Sewing with Knits: Tips and Tricks


Knit fabrics come in a variety of fabric types and stretch values. They can be made of cotton, rayon, bamboo, and other fibers. In a knit fabric, there is a continuous yarn with interlocking loops. When these loops are pulled or straightened under tension, the fabric has the ability to stretch. This makes knits flexible, and depending on the weight of the fabric content, may have wonderful drape or may have more firmness and structure. Let’s take a closer look!


Fabric Characteristics of Knit:

  • Knits have more give than woven fabrics
  • Will mold and fit to the body shape
  • Has soft texture and resistant to wrinkles
  • Generally, knit does not fray
  • Jersey knits are lightweight and the edges roll toward the right side
  • Jersey knits require a nap layout

Care and Use of Knit:

  • Most can be machine washed, but some may need dry cleaning
  • Use a steamer to release any wrinkles
  • Some knits shrink, so be sure to test
  • Great for comfortable garments!

Recommended BERNINA Presser Feet for Sewing Knit

BERNINA Roller Foot #51


BERNINA has several presser feet designed for sewing with fabrics like knit, which may stretch as you sew. First the Roller Foot #51, which has rollers on the bottom to move easily over the fabric.

BERNINA Three-sole Walking Foot with Seam Guide #50


Of course, the Walking Foot #50 will also feed the fabric evenly.

BERNINA Reverse Pattern Foot #1D

Another choice could one of the BERNINA Dual Feed Feet. They are a great choice for sewing on knit. Reverse Pattern Foot #1D is a versatile foot to use on knits.


Tips for Sewing on Knit

  1. Decrease the Presser Foot Pressure on your machine to prevent stretching the top layer of fabric.


  1. Use a Ballpoint or Universal needle, size 70-80 depending on the weight of your


  1. Mettler Seraflex is a new stretch thread that will be a great option for sewing on knit.

Mettler Thread - Seraflex

  1. A narrow zigzag or a stretch stitch on your machine will allow the fabric to give and not “pop” the seam.

Super Stretch Stitch


Stretch Stitch


  1. An overlocker is a great accessory machine for sewing on knits because it has a differential feed dog system that allows you to adjust fabric feeding to prevent stretching. The BERNINA L 890 and L 850 are new overlockers in the BERNINA line and offer more size and space, as well as easy threading with the One-Step BERNINA Air Threader.

Check it out on the BERNINA website.


Knit is a great fabric for making comfortable tops and shirts, as well as skirts and pants!

Start on a new sewing journey. Choose an easy project and enjoy the ride!

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