetic fibers like polyester offer strength and resilience. Blends of different fibers can combine the best qualities of each to create a versatile fabric.

Understanding how different fibers impact the finished piece is essential when choosing the right fabric for your project. It allows you to select materials that will meet your desired criteria for texture, softness, durability, or any other specific requirement without compromising on style or innovation.

Different fibers impact finished piece

When choosing different fibers for your project, consider how they will impact the finished piece in terms of texture, softness, and durability. The fiber you choose can make all the difference in creating a truly innovative and stylish garment. Here are four key factors to consider:

  1. Sew knit fabrics: Knit fabric require special handling due to their stretchiness. Make sure to use a sewing machine with a zigzag stitch or an overlock machine for optimal results.
  2. Straight stitch: When sewing seams on knit fabrics, opt for a straight stitch instead of the traditional backstitch. This will allow the fabric to stretch without breaking the stitches.
  3. Stretch needles: Use stretch needles designed specifically for knit fabrics. These needles have ballpoint tips that glide through the fabric without snagging or damaging it.
  4. Stitch length: Adjust your stitch length accordingly when working with knit or stretchy fabrics. A shorter stitch length provides better seam reinforcement and prevents unraveling.

By considering these factors, you can ensure that your finished piece is not only innovative but also durable and comfortable to wear.

Now let's dive into using rayon-jersey for soft and comfy tops...

Rayon-jersey for soft and comfy tops

Rayon-jersey is a great choice for creating soft and comfy tops. When it comes to sewing knits, this fabric is a game-changer. Its smooth texture and excellent drape make it perfect for flowing garments that hug your body in all the right places.

To work with rayon-jersey, you'll need a stretch needle and a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. The stretch needle will prevent any skipped stitches or fabric damage, while the zigzag stitch allows the seams to stretch without breaking.

Jersey knit fabrics are known for their incredible stretch and recovery, making them ideal for form-fitting designs that move with you.

Now, let's dive into another fantastic option: cotton interlock knits for t-shirts and children's wear.

Cotton interlock knits for T-shirts and children's wear

Cotton interlock knits are a versatile choice for making comfortable and durable T-shirts and children's wear. These fabrics are perfect for those who want to sew knit fabric using a regular sewing machine. The interlock knit has two layers of fabric that are simultaneously stitched together, creating a thick and stable material. The best part? This knit fabric stretches in all directions, allowing for ease of movement and ensuring a great fit.

When working with cotton interlock knits, it is important to use the right needles and stitches. Opt for ballpoint or stretch needles to prevent snagging or breaking the threads. For stitching, try using the zig zag stitch or the twin needle technique, which creates beautiful parallel rows of stitches resembling knit and purl stitches in hand knitting.

Now that you've mastered sewing with cotton interlock knits, let's move on to ponte knits for pants and unstructured jackets.

Ponte Knits

Ponte knits offer another level of versatility when it comes to sewing garments such as pants and unstructured jackets. These fabrics have a firm yet flexible texture that creates structured silhouettes without sacrificing comfort. Just like cotton interlock knits, ponte knits can be easily sewn using a regular sewing machine. However, due to their denser composition, it is recommended to use either a ballpoint or universal needle when working with ponte knits.

With their ability to stretch while still maintaining shape, ponte knits allow you to create tailored pieces that effortlessly drape over your body. Whether you're making wide-leg trousers or an oversized blazer, these fabrics will provide the perfect balance between style and comfort.

Now that you know how to work with both cotton interlock knits for T-shirts and children's wear and ponte knits for pants and unstructured jackets, let your creativity soar as you explore new possibilities in garment construction!

Ponte knits for pants and unstructured jackets

To achieve a structured yet comfortable look, you'll want to consider using ponte knits for pants and unstructured jackets. Ponte knits are a versatile fabric that provide both stretch and stability, making them perfect for bottoms and loose-fitting tops.

When working with ponte knit fabric, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Use a stretch stitch on your sewing machine, as it will allow the garment to move with ease.
  • Consult your sewing machine manual for specific instructions on using a walking foot, which can help prevent stretching or distortion of the fabric.
  • Adjust the presser foot pressure on your machine to accommodate the thickness of the ponte knit.
  • Pay careful attention to pattern pieces and grainlines when cutting out your fabric to ensure proper fit and drape.

