Tips and Tricks for Sewing Knits

Welcome to our 125 years celebration of the BERNINA company! We’re celebrating by bringing you lots of inspiration and focusing on the technique of sewing knits and stretchy fabrics, and giving you the chance to win a fun prize package! Scroll down to the bottom of the post to find the giveaway.

Before you tackle your first sewing project with knit fabrics, make sure you’re using the right kind of needles and stitches. While a serger or overlocker make it easy to sew knits, you can also use a Stretch Stitch or a narrow zig-zag on your sewing machine. Check out these tips to Take the Fear Out of Sewing with Knits!

sewing with knits on a BERNINA sewing machine

Learn three different ways to professionally finish the hems of your knit garments with this technique post Three Ways to Hem Knit Garments.

Tip for sewing stretchy, stable hems on knits - Jersey stitch

This little tip will make a big difference in stabilizing the edges of a super stretchy fabric! Click to find out how to sew stable hems in knits.

How to Sew a Flatlock Stitch

Working with activewear fabric with Spandex can be tricky. Learn how to create a strong seam that lays flat with your serger in the Activewear Sewn with a Flatlock Stitch tutorial.

Learn this simple technique for How to Sew Swimwear Elastic with a Coverstitch to create a professional looking finish to your custom made swimwear.

Your Custom T-Shirt - coverstitch

A wardrobe staple for everyone is a T-shirt. Once you have mastered your basic pattern, you will be ready to fill your closet with T-shirts from all your favorite knit fabrics! Get tips and techniques to sew a t-shirt with this post from WeAllSew.

Lace Applique Tutorial-attaching the appliqué

Add lace embellishments to a knit t-shirt or other garment using the techniques in the Lace Appliqué T-shirt Tutorial.

Learn how to make a pattern from a favorite knit shirt or tee to sew a similar top in the Copy Your Favorite Tee technique post. This post also includes some really good tips for sewing knits, including how to test for stretch.

Make a new summer top from a basic t-shirt pattern with this DIY Swing Tee technique here at WeAllSew. It’s a great way to get more for your wardrobe from one basic pattern!

tank top

fold fabric

Learn how to create a knit tank top with this free pattern, a very basic wardrobe staple for layering. Find the Serged Tank Top pattern and tutorial here.

Your Chance to Win!

Your chance to win!

One lucky WeAllSew reader will win this fantastic prize package including one red Magnetic Pinholder (a $20.00 value), one 5.5 inch surgical Tula Pink seam ripper (a $12.99 value), and one 4 inch Tula Pink micro tip scissors (a $9.00 value)!

All you have to do is post a comment below and answer the question, “What is your favorite tip for sewing with knits and stretchy fabrics?” The the giveaway is open through Friday, June 22, 2018!

The giveaway is open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. One comment per fan. Comment must be submitted to the WeAllSew.com blog by Friday, June 22, 2018 at 11:59 PM Central Time. Winner will be chosen randomly. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to contact to claim the prize.

Congratulations to the winner of our June 125 Years Anniversary Giveaway is WeAllSew fan sandyiy! Enjoy your sewing tools Sandy!

35 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks for Sewing Knits

  1. My favorite tip: To make a nicely smooth hem when sewing a twin needle hem on stretchy knit on a standard sewing machine, sew over gift-wrap tissue. Sandwich strips of tissue between the feed dogs and the fabric, sew, and then tear it off when done. Inexpensive and easy.

    1. My favorite tip is also the use of the tissue paper between the feed dogs and the fabric. I have used this method when I do some heirloom sewing too. I like that Bernina sends out these tips on a regular basis. They may be simple solutions that you would not necessarily think of on your own.

  2. Learning to sew as I just inherited a beautiful Bernina. My tip will to be start slow and learn from someone who has seen for years. Had a wonderful mentor who passed away. Hoping to make some T-shirt’s for working out in. Thanks for your wonderful blog.

  3. Wonder Tape is wonderful stuff!! I found it useful when making a narrow hem. I could lay it down, then turn the edge over it, and flip again for a perfect hem that stays put without stretching while i sew, or slipping out! Then it just washes away!!! (today i skipped the tape on 1! hem, it was a slippery stretchy fabric and a little piece untucked!!! it will drive me crazy until i rip it out and do it over! and i do not look forward to ripping out that stretch stitch) of course the tape can be used in MANY other places while sewing…i just need to find a bulk discount.

  4. When sewing for a grandchild, friend or family member, I put a picture of the person in my mind and think of them often while sewing the project. This goes for knits and other fabrics. It makes the project (which is often a gift) go smoothly. It brings them closer to me even though I’m far from them.

  5. As a beginner, the next project I want to tackle is making a tshirt. I enjoyed reading the article full of tips on how to make a t-shirt and my favorite tip I think will be using wondertape to keep knits from moving. I will defiantly buy wondertape on my next trip to the craft store!

  6. My Mom taught me to use a piece of ribbon or something non-stretchy when stitching shoulder or v-neck seams. Helps keep shoulders and necklines from sagging.

    Your article about stabilizing hemlines is great!

  7. My tip is you have never sewn on knits are are afraid, just do it. Knits are so forgiving. I think cotton knits are the easiest. Start with a heavier weight of tee shirt fabric that is not rolling very much on the bolt. Knits are your sewing friend.

  8. Love the hemming techniques. I have always had trouble with them rolling. As I am modifying & replacing elastics in swimwear, those were of interest also. Thanks

  9. The right needle will save the day – use a ball point or stretch needle with knits. Although you may be tempted to use the sharp needle you’ve been using for woven fabrics, a new ball point or stretch needle is required to avoid skipped stitches and other issues.

  10. The tip that was included in this post that will most impact my sewing on knits is using the over lock foot to finish the seams. Learning to sew in the last 60’s the only knit options were heavy double knits and tee shirt knits that rolled up and did not stretch much. Now that I have returned to sewing and have my new 880+, I am finding that I am more adventuresome in trying some of the new patterns and scrumptious fabrics and the hard working feet help me to obtain a beautiful custom piece of clothing that I am proud to wear.

  11. I love the video tutorial for lace embellishing t-shirts. I had not thought of using glue to prepare for placement and then stitching would be so much easier than just pinning the lace on the t-shirt first. Thank you for your wonderful videos!

  12. My fvorite tip is duplicating your favorite t-shirt. I have one I cannot find anywhere in the stores so now I can sew my own. Also, hemming a T. Recently my sister-in-law asked me to hem a shirt for her and it was a challenge since my Bernina 765 kept eating the fabric. Now I know what I was doing wrong. Thank you for the great information.

  13. The tip that has made all my sewing projects more successful is stabilizing the seams, using stay tape cut from fusible tricot a solution made from dissolved water soluble embroidery stabilizer.

  14. My favorite tip is to save this post and refer back to it to encourage myself to sew those knits. Okay a real one: stretch and see which way the knot curls to determine the right or wrong side.

  15. I never saw the tip of using elastic in a knit hem. I have several knits in my stash that I am going to pull out and try that and some of the other tips on.
    Thanks for the info.

  16. My favorite knit fabric tip (also useful plastic type fabrics) is to place tissue paper on the bottom and top of the seam, so operations will “slide” along.

  17. I love to coverstitch the bottom and sleeve hems in my knitwear. My tip is to be careful and measure the amount turned under so that when you are stitching from the top, you manage to actually stitch the turned under portion without having missed a portion or stitched too far away from the edge.

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