I really enjoy sewing with knits. Yet, if you don’t follow the simple less is best principle, you may “over sew” your project! What’s “over sew?” My answer —”Working too hard, adding too many details.” Here are a few tips that might help you with your next (or first) knit sewing project.

Five Easy Knit Sewing Tips

Tip #1:  Choose an easy pattern

McCall's 6247

McCall’s 6247

  • Look for styles and shapes with few seams, letting the drape of the fabric be the star.

Tip #2: Sew simple

  • If you’re a serger owner, here’s where a 4-thread overlock stitch should be used. It’s fast, easy, and the seam will stretch.

  • When using a conventional sewing machine, try a “wobble” stitch. First coined by Betty Cotton of quilting fame, this narrow zigzag (.5 width and 2.5 length) has an ever-so-slight zigzag, providing a little stretch in the seam while looking like a straight seam from the right side.

Tip #3: Sew in some stretch

  • Stabilize the shoulders of knit fabrics with clear elastic. Serge or wobble stitch over the seam, stitching over the elastic. The shoulder seams will stretch when needed without stretching out of shape.

Tip #4: Serge off the hem

McCall's 6408

McCall’s 6408

  • If you’re looking at a knit pattern with a shaped hem, make it easy on yourself; let your serger do the work. Use a 3-thread overlock stitch and serge along the hemline.


  • To keep the knit from stretching, serge over strips of wash away stabilizer. Place the strips on the wrong side of the fabric and then serge. After serging, tear away the excess stabilizer. Presto, no stretching. (The stabilizer is what you see on the wrong side of the fabric in the photos below.)

  • Serge each edge individually, don’t try to turn the corner. Tuck the thread tail to the wrong side and hand stitch the thread tail to the seam. Clip off the excess thread. It’s fast!


Tip #5: Double fold the edges

McCall's 5890

McCall’s 5890

  • With knits, very few patterns have facings to finish the edges, one layer of fabric is all that’s used. Consider finishing the edges with a double fold.

  • Fold and press under a 1/4″ and straight or wobble stitch. Stitch one edge (center front seam in this example) and then the hemline. Before stitching the hemline’s double fold, place a scrap of fabric under the presser foot, stitch from the scrap (or anchor cloth as I like to call it) to the fabric. This anchor allows you to easily sew the thick area at the corner with even stitches.

  • Clip off the anchor cloth when finished.

Give these tips a try!

The random winner of Larisa Bland’s Piece in the Hoop book is Donna G. Her comment was:

I love machine embroidery, especially in-the-hoop projects. They come together so quickly. This project is so cute! I enjoy embellishing ready-to-wear items as well. The possibilities are endless!

Bye for now,

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