With these tips in mind, you'll be able to create stylish and comfortable pants and jackets using ponte knit fabrics. Now let's explore how lycra adds stretch to knits...

Lycra adds stretch to knits

When adding lycra to your garment, it gives knits the necessary stretch for a comfortable fit. This is particularly important when working with stretchy fabrics like jersey or spandex blends.

Sewing with knit fabrics can be a bit tricky, but with the right techniques and tools, you can create beautiful and functional garments. One essential tool you'll need is a ballpoint needle which prevents snags and runs in your fabric. It's also important to use a stretch stitch or a narrow zigzag stitch when sewing seams to allow for movement without breaking the thread.

By incorporating lycra into your knits, you're ensuring that your finished piece will have the perfect amount of stretch, making it both stylish and comfortable to wear.

Now that you understand how lycra adds stretch to knits, let's move on to preparing and handling knit fabric without compromising its integrity.

Preparing and Handling Knit Fabric

First, familiarize yourself with the unique characteristics of knit fabric before handling it. Knit fabric is known for its stretchiness and ability to conform to the body's contours. When you learn how to sew knit fabric, it's important to use techniques that will maintain the fabric's stretch while ensuring durability. One helpful tool is fusible knit hemming tape, which can be used to secure hems without adding bulk or compromising the fabric's flexibility.

When working with knit fabrics, you may notice that they tend to have wavy seams when sewn with a regular straight stitch. To prevent this, try using a double needle or a stretch stitch on your sewing machine. These stitches allow the fabric to stretch without causing unsightly puckering or distortion.

"Double knit fabric is another type of knit fabric that deserves special attention. It has two layers of interlocking loops, making it thicker and more stable than other knits. When sewing double knit, make sure to use a ballpoint needle and adjust your machine's tension settings accordingly.

Now that you're familiar with how to handle knit or stretchy fabrics, let's move on to discussing sewing machines specifically designed for sewing these versatile materials...

Sewing machines for sewing knit fabrics

So you're ready to dive into sewing knit fabrics, but you're not sure which machine to use? Don't worry, I've got you covered!

Let's talk about the three main machines you'll need for sewing knits: the serger or overlock machine for sewing seams, the coverstitch machine for hemming, and of course, your trusty conventional sewing machine for all your other needs.

Each machine has its own unique functions and together they create a powerhouse team that will help you achieve professional-looking results with ease.

So let's get started and explore the world of sewing machines for knit fabrics!

Serger or overlock machine for sewing seams

To sew seams on knit fabric, you'll want to use a serger or overlock machine. These machines are specifically designed to handle the stretchiness of knit fabrics and create professional-looking seams.

Here are three reasons why a serger or overlock machine is essential for sewing seams on knit fabric:

  • Versatility: A serger or overlock machine can perform various stitch types, including the popular serger stitch, which creates strong and flexible seams ideal for knit or stretchy fabrics.
  • Seam finishing: These machines not only sew the seam but also trim and finish the raw edges simultaneously, preventing fraying and ensuring neatness.
  • Stretchability: The stitches created by a serger or overlock machine have built-in stretchability, allowing your garment to move with you comfortably.

Now that you know how to sew perfect seams on your knit fabric using a serger or overlock machine, let's explore another essential tool: the coverstitch machine for hemming.

Coverstitch machine for hemming

If you want to achieve professional-looking hems on your garments, a coverstitch machine is the perfect tool for the job. With its innovative features and precise stitching capabilities, this machine will take your sewing to the next level.

When using a coverstitch machine, it's important to prepare your fabric properly. Place tissue paper underneath the fabric to prevent it from getting caught in the feed dogs. Adjust the stitch width according to your desired hem width and make sure to leave enough seam allowance. Attach a presser foot suitable for knit fabrics and start stitching, guiding the fabric smoothly under the needle. The coverstitch machine is especially great for hemming double knits, as it creates neat and stretchy hems that won't unravel easily.

Now let's transition into discussing how you can utilize a conventional sewing machine for various other uses in your projects.

