Lets talk about actually sewing with knits! First of all, always, always remember to pre-wash and dry your knits before beginning. If you don’t, always remember to air dry them. They shrink, and it’s never fun after sewing your beautiful creation to only wear it once before shrinking it!
Tips to make sewing knits easier:
Type of stitch:
Knits stretch, a straight stitch doesn’t. The dreaded pop pop of your seam coming undone will most likely happen when you put on a knit garment after using a straight stitch. So what stitch do we need to use? Some machines have an actual stretch stitch on them. If yours doesn’t, no need to worry a slight zig zag stitch will do the trick! If you have a serger, they also work great for finishing seams and preserving stretch.
Ball point needles are the best option for sewing with knits. They are slightly rounded to glide through the fabric better without breaking any fibers. Normal needles are much more likely to skip stitches with knits. Have a few ball point needles handy for your knit project, you want them to be sharp!
Double needles are also great to hem knits. The finished look of two stitches side by side is very professional. The stitch on the wrong side of the garment, is more like a zig zag stitch, again preserving the stretch factor. I was pretty intimidated by double needles when starting to sew with them, but they really aren’t that scary. If your machine has two different spots to put thread, you can thread it that way. If not simply wind a bobbin of the same color and place both the bobbin and spool on the same thread holder, making sure both threads are unwinding the same direction. Then hold both threads together and thread your machine. When you come to threading the needles thread them separately, making sure the threads aren’t crossed. Then simply sew like you would with a single needle! Make sure to hold your thread taut when starting, and don’t forget to backstitch!
The best and easiest way to cut knits is a rotary cutter. When using shears you have to pick up the fabric slightly, making it easier for the fabric to shift on you. I have read using weights when using the rotary cutter is better than pinning, I have yet to try it but it sounds like a good idea! If you don’t have a rotary cutter, scissors work fine. However, if you do much sewing I would highly recommend investing in one, they are amazing! Make sure your garment is laid out flat, and is not hanging off your cutting table.
That about sums up sewing with knits. If you still feel uncomfortable, practice on a few scraps first! And just know it doesn’t have to be perfect, we learn from our mistakes. The more you sew with knits the easier it will become. You’ve got this!
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Don’t forget, I would love to see your creations! Follow me @darcyschock on instagram and use #wildathearttank and #thestitchproject to share with us what you create! If you have any questions, feel free to email me!