Conventional sewing machine for various uses

When using a conventional sewing machine, you can explore a wide range of techniques that go beyond basic hemming. Here are some innovative ways to utilize your machine for sewing knit fabric:

  • Shoulder seams: Use a narrow zigzag stitch or a stretch stitch to secure the shoulder seams and give them flexibility.
  • Skipped stitches: To prevent skipped stitches when working with knits, try using a stretch needle and adjusting the tension on your machine.
  • Twin needles: Create beautiful parallel rows of straight stitches with twin needles. This technique is perfect for hems, necklines, and cuffs.

By experimenting with these techniques on your conventional sewing machine, you can achieve professional-looking results and add unique touches to your knit garments.

Now let's dive into special tools and notions for learning how to sew knit fabric without missing a beat.

Special tools and notions for sewing knits

When it comes to sewing knits, you'll need some special tools and notions to ensure the best results.

First up are the special needles made specifically for sewing knits, which have a ballpoint tip that glides through the fabric without snagging or tearing.

Instead of traditional pins, you can use Wonder clips or pins with rounded heads for basting to avoid leaving holes in your delicate knit fabrics.

Additionally, using special stitches like the stretch stitch or zigzag stitch will help maintain the flexibility and stretchiness of your knit garments.

Don't forget to choose thread designed for sewing knit fabrics, as it has more give and won't break under tension.

Lastly, using a walking foot on your sewing machine will prevent any stretching or distortion of the fabric while stitching, ensuring a professional finish every time.

Special needles made for sewing knits

To sew knit fabric, you'll need to use special needles made for sewing knits. Ordinary sewing needles can cause snags or pulls in the delicate fibers of knit fabric, but ballpoint needles are designed specifically for this task. Also known as jersey or ballpoint needles, they have a rounded tip that allows them to gently push through the fabric without piercing or damaging it.

The smooth and rounded tip reduces the risk of skipped stitches and creates even and neat seams on your knit projects. When using a ballpoint needle, make sure to choose the appropriate size based on the weight of your knit fabric. By using these specialized needles, you'll achieve professional-looking results in your sewing endeavors.

When it comes to securing your knit fabric before stitching, there are a few options besides traditional pins. Instead of using regular straight pins that can leave holes or pull at the delicate fibers of knits, consider using wonder clips for basting. These handy little clips hold your fabric securely in place without causing any damage.

They are especially useful when working with stretchy fabrics like knits because they provide an even tension throughout the fabric without distorting it. Wonder clips also allow you to easily adjust and reposition your fabric if needed while keeping everything stable during the sewing process. So ditch those old pins and embrace wonder clips for a fuss-free basting experience!

Pins or Wonder clips for basting

Now that you have your special needles ready for sewing knits, let's talk about another essential tool for your sewing project: pins or wonder clips.

When it comes to securing the raw fabric edge together, you have a choice to make. Traditional straight pins are a classic option, but wonder clips offer a modern twist.

Pins may pierce through the knit fabric and leave unsightly holes or cause snagging. On the other hand, wonder clips provide a gentle grip without damaging the delicate material. These handy little clips are perfect for holding seams in place while you stitch. Plus, they come in various sizes and colors to suit every preference.

With either option, make sure to position them perpendicular to the seam line and insert them close enough to keep everything aligned but not too close that they interfere with your machine's needle.

Now that you have securely basted your knit fabric together using pins or wonder clips, let's move on to exploring some special stitches that will help you sew knits with ease.

Special stitches to sew knits

Using a zigzag stitch or a stretch stitch can help prevent the seams from popping when sewing stretchy fabrics. These special stretch stitches are essential when working with knit fabrics like t-shirts or rib knits. Unlike regular sewing patterns, knit fabrics require a different approach because they stretch and move with your body.

The stretchy stitch provides flexibility to the seams, allowing them to expand and contract without breaking. It ensures that your finished garment retains its shape and elasticity. To achieve this, make sure to use a universal needle designed for knit fabrics as it prevents snagging and pulls.

By using these techniques, you can create innovative designs that not only look stylish but also provide comfort and functionality in your everyday wear.

When learning how to sew knit fabric, it's not just about the stitches; the thread you choose is equally important.

Thread for sewing knit fabrics

When sewing with stretchy materials, it's important to choose a thread specifically made for elasticity. Using the right thread ensures that your stitches have the flexibility they need to withstand the stretching and movement of knit fabrics.

Here are some tips for finding the perfect thread for sewing knits:

  • Look for threads labeled as 'stretch' or 'elastic' in their description.
  • Opt for polyester or nylon threads as they have good stretch and recovery properties.
  • Consider using woolly nylon thread for extra stretch and softness.
  • Match the color of your thread to your fabric or use a neutral shade that blends well.
  • If you're working with sweatshirt fleece or other thick knitted materials, use a heavier weight thread.

Now that you've got the right thread, let's move on to another essential tool: the walking foot to sew knits smoothly without distortion.

Walking foot to sew knits

To achieve smooth and distortion-free stitches on stretchy materials, it's recommended to use a walking foot. This innovative attachment is designed to evenly feed the fabric through the machine, preventing any stretching or puckering that can occur with regular presser feet.

The walking foot has an upper set of feed dogs that work in sync with the machine's lower feed dogs, creating a synchronized feeding action. As you sew, the walking foot moves both the top and bottom layers of fabric simultaneously, ensuring perfect alignment and eliminating any potential for shifting or stretching.

However, if you're looking for even more specialized control over your knit fabrics, consider using a knit foot attachment. This unique accessory provides additional support and stability specifically tailored for sewing knits, allowing you to achieve professional-quality results every time without compromising on style or comfort.

Knit Foot Attachment

If you want to achieve professional-quality results with your knit projects, consider attaching a specialized foot designed specifically for sewing stretchy materials. This innovative accessory, known as the knit foot attachment, is a game-changer when it comes to working with knits. With its unique design and features, it ensures smooth and even stitching without stretching or distorting the fabric.

The knit foot has a special groove underneath that allows the fabric to glide through easily while preventing unwanted puckering or skipping stitches. It provides better control and prevents fabric slippage, making it perfect for sewing stretchy fabrics like jersey or spandex. Once you experience the precision and ease this foot offers, you'll wonder how you ever sewed knits without it.

And now, let's delve into another essential feature for sewing knits - the differential feed settings on your serger.

Differential Feed Settings on Your Serger

The differential feed settings on your serger help to control the movement of the fabric while stitching. This innovative feature gives you the power to manipulate the way your knit fabric behaves, ensuring smooth and professional results every time.

By adjusting the differential feed ratio, you can prevent stretching or gathering of your knits, allowing for a more precise and even stitch. Whether you're working with delicate jersey or thick sweater knits, this tool will revolutionize your sewing experience.

Now that you have mastered the art of controlling fabric movement, let's move on to another essential step in sewing with knits: interfacing.

Interfacing for knits provides stability and structure without sacrificing flexibility. It's a game-changer when it comes to achieving professional-looking garments that stand the test of time.

Interfacing for Knits

By using interfacing, you can add stability and structure to your knit garments while still maintaining flexibility. Interfacing is a versatile tool that can elevate the quality of your sewing projects. Here are four reasons why you should consider incorporating interfacing into your knit fabric creations:

  • Improved shape retention: Interfacing helps prevent stretching and sagging, ensuring that your garment maintains its intended shape even after repeated wear.
  • Professional finish: Adding interfacing to hems, cuffs, and collars gives a crisp edge and enhances the overall appearance of your finished piece.
  • Reinforced seams: By applying interfacing to seam allowances, you'll strengthen the seams and prevent them from unraveling over time.
  • Easy application: With fusible or sew-in options available, adding interfacing is a breeze and doesn't require complicated techniques.

Now that you have added stability with interfacing, let's explore how 'knit stay tape' can further enhance the durability of your knit garments without compromising their comfort.

Knit Stay Tape

Now that you've added stability with interfacing, let's see how knit stay tape can further enhance the durability of your garments.

Knit stay tape is a game-changer when it comes to sewing with knits. Made from stretchy and flexible materials, this wonder tape helps prevent your knit fabric from stretching out during construction and wearing. It acts as a support system for your seams, hems, and edges, ensuring they stay in place without losing their shape over time.

This innovative product not only adds strength to your garments but also helps maintain their original fit. By using knit stay tape strategically along the seams and edges of your knit projects, you'll create professional-looking results that will withstand daily wear and tear.

With knit stay tape securing the foundation of your project, now let's explore the various conventional sewing machine stitches that work best for knits...

Conventional Sewing Machine Stitches for Knits

When it comes to sewing knits on a conventional sewing machine, there are a few key stitches and adjustments you need to know.

The zigzag stitch is your go-to for stretchy fabrics, as it allows the seam to stretch without popping.

The stretch stitch, on the other hand, is specifically designed for knits and provides even more flexibility.

And don't forget about adjusting the stitch length - this can make a big difference in how your seams lay and how much give they have.

So let's dive into these techniques and get ready to sew some fabulous knit garments!

ZigZag Stitch

To sew knit fabric, use a zigzag stitch for added stretch and flexibility. Here are four reasons why the zigzag stitch is perfect for your innovative sewing projects:

  1. Enhanced Stretch: The zigzag stitch allows the fabric to stretch without breaking the thread, ensuring that your garment moves with you.
  2. Reinforced Seams: With its back-and-forth motion, the zigzag stitch creates stronger seams that can withstand the stress of daily wear.
  3. Versatile Design: Whether you're working on activewear or casual clothing, the zigzag stitch accommodates different types of knit fabrics effortlessly.
  4. Decorative Touches: Get creative and add decorative elements to your garments using various widths and lengths of the zigzag stitch.

Now that you've mastered the art of sewing with a zigzag stitch, let's dive into another essential technique called the stretch stitch...

Stretch Stitch

The stretch stitch provides added elasticity and durability to your garments. This innovative stitch is perfect for sewing knits, as it allows the fabric to stretch without causing any breakage or damage to the stitches.

The stretch stitch is created by a series of straight stitches alternating with small zigzag stitches. This combination ensures that the seam can stretch along with the fabric, making it ideal for garments that need to move and flex.

The stretch stitch also adds strength to your seams, preventing them from popping or unraveling during wear. It's like giving your clothes a secret superpower!

Now, let's talk about another important aspect of sewing knits: stitch length adjustments...

Stitch Length Adjustments

Adjusting stitch length is essential for achieving the desired results when sewing with stretchy materials. The proper side stitch width and length ensures that your stitches are secure, yet flexible enough to accommodate the fabric's stretch.

When working with knit fabrics, you want to avoid using a stitch length that is too short, as it can cause the fabric to pucker and create unsightly ripples. On the other hand, a stitch length that is too long may result in weak seams that can easily unravel.

By experimenting with different stitch lengths on scrap fabric before starting your sewing project though, you can find the perfect balance between durability and elasticity.

Transition: Now that you have mastered adjusting stitch lengths for sewing knit fabrics, let's move on to another important aspect of working with this versatile material - using patterns specifically designed for knits.

Use Patterns For Sewing Knit Fabric

When sewing knit fabric, it's important to use patterns specifically designed for stretchy materials. These patterns are innovative creations that take into account the unique properties of knits, allowing you to achieve impeccable results.

Unlike woven fabrics, which have limited stretch and structure, knits can be stretched in multiple directions. This poses a challenge when it comes to cutting and sewing because traditional patterns designed for woven fabric won't work as effectively.

Patterns for sewing knit fabric are crafted with precision and attention to detail. They feature elements like extra ease or negative ease to accommodate the fabric's stretchiness and ensure a comfortable fit. The pattern pieces are often shaped differently than those used for woven fabrics, with curved seams and gentle angles that enhance the garment's flexibility.

By using these specialized patterns, you can confidently embark on your journey of sewing with knits. With their help, you can create modern and stylish garments that move effortlessly with your body.

Now that you understand the importance of using the right patterns, let's delve into the next step: cutting pattern pieces without compromising on accuracy or style.

Cutting Pattern Pieces

When it comes to cutting pattern pieces, you have two main options: scissors or a rotary cutter.

Scissors are versatile and allow for precise cuts, but can be tiring on your hands after a while.

On the other hand, a rotary cutter is perfect for straight lines and curves alike, making it a favorite among quilters.

So whether you choose the classic elegance of scissors or the modern efficiency of a rotary cutter, both tools will help you achieve clean and accurate cuts for your sewing projects.


I'll use fabric scissors to cut the knit fabric. When it comes to cutting your precious knit fabric, you need the right tools to ensure precision and a clean finish. Here's why fabric scissors are essential for this task:

  • Sharp blades: Fabric scissors have razor-sharp blades that effortlessly glide through the delicate knit fabric without snagging or tearing.
  • Ergonomic handle: The ergonomic design of fabric scissors ensures a comfortable grip, reducing hand fatigue during long cutting sessions.
  • Clean cuts: With the precise control offered by fabric scissors, you can achieve clean and accurate cuts, maintaining the integrity of the knit fabric's stretch.
  • Versatility: Fabric scissors are not only perfect for cutting knit fabrics but also work well with other materials like woven fabrics and lightweight textiles.

Now that you've mastered cutting with fabric scissors, let's move on to another essential tool: the rotary cutter.

Rotary Cutter

To achieve clean and precise cuts, you'll find that a rotary cutter is an essential tool. Unlike traditional scissors, the rotary cutter features a circular blade that effortlessly glides through fabric, ensuring smooth edges every time.

With its ergonomic handle and razor-sharp blade, this innovative tool allows you to cut through multiple layers of knit fabric with ease. The rotary cutter's cutting wheel spins smoothly along the fabric, reducing strain on your hand and minimizing the chances of jagged edges or fraying.

Its versatility also makes it perfect for intricate designs or curved cuts.

Now that you have mastered the art of cutting knit fabric with precision using a rotary cutter, let's move on to the next step: pinning and basting.

Pinning and Basting

Pinning and basting are essential steps when sewing knit fabric to ensure it stays in place while you work. Here are three tips to help you master this technique:

  1. Use the right pins: When working with knit fabric, it's important to choose the right kind of pins. Opt for ballpoint pins, which have a rounded tip that slides through the fabric without damaging or snagging it. These pins are specifically designed for knits and will make your pinning process much smoother.
  2. Pin strategically: Start by pinning the edges of your fabric together before moving on to more intricate areas. Make sure to align the raw edges accurately and secure them with pins along the seam allowance. Additionally, use extra pins around curves or corners to prevent any shifting or stretching as you sew.
  3. Baste before stitching: Before sewing your final seam, take some time to baste your knit fabric pieces together using a long stitch length on your sewing machine or a hand-basting stitch. This temporary stitching will hold everything securely in place and allow you to check the fit and make adjustments if needed before committing with permanent stitches.

By mastering these pinning and basting techniques, you'll be well-prepared for constructing beautiful knit garments without any pesky mishaps or misalignments in your seams.

Let's now dive into some expert tips for constructing knit garments seamlessly.

Tips For Constructing Knit Garments

When working with knits, it's crucial to choose the right type of needle for your sewing machine. Knit fabrics are stretchy and delicate, so using a regular needle can cause skipped stitches or even damage the fabric. Opt for a ballpoint or stretch needle instead. These needles have slightly rounded tips that slide between the knit fibers without piercing them, ensuring smooth stitching and preventing snags.

To further enhance the quality of your knit garments, consider using a walking foot attachment on your sewing machine. This innovative tool helps feed both layers of fabric evenly through your sewing machine, preventing any stretching or distortion as you sew.

When constructing knit garments, it's important to use techniques that allow for maximum flexibility and comfort. Try using a zigzag stitch or a serger to join seams instead of straight stitches. These options provide more stretchability and durability, allowing your garment to move with your body while maintaining its shape.

Now that you've mastered the art of constructing knit garments, let's move on to finishing hems and bindings.

Finishing Hems and Bindings

So you've mastered the art of sewing knit garments, but now it's time to move on to finishing hems and bindings.

Lucky for you, there are some handy tools that can make this process a breeze.

First up is the twin needle, which creates perfectly parallel lines of stitching for a professional finish.

Next, we have the coverlock machine, which not only sews hems and bindings with ease but also offers the option to add decorative stitching.

And finally, let's not forget about the serger - it can create beautiful bindings in a flash, giving your garments that extra touch of style.

Using a Twin Needle

To sew knit fabric using a twin needle, you'll need to adjust the tension on your sewing machine. This technique will give your hems a professional look while allowing the fabric to stretch without breaking the stitches. Start by selecting a twin needle that matches the weight of your fabric. Insert it into your sewing machine, making sure it fits securely in place. Next, thread both needles with two different colors of thread for added visual interest. Adjust the tension dial on your machine to accommodate the thickness of the knit fabric. Take a test stitch on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure that the tension is correct and make any necessary adjustments.

Now, let's explore another innovative method for working with knit fabrics: using a coverlock machine.

Using a coverlock machine offers even more possibilities when working with knit fabrics. This advanced sewing machine not only allows you to sew hems and bindings but also provides additional features such as decorative stitching and seamless finishing. With its multiple threads and adjustable settings, you can create beautiful professional-looking seams that are both durable and flexible.

Transitioning from using a twin needle to exploring the capabilities of a coverlock machine opens up new avenues for creativity in your sewing projects. So let's delve into this exciting world where innovation meets functionality, and discover how this remarkable tool can elevate your skills in working with knit fabrics even further.

Using a Coverlock Machine

Now that you've mastered the art of using a twin needle, it's time to take your knit fabric sewing skills to the next level with a coverlock machine.

This innovative tool is designed specifically for working with stretchy fabrics, allowing you to create professional-looking hems and seams effortlessly.

With a coverlock machine, you can easily achieve perfectly even stitches and neatly finished edges on your knit garments. Whether you're sewing T-shirts, leggings, or dresses, this machine will revolutionize your creations.

It features multiple needles and loopers that work in tandem to create beautiful results.

The coverlock machine not only sews but also trims excess fabric as it goes along. This means that you can achieve clean edges without requiring additional steps or tools. So say goodbye to frayed edges and hello to polished finishes!

But before we dive into creating bindings with a serger, let's explore the wonders of the coverlock machine and its capabilities in more detail.

Creating Bindings With a Serger

The coverlock machine provides a simple and efficient way to create professional-looking bindings for your garments using its unique features.

With this innovative machine, you can easily sew stretchy knit fabrics with precision and ease.

The serger's built-in binding attachment allows you to create neat and clean edges on your garments, giving them a polished and finished look.

Simply feed the fabric through the machine, and let the coverlock stitch do its magic.

The result is a beautifully bound edge that not only adds style but also durability to your garment.

Now that you have mastered the art of creating bindings with your coverlock machine, it's time to move onto the next step - making a muslin or test garment - to ensure perfect fitting before cutting into your precious fabric.

Make a Muslin or Test Garment

First, gather your knit fabric and start making a muslin or test garment to ensure the perfect fit. This step is crucial in achieving a flawless finished piece.

Begin by selecting a lightweight knit fabric that closely resembles your desired final fabric. Lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric, following the grainline markings meticulously. Pin them carefully, making sure not to stretch the fabric as you do so.

Once all the pieces are pinned, take your sewing machine and stitch them together using a long straight stitch. Try on the muslin garment to assess its fit and make any necessary adjustments. Keep in mind that with knit fabrics, you want a snug but comfortable fit that allows for movement.

Now that you have successfully created your muslin or test garment, it's time to delve into troubleshooting tips for sewing with knit fabric. From preventing stretching while sewing to choosing appropriate needles and stitches for different types of knits, these tips will help you navigate any challenges that may arise during the sewing process.

With these techniques mastered, you'll be well-equipped to tackle any project involving knit fabrics with confidence and ease.

Troubleshooting Tips for Sewing with Knit Fabric

When it comes to sewing with knit fabric, there are a few troubleshooting tips that can help you achieve better results.

First, adjusting the presser foot pressure can prevent fabric distortion and ensure smooth stitching.

Next, if you're dealing with wobbly seams, using tissue paper as a stabilizer can provide extra support and prevent stretching.

And finally, don't forget to press your seams with an iron after sewing to straighten them out and give your project a polished finish.

These simple techniques will make sewing with knit fabrics a breeze!

Adjust the presser foot pressure to prevent fabric distortion

To prevent fabric distortion, you can adjust the presser foot pressure while sewing knit fabric. When working with knits, it's important to find the right balance between keeping the fabric stable and allowing it to stretch as needed. By adjusting the presser foot pressure, you can control how firmly the foot grips the fabric. If the pressure is too high, it may cause the knit fabric to stretch and distort, resulting in uneven seams and puckering. On the other hand, if the pressure is too low, the fabric may not feed smoothly through the machine, causing skipped stitches or bunching. Experiment with different settings until you find the sweet spot for your specific knit fabric.

Now that you have mastered adjusting presser foot pressure to prevent distortion in your knit fabrics, let's move on to another helpful technique: using tissue paper to stabilize wobbly seams.

Use tissue paper to stabilize wobbly seams

Now that you've adjusted the presser foot pressure, let's discuss how tissue paper can stabilize those wobbly seams.

Sewing knit fabric can be challenging, but with this innovative technique, you'll achieve flawless results every time. Here's why tissue paper is your new secret weapon:

  1. Place a layer of tissue paper under your fabric before sewing. The thin, delicate paper acts as a stabilizer, preventing the seams from stretching or distorting.
  2. Stitch right through the tissue paper and fabric together. The paper tears away easily after stitching, leaving behind perfectly smooth and stable seams.
  3. Use tissue paper to reinforce hems or areas prone to stretching. Simply sandwich the fabric between two layers of tissue paper and stitch as usual.

By incorporating tissue paper into your sewing process, you'll have precise and professional-looking seams in no time.

Now let's move on to the next step: pressing seams with an iron to straighten them out without any wrinkles or creases.

Press seams with an iron to straighten them

First, let's grab your iron and flatten those seams for a polished finish. Pressing your seams is an essential step when sewing with knit fabric.

Not only does it help to straighten out any wavy seams or uneven stitching lines, but it also adds that extra touch of professionalism to your finished garment.

Set your iron to the appropriate temperature for your particular knit fabric - make sure not to use too high heat as it could damage the fabric.

Gently lay the seam flat on the ironing board and press down with the iron, moving in a back and forth motion. Be careful not to stretch or distort the fabric while pressing.

Take your time and pay attention to every seam until they are all perfectly flattened.

This simple technique will give your knit projects a clean, crisp look that showcases your attention to detail and innovation in sewing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a Regular Sewing Machine to Sew Knit Fabric?

You can definitely use a regular sewing machine to sew knit fabric. It may require some adjustments like using a ballpoint needle and stretchy stitches, but it's totally doable. Get ready to create stylish knit garments!

How Do I Prevent My Knit Fabric From Stretching While Sewing?

To prevent your knit fabric from stretching while sewing, hold onto it tight as a drum! Keep the tension of your machine just right and use a ballpoint needle. Stretch no more!

What Type of Needle Should I Use When Sewing With Knit Fabric?

When sewing with knit fabric, use a ballpoint needle to prevent snags and runs. It smoothly glides through the loops of the fabric without causing damage or stretching. Your stitches will be flawless!

How Do I Finish the Raw Edges of My Knit Garment?

To finish the raw edges of your knit garment, try using a serger or an overlock stitch on your sewing machine. These techniques will give your project a professional and polished look while preventing fraying.

How Can I Prevent My Seams From Puckering When Sewing With Knit Fabric?

To prevent puckering when sewing with knit or stretch fabric together, use a stretch needle and a longer stitch length. Hold the fabric taut but avoid pulling it excessively. Additionally, try using a walking foot or a ballpoint needle for better results.


So there you have it, a comprehensive guide on how to sew knit fabric!

Now that you're armed with all the knowledge and tips, you can confidently tackle any knit project that comes your way.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't be discouraged if your first few attempts aren't exactly what you envisioned.

With time and patience, you'll master the art of sewing with knit fabrics and create stunning garments that are as comfortable as they are stylish.

So go ahead, thread that needle and let your creativity soar like a soaring eagle in the sky!

Michelle Schmidt

Michelle is the founder and lead designer of MPowered Dancewear, a Minneapolis-based costume shop specializing in vibrant salsa performance attire. With over 8 years of experience crafting eye-catching designs for local dance teams, her creations enable dancers to feel confident and captivating as they sway across the floor.  

An expert on sewing dazzling dance costumes, Michelle loves to share her skills and knowledge by publishing sewing tutorials focused on helping aspiring designers create their own sensational Latin dancewear.

Disclaimer: the blog posts on this website may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please note that I only recommend products that I genuinely believe in or use myself. My goal is to share my knowledge and experience to help you find the best sewing tools and accessories for your needs, regardless of whether you purchase through my affiliate links or not.

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